How Good Are Avocados for You?


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The dietary advantages of guacamole lengthen past the vitamins in avocados.

Avocados have been described as a “main dietary supply of antioxidants.” Whereas this can be true in contrast to most of the meals individuals often eat, they aren’t essentially something to write down dwelling about when in comparison with different frequent fruits, as you may see at 0:16 in my video Flashback Friday: Are Avocados Good for You?.

Avocados do, nonetheless, include lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoid eye vitamins present in darkish inexperienced leafy greens. This may increasingly clarify why Mexican Individuals, who’re “among the many highest customers of avocados in america,” are inclined to beat out different ethnicities of their consumption of the 2 vitamins. The crucial carotenoids are concentrated within the “darkish inexperienced flesh near the peel.” Due to this, customers must be suggested to make use of the “nick and peel” technique “to acquire the nutrient-rich outer part of the avocado.” The Tufts Well being & Vitamin Letter detailed what which means: Minimize the avocado in half lengthwise across the seed, rotate a quarter-turn, lower lengthwise once more to make quarter-avocado segments, separate the quarters, take away the seed, and, lastly, ranging from the tip, nick and punctiliously peel every phase, in order to not lose that nutrient-rich, darkest inexperienced flesh instantly underneath the pores and skin. 

Avocados may also enhance the absorption of the carotenoid phytonutrients in different greens, as a result of carotenoids, akin to beta-carotene, are fats soluble. “Nonetheless, lots of our greatest meals for acquiring carotenoids—for instance, candy potatoes, carrots, and leafy greens—include little or no fats (lower than 1 g per serving).” So, should you eat them straight, with none supply of fats in your abdomen, you could find yourself flushing plenty of that vitamin down the bathroom.

Bear in mind, it’s not what you eat, it’s what you soak up. At 1:41 in my video, you may see there’s slightly bump within the quantity of beta-carotene that leads to your bloodstream over a interval of ten hours after consuming slightly greater than a cup of salsa, and the identical is seen with the crimson pigment lycopene. What occurs once you eat the identical quantity of salsa with the addition of avocado? Absorption triples. Meaning, should you eat tomatoes with out some supply of fats on the similar meal—avocados, nuts, or seeds, for instance—most of that vivid crimson, stunning lycopene will find yourself in the bathroom bowl slightly than your bloodstream.

It’s the identical with a salad composed of lettuce, spinach, and carrots. With a fat-free dressing, hardly any beta-carotene makes it into your physique. Add an avocado, although, and 15 occasions extra beta-carotene finally ends up circulating all through the physique. Do it’s important to use a complete avocado? Half an avocado had just about the identical impact, working simply in addition to a complete one. What a couple of quarter of an avocado? We don’t know the minimal quantity of dietary fats required for optimum carotenoid absorption. It could simply be just a few grams per meal, although, by which case an eighth of an avocado would match the invoice, or only one or two walnuts.

Apparently, avocado consumption might improve not solely the absorption of carotenoids, but in addition their subsequent conversion contained in the physique into vitamin A. As you may see at 3:10 in my video, when topics had been given child carrots with and with out avocado, as we noticed earlier than, far more beta-carotene was detected within the bloodstream of these consuming avocados with their carrots within the hours following, in comparison with the identical quantity of carrots alone. In truth, there was greater than six occasions extra. Since beta-carotene is changed into vitamin A within the physique, shouldn’t there even be six occasions extra vitamin A, too? No. In truth, the topics consuming avocados ended up with greater than 12 occasions extra vitamin A.

The avocado-eaters additionally skilled a giant improve in ranges of vitamin Okay, one other fat-soluble vitamin. That’s partially as a result of avocado itself incorporates vitamin Okay—however not a lot that folks on the anticoagulant medicine Coumadin have to fret, claimed an avocado industry-sponsored overview. Nonetheless, that’s not true. We’ve identified for many years that though there isn’t an inordinate quantity of vitamin Okay in avocados, it nonetheless interferes with the drug Coumadin, also referred to as warfarin. We aren’t precisely certain why. It could enhance your liver’s detoxifying enzymes or stop absorption of the drug, however, both manner, these on the blood-thinner Coumadin might need to put walnuts on their salads as a substitute.


  • Wealthy in antioxidants, avocados include lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoid eye vitamins concentrated in the dead of night inexperienced flesh near the peel.
  • The “nick and peel” technique is the popular strategy to lower an avocado to get the nutrient-rich, darkest inexperienced flesh instantly underneath the peel.
  • As a result of carotenoids, such because the beta-carotene in candy potatoes, are fat-soluble, consuming carotenoid-rich meals with avocados can enhance the absorption of phytonutrients in different greens.
  • For instance, including avocado to a cup of salsa triples absorption of the crimson pigment lycopene in contrast with consuming the tomatoes within the salsa and not using a supply of fats (akin to avocados, nuts, or seeds) on the similar meal.
  • Along with enhanced carotenoid absorption, avocado consumption might also enhance the conversion of carotenoids contained in the physique into vitamin A.
  • Avocado-eaters additionally expertise elevated ranges of vitamin Okay, one other fat-soluble vitamin that’s contained in avocados themselves. Vitamin Okay interferes with Coumadin, a drug also referred to as warfarin, so these on the blood thinner might need to select nuts or seeds as a substitute of avocados for a complete meals supply of fats.

That is a part of my newest slew of articles on avocados. Produce other burning guac questions? See my movies:

Doesn’t the egg {industry} brag about lutein and zeaxanthin? See my video Egg Business Blind Spot.

Why would we care about lycopene absorption? Take a look at Lycopene Dietary supplements vs. Prostate Most cancers and Tomato Sauce vs. Prostate Most cancers.

In well being,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: For those who haven’t but, you may subscribe to my free movies right here and watch my dwell shows:


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