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Forget the apple—an avocado a day may actually keep the doctor away. Whether you prefer to spread this healthy fat on some sourdough bread, mix it into your salad, or chow down on it whole with a bit of salt, this fruit (and yes, it is a fruit) is packed with plenty of health benefits, in addition to being delicious. But, with avocado’s high price tag, I decided to compile many of the scientific benefits into one place in order to justify your (and my) weekly purchase. Hey, it’s all in the name of health—and guacamole.
Note: This list is not exhaustive, as I am only one avocado-lover.
The many benefits of avocados, according to science
They can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that those who ate at least two servings of avocado a week had a 16 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who didn’t eat avocados. These participants also had a lower risk of coronary heart disease.
Avocados benefit your gut health.
When researchers recently examined the impact of avocados on your gut, they found participants who ate an avocado a day had a higher concentration of gut microbes, which support gut health. The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, also found participants who ate the avocados had more microbial diversity.
They can help reduce fat.
A 2021 study published by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign found women who ate an avocado a day saw a reduction in their deep visceral abdominal fat. A high amount of this type of fat in the body can increase your risk for diabetes, making this reduction significant.
They can keep your “bad cholesterol” levels low.
In 2019, researchers published study findings that eating one avocado a day led to lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is considered to be your “bad cholesterol.” They arrived at this finding by examining the concentration of LDL particles in the body, which lowered after the introduction of the daily avocado into participants’ diets.
Avocados may help prevent oral cancer.
This powerful fruit may also be good for your oral health. A 2007 study published in Seminars in Cancer Biology found that certain nutrients from avocados can help stop of the growth of pre-cancerous cells—or kill them completely.
They contain monounsaturated fatty acids, which can make make you smarter.
A 2017 study published in NeuroImage found links between monounsaturated fatty acids and the network in your brain responsible for general intelligence. Researchers linked these fatty acids to the dorsal attentional network, which is responsible for problem solving and tasks requiring attention.
Plus, they have tons of nutrients.
In case you needed another push to add this fruit to your grocery list, avocados contain tons of essential nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K, as well as healthy fats and fiber.
Doctors, researchers and dietitians seem to all agree: that $1.99 price tag per avocado is worth it.