Food and its Uses: Avocados

by Marissa Sheldon, MPH

Scientific name: Persea americana Mill

Description: Avocados, once called “ahuacates” or “alligator pears,” are fruits with dark, bumpy skin, creamy light green flesh, and one large pit in the center. Avocados have a round, pear, or egg shape and their skin turns from bright green to very dark green or brown as the fruit ripens. Classified as a climacteric fruit, they do not begin ripening until after they are harvested, and although they are fruits, they are not sweet. They have a high heart-healthy fat content, which contributes to their rich and creamy texture. 

There are hundreds of varieties of avocados, but Hass is the most common variety worldwide and make up 90 percent of those sold in the United States. Hass avocados sold in the U.S. are cultivated in California and Mexico, while there are different avocado varieties that grow in Florida. Florida avocados are larger and have smoother skin than Hass avocados, and they also have a lower fat content and milder flavor

Avocados are used in both sweet and savory dishes and are popular in many cultures. They are also used to produce avocado oil, a healthy cooking oil with a high smoke point and a mild, buttery flavor

Nutrients: Avocados are a good source of fiber, healthy fats, vitamin E, vitamin K, and potassium

The USDA has documented the following nutritional profile for one NLEA serving of avocado, which is 50 grams or approximately ⅓ of a medium avocado:

  • 83.5 calories
  • 7.3g total fat, including 5g monounsaturated, 1.3g polyunsaturated, 1g saturated, and 0g trans-fatty acids
  • 4.32g carbohydrates, including 3.4g dietary fiber and 0.15g sugar
  • 0.98g protein
  • 0g cholesterol

Significant vitamins and minerals in one serving of avocado include:

  • 44.5mcg folate (11.13% DV)
  • 10.5mcg vitamin K (8.75% DV)
  • 0.143mg vitamin B6 (8.41% DV)
  • 0.985mg vitamin E (6.57% DV)
  • 254mg potassium (5.4% DV)
  • 4.4mg vitamin C (4.89% DV)
  • 14.5mg magnesium (3.45% DV)
  • 27mg phosphorus (2.16% DV)

Geographic origin: Avocados require a tropical climate for growing. They have been cultivated in Mexico and Central America since 1200 B.C. or earlier. Avocados arrived in California in the mid-1800s, and the first California avocado orchard was planted in 1908. California is now the top grower of avocados in the United States, although the U.S. also imports avocados from Mexico. As of 2022, Mexico was the world’s leading exporter of avocados, followed by Peru, Chile, Kenya, and South Africa

History of use as medicine: Avocados have been consumed by humans since prehistoric times, and written descriptions of the fruit date back to the 1500s. The Aztecs considered them an aphrodisiac, and, according to Aztec myth, avocados give strength. In 1605, Garcilazo de la Vega described them as delicious and healthy for sick people

That said, it seems that avocados did not start to gain popularity as a health food – at least in the U.S. – until the early 2000s when people began moving away from low-fat diet trends and started understanding the benefits of healthy fats. A study published in 2013 concluded that avocado consumption is associated with improved dietary quality and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome

Current Uses and Scientific Literature Review: The nutritional makeup of avocados, characterized by a blend of beneficial fats, dietary fiber, and an array of micronutrients, positions them as pivotal in the prevention, management, and treatment of various health conditions.

Avocados are comprised of 80 percent water and boast a substantial dietary fiber content. On the spectrum of calorie density, compared to other fruits, avocados fall within an intermediary range, but they have much less sugar than many other fruits. Another standout feature of avocados is their rich concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids, which contribute to the prevention of heart disease

Collectively, the harmonious interplay of these nutritional attributes underscores their potential for supporting optimal health and well-being.

Antioxidants

Avocados contain several antioxidants that help remove free radicals from the body, reducing the risk of cell malfunction. 

