Are Avocados Really Good For You?

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. It's easy to poke fun at our enduring 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 within that brief sweet spot of ripeness. Not to mention, the health benefits of avocado are just as impressive as the taste.

"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 benefits of avocado fruit (yes, this is your reminder that avocado is a fruit) can impact your skin, hair, and digestion. In fact, the neutral flavor and rock-solid nutrition is a big reason why avocados have withstood the test of time. They taste good while you're eating them and help you feel good afterward. Here, the expert-approved scoop on the many health benefits of avocados.

Health Benefits of Avocado

Avocados help your body work and feel better — from your gut and heart, to your skin and hair.

  1. 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, 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."
  2. 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.
  3. Avocados may help reduce inflammation: Avocados have been linked to reduced 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.
  4. Avocados are rich in micronutrients: 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.
  5. Avocados are good for your hair and skin: Avocado face masks are great, but 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. This has a lot to do with avocado's nutrient content and all those omega-3 fatty acids, which play a part in your hair health. One 2015 study from the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology even 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, the majority of which is 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 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. That said, it's easy to pair avocado with protein and carb sources for a quick, satisfying meal or snack. Try putting it on a piece of toast (a good source of carbs) topped with a soft-boiled egg (a good source of protein).

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 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?

Avocado won't drastically impact your sex life, but it does have some nutritional properties that may provide a sexual boost. Generally speaking, research shows that increased blood flow plays a big role in arousal as blood rushes to the sex organs. The omega-3 fatty acids found in avocados can help increase and improve blood flow. Some research says omega-3s can also 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.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter what aspect of health you focus on. From sexual health to heart health, regular avocado consumption can help keep it all up and running. Pass the avocado toast, please.

Maggie Ryan was an assistant editor at POPSUGAR. A longtime runner and athlete, Maggie has nearly four years of experience covering topics in the wellness space, specializing in fitness, sports, nutrition, and mental health.