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Top 5 health benefits of avocado

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From toast toppings to desserts and smoothies, avocado is often touted as a health food. Registered nutritionist Jo Lewin takes us through the nutritional highlights of this versatile fruit

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What are avocados?

The popularity of avocado is down to its rich, creamy texture and mild flavour. The avocado, or Persea americana, is a fruit that belongs to the family of lauraceae; a group that also includes members such as cinnamon and laurel. There are dozens of varieties of avocado, ranging in size, colour and texture. All are native to tropical climates and, when harvested, the flesh softens to a buttery texture that has become extremely popular in everything from dips to desserts.

Discover our full range of health benefit guides and check out some of our favourite healthy avocado recipes including smashed avocados on toast, salsa and classic guacamole.

Nutritional benefits of avocado

An 80g portion of avocado contains:

  • 152kcal/627KJ
  • 5g protein
  • 6g fat
  • 5g carbohydrates
  • 6g fibre
  • 360mg potassium
  • 56mg vitamin E

What are the top 5 health benefits of avocado?

1. Avocados are nutritionally rich

Avocados have been commended as an example of a nutrient-dense food, with one half of the fruit counting towards your five-a-day.

Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, and are a good source of folate. They also supply more soluble fibre than other fruit and contain a number of useful minerals including iron, copper and potassium.

2. May support heart health

Avocados are high in fat with 60 per cent of this being monounsaturated fats, which research suggests helps to protect against heart disease and lower blood pressure. They are also an excellent source of potassium, folate and fibre, all of which benefit the heart and cardiovascular system.

3. May help to lower cholesterol

The oils supplied by avocado include oleic acid and linoleic acid. These unsaturated fats are recommended as part of a balanced diet to help manage cholesterol.

4. May help to regulate appetite

There is no doubt that the calorie content of avocados is greater than other fruits and vegetables. However, an interesting study has shown that the fat and fibre content of avocados leads to feelings of satiety which helps to regulate appetite.

5. May help keep eyes healthy

Alongside the benefits outlined above, avocados are a rich source of protective vitamin E, as well as carotenes including lutein and zeaxanthin, which are thought to help keep the eyes healthy.

Is avocado safe for everyone?

Some sensitive individuals may experience allergy to avocado. This includes an oral allergy which may be triggered by a cross-reaction to birch pollen. A rarer allergic response may occur if you have a latex allergy – if this is relevant to you, refer to your GP for guidance.

Avocado, along with fruits including apples, peaches, raspberries and blueberries, contain natural chemicals called salicylates. Some people are sensitive to these compounds and may experience an allergic reaction including skin rashes and swelling.

If you are concerned about food allergies or have any other concerns, please consult your GP or registered dietitian for guidance.

Avocado recipes

Avocado salad
Best ever chunky guacamole
Avocado panzanella
Japanese salmon & avocado rice
Spicy chicken & avocado wraps
Chunky tomato & avocado salsa
More healthy ways with avocado

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This article was reviewed on 8 February 2021 by Kerry Torrens.

Jo Lewin is a registered nutritionist (RNutr) with the Association for Nutrition with a specialism in public health. Follow her on Twitter @nutri_jo.

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All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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