  • Ameer (2016) unveiled a distinctive facet of avocados’ antioxidant content, highlighting their neuroprotective agents. By reducing oxidative stress, these specialized antioxidants provide a potent defense against neural changes that could culminate in cell death and cognitive disorders including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s. 
  • Villa-Rodríguez et al. (2011) unearthed a compelling correlation between the ripeness of avocados and their antioxidant content. As avocados mature, their antioxidant capacity intensifies, increasing their ability to neutralize free radicals and protect cellular health. 
  • Wang et al. (2010) found phenolic compounds, a type of antioxidant that reduces free radicals, in various parts of avocados, including their skins, pulp, and seeds. 

Cancer 

Certain compounds in avocados seem to have a selective impact on cancer cells, inducing apoptosis, while sparing normal cells. The following studies collectively suggest that avocados hold promise as a natural source of bioactive compounds with potential health benefits.

  • Lara-Márquez et al (2020) investigated the ability of avocado seed lipid extract to induce programmed cell death, known as apoptosis, in colon cancer cells, suggesting the possible use of avocado-derived compounds in targeted cancer therapy.  
  • Paul et al (2011) demonstrated that a 50 percent methanol extract of avocado pulp could protect against cyclophosphamide-induced chromosomal aberrations in lymphocytes, which could be crucial in reducing the side effects of chemotherapy and improving its overall tolerability.
  • Ding et al (2007 and 2009) examined the potential of a chloroform extract of avocado pulp to induce apoptosis in oral cancer cells without affecting normal cells. This selective action holds promise for developing treatments that specifically target cancer cells while minimizing harm to healthy tissues.
  • Lu et al (2005) focused on an acetone extract from avocados containing carotenoids – primarily lutein – and tocopherols. Their study demonstrated that this extract could inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. 

Cardiovascular Health

Because they are both cholesterol-free and rich in phytosterols, compounds that actively reduce cholesterol absorption, avocados are beneficial for cardiovascular health. Additionally, their exceptional potassium content contributes to the regulation of blood pressure and the maintenance of a steady heartbeat.

  • Pacheco et al (2022) tracked the dietary habits and cardiovascular outcomes of 68,768 women and 41,701 men over a 30-year period and came to the compelling conclusion that individuals who consumed more than two servings of avocado per week exhibited a notable 16 percent decrease in the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
  • Wang et al (2020) compared the typical American diet with a moderate-fat regimen enriched with a daily dose of one avocado, and found that the avocado group had a significant reduction in circulating oxidized LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which is an important marker of coronary artery disease
  • Fulgoni III et al (2013) studied data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and found a substantial elevation in HDL (“good”) cholesterol, among avocado consumers as opposed to non-consumers. The elevated HDL may contribute to a heightened defense against cardiovascular risks. In addition, the likelihood of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that amplifies the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, was observed to be 50 percent lower among those who ate avocados.

Diabetes

Avocados present a trifecta of nutritional attributes – high fiber content, minimal total carbohydrates, and a low glycemic index – that have the capacity to enhance insulin sensitivity, moderate glycemic response, and assist in type 2 diabetes prevention and/or management.

  • Zhang et al (2022) performed a comprehensive 12-week randomized, controlled trial involving 124 adults from the Chicago area with overweight or obesity and insulin resistance, a precursor to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Over this period, one subset of participants incorporated one avocado into their daily diet, while the control group abstained completely from avocado consumption. Those who ate the daily avocado demonstrated significantly reduced levels of hemoglobin A1c and fasting insulin after the 12-week intervention as compared to the control group.
  • Park et al (2018) studied how replacing carbohydrates with avocado at breakfast impacted the post-meal glycemic response in a group of middle-aged adults who were overweight or obese. The outcomes showed that the incorporation of avocado in lieu of carbohydrates yielded a substantial reduction in both blood glucose and insulin concentrations over the six hours following consumption.
  • A 2008 Mexican study by Carranza Madrigal et al found that individuals who consumed 75 percent of their fat intake from Hass avocados over a four-week period displayed a marked reduction in insulin sensitivity. These results underscore avocados’ potential to influence insulin dynamics and possibly improve diabetes-related biomarkers.

