Called a super fruit by some, the avocado is a unique fruit due to its high mono-saturated fat (the good fat) and protein makeup. Avocados are low in sodium and fructose but high in potassium, containing twice that of a banana, and essential vitamins and minerals such as fiber, vitamin K, B5, B6 and C and foliate.

Nutritional values of avocado per 100g:
  • How many calories in an avocado – 160
  • How much protein is in avocado – 2g
  • How many carbs in avocado – 9g
  • What is the fat content of avocado – 15g

Avocados are a stone fruit with a creamy texture that grow in warm climates and are often a feature of Mexican and South American cuisine.

Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.

This MNT Knowledge Center feature is written by MNT’s qualified nutritionist and forms part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. In the article we take an in-depth look at the possible health benefits of eating avocados as well as a nutritional breakdown of the avocado.

Health benefits of avocados:

Nutrient-dense fruit

Yes, they are actually a large berry with one seed. One avocado contains approximately 1/3 of the daily requirement of vitamin K and folate, lots of pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.

Avocado has twice the potassium of a banana. It also contains vitamin E, niacin, and riboflavin.

Avocado is with Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

Again, avocado is a high fat food.

In fact, 77% of the calories in it are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence.

The majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid. This is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the major component in olive oil and believed to be responsible for some of its beneficial effects.

Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.

Help Cure Cancer

The glutathione found in avocados has been found to help prevent some kinds of cancers.

Researchers found extracts from Hass avocados kill or stop the growth of pre-cancerous cells that lead to oral cancer. Avocado extract was found to inhibit prostate cancer.

Lowers Blood Pressure

One cup of sliced avocado provides 20% of your daily potassium (double what you get in a banana) and 10% of your daily dose of magnesium — both of which are crucial in controlling blood pressure. Potassium helps control blood pressure by relaxing your arteries, and ridding the body of excess sodium. Too much sodium leads to fluid retention, which makes you bloated. Magnesium is required for nerve and muscle function, as well as bone growth and maintenance.

Osteoporosis prevention

Half of an avocado provides approximately 25% of the daily-recommended intake for vitamin K, a nutrient that is often overlooked, but which is essential for bone health.

Vitamin K is often overshadowed by calcium and vitamin D when thinking of nutrients important for maintaining healthy bones, however, eating a diet with adequate vitamin K can support bone health by increasing calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.