Avocado is the fruit from the avocado tree (Persea americana). Avocados are a very popular fruit considered by nutritionists to be a superfood for their numerous avocado health benefits. The avocado, also known as an alligator pear, is a pear-shaped fruit with an olive green skin with a rough exterior texture.1
Avocados have a bright green-yellow flesh when ripe. At the center of an avocado fruit is a large, brown, stone pit.1
There are around 400 varieties of avocados, include mini avocados. Avocados are native to Guatemala and Mexico. Both the Mayan and Aztec people cultivated avocados long before the arrival of Spanish settlers. The Spanish eventually brought avocados to Europe. They are now grown worldwide.1,2
Avocado Health Uses and Health Benefits
Avocado health benefits come from their high nutrition content. Avocados contain over 20 minerals and vitamins essential for maintaining overall health. Avocados are most well-known for their content of good fats—those that lower bad cholesterol levels. Avocados are also high in fiber, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C and potassium.2,3
Avocado health benefits include:
- Protecting against heart disease by preventing the arteries from hardening
- Lowering blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Regulating hormones associated with diabetes
- Boosting skin, hair and eye health
- Promoting healthy weight loss
- Improving digestive health
- Boosting cognitive function
- Elevating mood
Avocado uses include:
- Wrinkles - The benefits of avocado for skin include being a natural remedy for wrinkles by acting as a natural moisturizer.
- Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar) - Avocados can help regulate blood sugar levels and treat hypoglycemia.
- Stress - Avocados can help balance hormones, which prevents depression and feelings of stress.
- Atherosclerosis (Arteriosclerosis) - The healthy fats in avocados prevent atherosclerosis by stopping the buildup of plaques in the arteries.
- Poor Circulation - Avocados can help improve poor circulation levels by contributing to greater overall health and vitality.
Avocado Side Effects and Precautions
Avocado side effects are limited and they are generally safe to eat for most people. Some people may experience allergic reactions caused by avocado side effects such as skin rash and facial swelling.5