Digestive Health

Avocado fibers serve as prebiotics, feeding the good bacteria in the intestines and facilitating the digestive process. Incorporating avocados into one’s dietary regimen could, therefore, foster a more favorable gut environment by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which may contribute to improved digestion and overall gut health.

  • Thompson et al (2021) evaluated the effect of daily avocado consumption on gastrointestinal microbiota among overweight and obese adults over a 12-week period and found a series of favorable outcomes linked to avocado consumption. Notably, it was observed that individuals who consumed avocados experienced a reduction in fecal bile acid concentration, an increase in fecal acetate, and a heightened diversity of microbiota. Collectively, these results highlight the potential digestive benefits of incorporating avocados into one’s diet.
  • A similar 12-week study by Henning et al (2019) reached comparable conclusions highlighting the correlation between avocado consumption and an increase in beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.
  • Sen et al. (2015) studied the effects of the high fiber content in avocados, in particular soluble fiber, which is crucial for gut health. Half an avocado contains 7 grams of fiber, which promotes digestive health and prevents constipation.

Eye Health

The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin found in avocados are beneficial for eye health and may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

  • Amra et al. (2021) report that half an avocado provides 185 mcg of highly bioavailable lutein and zeaxanthin, which safeguard against UV radiation damage in the eyes.
  • Johnson (2014) found that the build-up of lutein and zeaxanthin in the eyes shields against eye disease by absorbing harmful blue light entering the eye.
  • Unlu et al. (2005) discovered that avocados and avocado oils enhance the absorption of carotenoids when eaten with salsa, salad, and other vegetables. Carotenoids are crucial for regulating light entry into the eye. Because of their rich nutrient profile, including vitamins, minerals, and monounsaturated fats, incorporating avocados into carotenoid-rich meals improves carotenoid uptake while providing extra nutritional advantages. 

Inflammation

The substantial monounsaturated fat content in avocados plays a key role in producing anti-inflammatory effects throughout various bodily systems, from the gastrointestinal tract to bones and tissues. Avocado seeds and flesh are synergistically combined with soy to create an oil-soluble botanical extract known as avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU), which is taken as a dietary supplement. ASU shows promise for mitigating inflammation, thereby potentially ameliorating symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, autoimmune conditions, and menopause.

  • Catunda et al (2016) found that individuals with jaw osteoarthritis who consumed ASU over a period of four months reported a reduction in pain symptoms and an enhancement in their overall quality of life.
  • Christiansen et al (2015) explained that ASU impedes the degradation of cartilage, fosters cartilage restoration, and stimulates the production of collagen. These combined actions lead to diminished pain and stiffness, consequently reducing an individual’s reliance on pain medications.
  • Sen et al. (2015) reported that the phenolic compounds in avocados combat gut inflammation, thereby diminishing the risk of stomach ulcers and mitigating susceptibility to bacterial and viral ailments. In addition, the high concentration of healthful monounsaturated fats in avocados contributes to the prevention of diarrhea.

Maternal Health

Because of their high levels of folate, fiber, monounsaturated fats, and lipid-soluble antioxidants, avocados are well-recognized for their positive impact on maternal health, birth outcomes, and breast milk quality. 

  • Nursila et al. (2022) found that first-trimester pregnant women in Indonesia who consumed avocado on a regular basis improved their nutritional status by 70 percent. In contrast, limited consumption of avocado yielded a comparatively modest, 30 percent improvement in overall nutrition.
  • Comerford et al. (2016) found that, when consumed as a staple food during the periconceptional period, as well as throughout pregnancy and lactation, avocados can help improve overall nutritional well-being. 

Skin Health

Avocados contain nutrients that have demonstrated anti-aging effects and overall promotion of healthy skin. 

  • Henning et al. (2022) designed a study in which 39 female participants, ages 27 to 73 years, were randomized into two groups, with half consuming one avocado daily and the other half maintaining their regular dietary habits over eight weeks. Facial skin elasticity and firmness were assessed through cutometer measurements conducted on the forehead, and notable improvements in both elasticity and firmness were detected in participants who consumed avocados. Furthermore, a comparative analysis revealed a statistically significant elevation in skin firmness in the avocado group. 

