Avocados reduce the risk of prostate cancer, heart disease and more

A previous study( Dreher and Davenport, 2013) found that avocado and its oil encourage heart health by balancing blood lipids. For instance, the fat in the avocado is made up of 71 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, 13 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids and 16 percent saturated fatty acids. They further noted that diets moderately high in healthy fats — specifically monounsaturat­ed fats (MUFAs) — are known to block plaque buildup in the arteries more effectively than diets high in insulin-spiking carbohydrates. In addition to the presence of fat, the fiber in avocado and the presence of beta-sitosterol compounds help reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

An older clinical study(Ledesma et al. 1996) examined the importance of healthy sources of fat on heart health. This study engineered from Mexico gave an avocado-enriched diet to both healthy adults and those with high cholesterol and analyzed the results. After one week, the study found that when healthy people with normal lipid levels ate avocados, their total cholesterol lev­els were reduced by 16 percent.

The results also found something astonishing in the high-cholesterol group. Apart from the drop in the total blood lipids of 17 per cent, also LDLs (22 percent), and tri­glycerides (22 percent), on the other hand, their good HDL also were enhanced by 11 percent.

Other study findings suggest that an avocado-rich diet may help improve heart disease risk factors, which may help prevent the onset of heart disease. One recent study (Sacks et al. 2020) examined the impact of avocados on heart health. This study was sponsored by the Hass Avocado Board. Though this study is promising the involvement of the Hass Avocado Board as a peer reviewer has been contested. The authors concluded: “Food indus­try involvement in peer-reviewed research in leading nutrition-related journals is commonplace. In line with previous literature, this study has shown that a greater proportion of peer-reviewed studies involving the food industry have results that favor relevant food industry interests than peer-reviewed studies without food industry involvement. Given the potentially competing interests of the food industry, it is important to explore mechanisms that can safeguard the integrity and public relevance of nutrition research”.

This notwithstanding, (Wang et al. 2020; Mahmassani et al. 2018) found that avocados could increase heart-protective HDL cholesterol and decrease levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol, a type of cholesterol that’s drastically associated with ath­erosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque along artery walls.

Also, due to its high Potassium and Magnesium content, (Han et al. 2017) study found avocado to be helpful for blood pressure regula­tion, and this supports healthy heart disease prevention.

Avocado, antioxidant and anti-in­flammatory compounds

Bhuyan et al.(2019) found that avocados are also packed with bioac­tive compounds such as carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and phenolic compounds. They have been found to have significant antioxidant, neuroprotective, and cardioprotec­tive activities. Another study(Liguori et al. 2018) also agreed that the carotenoids found in avocados such as lutein, α-Carotene, and β-Carotene have been found to exhibit strong antioxidant effects, protecting against oxidative damage, which is linked with the progression of diverse chronic diseases.

A subsequent study(Wang et al. 2020) found that avocados’ anti­oxidant content, could increase the body’s antioxidant defenses. This study used 45 people who ate avoca­do daily and found increased blood levels of the carotenoid lutein as compared with a typical Western diet without avocado.

Finally, some studies(Cannavale et al. 2019; Erdman et al. 2015; Ran et al. 2020; Wang et al. 2014; Bianca et al. 2021) agreed that the more we eat avocado diet is linked to better cognitive function, improved heart health, and many more.

Avocado, Weight loss

Two studies (Gibson et al. 2019; Nour et al. 2018) found that eating a dietary pattern rich in fibrous foods, like fruits and vegetables, could sup­port weight loss. They also found that those who eat more fiber have good body weights as compared to those who do not eat fiber diets.

Another study(Miketinas et al. 2019) used 345 people and found that those who ate a fiber diet such as avocado lowers body weight.

Three studies( Khan et al. 2019; Heskey et al. 2019; Zhu et al. 2019) linked avocado consumption with weight loss, improved satiety, and decreased abdominal fat. A previous study(Fulgoni et al. 2013) also found that Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) in the diet are linked to bet­ter weight management and healthy BMI status.

In an older study, Pieterse et al.(2005) aim to dismiss the myth that avocados should be avoided in energy-restricted diets. They exam­ined the effects of avocados, a rich source of calories from monoun­saturated fatty acids, as part of an energy-restricted diet.

They found that consumption of 30 grams a day of fat from avoca­do within an energy-restricted diet didn’t compromise weight loss at all when substituted for 30 grams a day of mixed dietary fats. The diet high in avocados resulted in significant weight loss in addition to other health improvements.

