8 Surprising Health Benefits of Avocados

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Ashley Festa on June 3, 2021
  • avocado
    A Toast to This Nutritional Superfood
    While they are often treated as vegetables—like being added to a salad—avocados are actually a fruit. They have many of the same health benefits as fruit, like high fiber and lots of vitamins, but unlike many fruits, they are very low in sugar. Avocados are high in fat, but it’s mostly heart-healthy fatty acids. And while they’re also high in calories, avocados have tons of fiber, which may help you feel full longer, lowering the urge to snack between meals. Find out some of the many health benefits of avocado and why you might want to add them to your diet.
  • Midsection of woman eating scrambled eggs and avocado for breakfast
    1. Avocados are full of fat—but it’s the good kind.
    Avocados really do have a lot of fat in them, about 20 to 25 grams per fruit. Luckily for us, it’s mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are the best kind of fat to eat in a healthy diet. Healthy fats have been shown to lower your bad cholesterol and total cholesterol. Also, because these fats can help fill you up, you may be satisfied with a smaller amount, which can help reduce your total intake of fat and calories. (Despite the health benefits of avocados, they do have a lot of calories—about 200 to 300, depending on size.)
  • avocado halves stuffed with quinoa, black bean, corn and tomato
    2. Avocados help your body absorb nutrients.
    Avocados are a great source of potassium, magnesium, vitamins C, E and K, as well as several B vitamins. Some vitamins, such as A, D, E and K, are fat soluble, meaning that your body absorbs them with the help of foods high in fatty acids—like avocado. Try eating avocado with foods high in those vitamins—maybe in a crisp salad—and your body will get double the benefit.
  • Man slicing avocado with a knife on a cutting board close up
    3. Avocado antioxidants protect against free radicals.
    The antioxidants in avocados—bioactive carotenoids, tocopherols, polyphenols—help neutralize free radicals, protecting cells against damaging oxidative stress. The carotenoids are more easily absorbed into the bloodstream because of the high amount of monounsaturated fat in avocados. These antioxidant phytochemicals may help your body prevent cancer, though researchers note that more study is necessary in this area.
  • Young woman eating vegan food at home
    4. Avocados are a good source of fiber.
    Your body needs both soluble and insoluble fiber, and avocados have a healthy amount of both—18% of your daily fiber needs in just half of the fruit. This health benefit of avocados even goes beyond keeping your intestinal tract running smoothly. The soluble fiber in avocados dissolves in your gut and nourishes the good bacteria. The insoluble fiber in avocados absorbs liquid and helps your body create soft, bulky stools, which prevents constipation and promotes good colorectal health.
  • Close-Up Of Boy Having Food While Sitting On Chair
    5. Avocados help your heart and other muscles work properly.
    High in potassium, a mineral and electrolyte, avocado benefits your heart and vascular health—helping to stabilize your heartbeat and to keep your arteries clear of plaque. Potassium also helps your muscles contract properly and helps your nerves to function properly. And all those healthy fats? Those help support your brain function and memory.
  • Unseen woman eating plate of healthy vegetables
    6. Avocados benefit eye, brain and immune development.
    The phytochemicals lutein and zeaxanthin in avocados benefit your eyes, and they’ve even been shown to be important for a baby’s eye development in utero. When pregnant women eat avocados and other foods high in carotenoids and vitamin A, they’re also promoting their baby’s proper neurological development as well as immune function.
  • Close-up of avocados on table with avocado cream
    7. Topical use of avocado oil may benefit skin.
    Research on animals has found that using avocado oil benefits the skin by helping wounds heal faster, likely because of the high content of monounsaturated fatty acids. The study showed that avocado oil increased the creation of collagen to improve collagen density better than the use of petroleum jelly. Avocado oil was also found to reduce the number of inflammatory cells on the skin as wounds healed. People with plaque psoriasis may also see skin benefits of avocado oil: As part of a vitamin B12 cream, avocado oil has been shown to be an effective long-term treatment for psoriasis that doesn’t have the negative side effects that some other treatments have.
  • Young woman eating avocado toast at home
    8. Eating avocado might have benefits for your hair.
    The oil and fatty acids in avocado may help protect your hair from damage and prevent breakage. And the antioxidants in avocado may prevent oxidative stress on the scalp, which can contribute to hair loss. Avocados also contain biotin, which is a B vitamin and a popular supplement for hair growth. However, avocado benefits for hair may be limited, as studies on biotin have been flawed and no conclusive research has shown a benefit so far. Some people say that biotin has helped their hair, so avocados may be worth a try, especially considering all the other health benefits.
8 Surprising Health Benefits of Avocados

About The Author

Ashley Festa is a Greenville, S.C.-based freelance writer and editor who has been writing professionally for nearly two decades. In addition to Healthgrades, she also has written for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, the University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing and Health Innovation, and Fit Pregnancy magazine.
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Last Review Date: 2021 May 16
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