Are Avocados Good For You?
Yes, Avocados Can Improve Your Sex Life — and a Whole Lot More
Whether you're slicing it up on toast, mashing it into guacamole, or blending it into creamy smoothies, avocado is arguably one of the most delicious and versatile foods around. And sure, it may be comical to poke fun at the continuing collective obsession with avocado toast, but that doesn't stop anyone from ordering (and loving) it. Simple, satisfying, and deliciously smooth, avocado is truly the perfect topping for so many dishes, provided you can catch it in that two-hour period when it's perfectly ripe. And it certainly doesn't hurt that this fruit (yep, here's your reminder that avocado is a fruit) is as nutritious as it is tasty.
"Fats like avocados are an essential part of every meal as they provide important nutrients like vitamin E, fiber, and potassium," says Taylor Fazio, RD, CDN a registered dietitian and wellness advisor at The Lanby in New York City. The combination of a nice neutral flavor, creamy texture, and rock-solid nutrition is why avocados have become so enduringly popular: They taste good while you're eating them and help you feel good afterward. So what is it about this fruit that makes it so good for you? Here's the scoop on the health benefits of avocados, before you scoop your next avocado for toast, guacamole, or a salad topping.
Avocado Health Benefits
Avocados have numerous health benefits that help your body work and feel better, from your gut and heart to your skin and hair.
- Avocados are high in omega-3 fatty acids: Avocados are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that's been shown to support heart health, Fazio tells POPSUGAR. (Fish, olive oil, and nuts are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.) According to the scientific journal Circulation, for example, a large study of people who took omega-3 fatty acid supplement capsules experienced a 15 percent reduction in death, heart attack, and stroke; a 20 percent reduction in death "from any health-related cause"; and a 45 percent reduction in "sudden death from a heart attack." The journal also notes that omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to "modestly" reduce resting blood pressure and decrease body fat, "both of which can improve heart health."
- Avocados are good for your gut: Avocados are high in fiber, with one serving (50 grams or one-third of an avocado) containing seven grams of fiber, according to the USDA. Fiber helps keep your digestive system regular and promotes the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Most recently, a 2021 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that, among a group of 163 adults considered overweight, people who consumed avocado daily had lower fecal bile acid concentration. Higher bile acid concentrations can cause intestinal inflammation and are linked to the growth of dangerous microbes associated with things like colon cancer.
- Avocados may help reduce inflammation: Avocados have also been linked to reducing inflammation in the body, with avocado seed extract showing anti-inflammatory properties in a 2019 laboratory study from Penn State. This could be because avocados are also associated with lower fecal bile acid concentrations, and higher concentrations cause intestinal inflammation. Recent research has disputed the effectiveness of avocados as an anti-inflammatory, though, and more studies are needed in this area to confirm this health benefit.
- Avocados are rich in nutrients: In general, avocados are a good source of many important micronutrients, including vitamins C, E, and K, plus riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, and more. Avocados are also rich in folate, a nutrient that's especially important during pregnancy.
- Avocados are good for your hair and skin: Avocado face masks are great, but it turns out that consuming one avocado daily can also have a major impact on your skin. A 2022 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that women who ate one avocado a day for eight weeks experienced a significant increase in elasticity and firmness in the skin compared to those who did not, which has a lot to do with avocado's nutrient content and all those omega-3 fatty acids. They play a part in upping your hair health as well: a 2015 study from the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that six months of taking omega-3 and omega-6 supplements, along with antioxidants (also found in avocados) "acts efficiently against hair loss in improving hair density" in women.
Is Avocado a Healthy Fat?
Avocado definitely qualifies as a healthy fat. According to the USDA, a serving of avocado contains over seven grams of fat, with the majority being monounsaturated fat. "Monounsaturated fats are considered cardio-protective," Fazio explains, which means they can help to reduce negative cholesterol levels in your blood, thus lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke. Avocados also contain omega-3 fatty acids (mentioned above), a type of polyunsaturated fat, which also plays a role in improving heart health as well as potentially decreasing inflammation, among other benefits.
Does Avocado Have Protein and Carbohydrates?
While avocados do contain protein and carbohydrates, they are not considered a significant source of either. A third of an avocado contains about one gram of protein and four grams of carbs. "Avocados are considered a better fat and fiber source than carbohydrate and protein," Fazio says. However, it's easy to pair avocado with protein and carb sources for a quick, satisfying meal or snack — for example, putting it on a piece of toast (a good source of carbs) topped with a soft-boiled egg (a good source of protein).
Is Avocado Good For Weight Loss?
"Avocados are a great addition to a weight-loss diet," Fazio says. This is because avocados are high in healthy fat, which takes longer for your body to digest and keeps you full for longer. That's because "fats have a longer transit time through our digestive tract," Fazio explains, "increasing the fullness from avocados in a meal."
Avocados are also high in fiber, which can help with weight loss as well. A 2015 study of 240 adults with metabolic syndrome found that aiming to eat 30 grams of fiber per day helped participants lose weight (4.6 pounds, on average, over 12 months), lower their blood pressure, and improve their body's response to insulin.
Eating avocados can be considered a component of a healthy approach to weight loss, but it's unlikely you'll drop significant weight without making other lifestyle changes. The best way to lose weight safely is to combine a consistent workout routine with a nutritious diet, of which avocados can definitely be a part.
Does Avocado Make You Poop?
Yes, avocados can make you poop. That's because avocado contains a high amount of fiber — 3.3 grams per serving avocado, according to the USDA — and "adequate fiber intake can assist with regular bowel movements," Fazio says. FYI: Dietary fiber actually increases the weight and size of stool while softening it, the Mayo Clinic explains, which makes it easier to pass.
Fazio recommends eating at least 28 grams of fiber per day, so eating 100 grams of avocado (about two-thirds of an avocado) would put you at 6.6 grams of fiber, nearly a quarter of the daily recommendation. This is good to know if you're looking to have more regular bowel movements and less strain while pooping; however, it also means that avocado is not the best meal to eat right before a run or an intense cardio workout if you want to avoid discomfort in your gut or a mid-workout poop break.
Does Avocado Have Cholesterol?
Avocado does not contain cholesterol, according to the USDA. In fact, avocados can be a good dietary choice if you're looking to lower cholesterol overall, as Mayo Clinic notes that eating one avocado a day as part of a heart-healthy diet can help to improve "bad" cholesterol numbers (aka lipoprotein cholesterol) in people who are overweight.
Does Avocado Have Iron or Potassium?
While avocados are not high in iron (providing about .03 milligrams per serving, or about .02 percent of your daily value), they are a great source of potassium. One-third (50 grams) of an avocado contains 243 milligrams of potassium, and upping it to two-thirds gives you about 485 grams of potassium. That's more than a banana, which has 422 grams of potassium. This is good news because potassium is a crucial nutrient in our diet, Fazio says. "Potassium is an important electrolyte that helps sodium balance in the blood and helps with maintaining fluid," she explains.
Do Avocados Really Have Sexual Benefits?
While avocado in isolation won't drastically impact your sex life, it does have some nutritional properties that may provide a sexual boost. Research shows that increased blood flow, in general, plays a big role in arousal as blood rushes to the sex organs. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are richly available in avocados, can help increase and improve blood flow; research says omega-3s can help prevent plaque build-up in the arteries, which aids in blood flow. Avocados also contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that widens blood vessels and may reduce sperm DNA damage, according to a 2016 review in the Internal Journal of Reproductive BioMedicine.
It truly doesn't matter what aspect of health you focus on: From sexual health to skin to gut and heart health, regular avocado consumption can help keep all of it up and running. Pass the avocado toast, please.