Avocado, good for Pregnant and Lactating Mothers

In the course of pregnancy and breastfeeding, the demand for nutri­ent increase. For instance, Komin­iarek and Rajan,(2016) found that during pregnancy:

• Folate requirements in­crease from 400 μg to 600 μg.

• Potassium needs to jump from 2,600 mg to 2,900 mg.

• Vitamin C needs to in­crease from 75 to 85 mg.

Three studies (Herter-Aeberli et al. 2020; Cheng et al. 2018; Olapeju et al. 2019) found that during pregnan­cy, there is a need for high Folate. Hence, low folate levels during preg­nancy increase the risk of pregnancy complications.

Hence, avocado consumption in pregnancy could give 27% of the recommended folate intake during pregnancy, according to the US Department of Agriculture. For lactating mothers, the consumption of avocados can also help them reach the recommended intake levels for nutrients that are needed in greater amounts during pregnan­cy and breastfeeding, like vitamin C, potassium, and B6. Finally, one study(Pretorius and Palmer, 2020) found that the high fiber content of avocados could avert constipation, common during pregnancy.

Avocado, Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a collective term for conditions that increases the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Fulgoni et al.(2013) examined the eating habits of 17,567 U.S. adults over seven years. They revealed that those who consumed avocados frequently have a balanced and better quality diet as compared to those who do not eat avocados. The study noted that those who ate avocado had reduced body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and higher levels of good HDL cho­lesterol. They also concluded that those who ate the avocados had a 50 percent chance of developing meta­bolic syndrome than non-eaters.

Supports Eye, Skin, and Hair Health

Avocados are high-antioxidant foods that contain lutein, a type of carotenoid that protects eye health and preserves healthy, youthful-look­ing skin and hair. Carotenoids are a group of antioxidant phytochemicals found in veggies like carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes that are known for blocking the effects of environ­mental toxins like pollution and UV light damage.

Johnson, E.J(2002) found that di­etary carotenoids give health benefits linked to disease prevention, espe­cially some cancers of the skin and age-related eye disorders like macular degeneration. Lutein supports eye health because it absorbs the type of damaging blue light rays that enter the eyes and skin, changing DNA and causing free radical damage.

A subsequent study (Unlu et al. 2005) found that adding avocado to a meal can help boost carotenoid absorption. Link, R(2022) article suggests that to encourage a healthy, shining complexion, one can rub the inside of an avocado peel on the skin, and use avocado oil as the primary moisturizer.

Encourage Mood, Improve Arthritis

Link, R(2022) article suggests that fatty acids play an important role in regulating central nervous system functions and cognitive processes because they impact neurotransmit­ter levels and help balance hor­mones naturally. As a consequence, your mood can also improve when you eat enough healthy fats. This means eating avocado can help with mental health. For instance, one study (Sánchez-Villegas et al. 2011) revealed that eating trans fats could be associated with a higher risk of depression, the opposite is true of natural MUFAs. This means that higher-fat diets could decrease depression, anxiety, and other mental disorder risks as they enhance good processing, hormone production, and stress reduction mechanisms within the brain.

On arthritis symptoms, DiNubile( 2010) explained that avocado helps with some symptoms of arthritis. The study also showed that specific compounds taken from avocado oil could reduce symptoms of osteoar­thritis, which is considered the most common form of arthritis


Avocado is nutritious and is eaten in moderation in a balanced diet. However, some people may need to limit their consumption of this su­perfood according to Link, R(2022). Link explained that those with kidney problems are often advised to follow a low-potassium diet. That’s because eating high amounts can cause potassium levels to rise in the body when the kidneys aren’t work­ing properly. Hence, such people should keep it in moderation.

Avocado allergy is also report­ed by Link, which can cause food allergy symptoms like hives, itching, and swelling. Hence, she explained that those with a latex allergy should also be careful consuming avocados, as the cross-reactivity can trigger an allergic reaction in some cases.

Also, due to the high amount of calories in avocado, moderation is recommended as more could lead to weight gain.

Link, finally advised that avocados are also high in fiber, which can be beneficial in moderation. However, increasing fiber intake too quickly can lead to digestive issues like con­stipation, gas, and bloating.

Take home

Avocados are highly nutritious and improve heart health, increased weight loss, enhanced digestive health, and better blood sugar levels. Avocado benefits may also include the ability to help improve mood; support eye, skin, and hair health; fight cancer cell growth, and reduce the risk of arthritis and metabolic syndrome. They are also food for pregnant and lactating mothers.


Prof. Nyarkotey has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-re­viewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations to justify his write-ups. My articles are for educational purposes and do not serve as Medical advice for Treatment. I aim to educate the pub­lic about evidence-based scientific Naturopathic Therapies.

Continued from previous Edition

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