Weight Management

Avocados, despite their calorie and fat content, exhibit properties that contribute to weight management. Their fat and fiber content has the potential to enhance feelings of fullness, or satiety, thus acting as a deterrent to overeating. Research consistently indicates that increased avocado consumption aligns with healthier body weight, improved dietary quality, and a reduced risk of overweight or obesity. 

  • A study of the Australian National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey by Guan et al (2021) found that greater avocado consumption was associated with significantly lower body weight and waist circumference, as well as a higher overall quality of diet. 
  • Heskey et al (2019) studied the effect of habitual avocado intake on weight over time and found that those who were a normal weight at baseline gained significantly less weight than non-consumers. The odds of becoming overweight or obese decreased with greater avocado consumption.  
  • Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), Fulgoni et al (2013) discovered that avocado consumers demonstrated greater consumption of fruits and vegetables, lower added sugar intake, and an overall higher dietary quality overall, as compared to non-consumers. Despite similar calorie intake between the two groups, avocado consumers had a lower weight, BMI, and waist circumference.

Potential negative effects: About 30 to 50 percent of individuals with a latex allergy may have an allergic reaction to avocados. Avocados (as well as bananas, kiwi, and chestnuts) contain proteins similar to latex, which confuses the body into thinking it is touching or consuming latex and causes an allergic reaction, a condition known as latex-fruit syndrome. Similar to other food allergies, the severity of reactions can range, depending on the individual and exposure, from mild – hives, stuffy nose, sneezing, or itchy eyes – to more severe, including vomiting, diarrhea, or even anaphylaxis

Additionally, as with all raw fruits and vegetables, there may be a risk of bacterial contamination on the outside of the fruit. In 2019, there was a widespread avocado recall triggered by potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. It is important to rinse the avocados before preparing them to reduce the risk of infection from any potential contaminants. 

Purchasing, storage, and cooking tips: Unripe Hass avocados have lighter green skin and are very hard when squeezed. They should be left out at room temperature for two to four days to ripen. To speed the ripening process, an avocado can be placed on a countertop in direct sunlight or in a paper bag with a banana. Bananas release ethylene gas, which facilitates the ripening process. 

Ripe Hass avocados have a very dark green or nearly black skin and are firm but give slightly to pressure when squeezed. Once ripe, if they are not being eaten immediately, avocados should be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. An overripe or rotten avocado will have shriveled skin, dents, black or brown spots or streaks throughout the flesh, and/or stringy flesh, and should not be eaten.   

To cut the avocado, slice it lengthwise all the way around the pit, then twist the two halves to separate. A common method to remove the pit is to hit it with the blade of a very sharp knife so that the pit is stuck on the blade, and then rotate the knife to loosen the pit. An alternative, potentially safer method, is to hold the avocado firmly while pushing on the center of the skin to pop the pit out from behind. 

When avocado flesh is exposed to air, it will quickly turn brown but is still safe to eat. To prevent or slow the browning process, sprinkle the flesh with lemon or lime juice, tightly cover it  with plastic wrap, and/or store with sliced onions

Recipes: 

Learn more: 

Informational websites: 

News articles: 

Peer-reviewed articles: 

Overview

  • Galindo-Tovar ME, Arzate-Fernández AM, Ogata-Aguilar N, Landero-Torres I. The avocado (Persea americana, Lauraceae) crop in Mesoamerica: 10,000 years of history. Harvard papers in botany. 2007 Dec;12(2):325-34. doi: 10.3100/1043-4534(2007)12[325:TAPALC]2.0.CO;2
  • Hurtado-Fernández E, Fernández-Gutiérrez A, Carrasco-Pancorbo A. Avocado fruit—Persea americana. In Exotic fruits 2018 Jan 1 (pp. 37-48). Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-803138-4.00001-0

Cultivation

  • Selladurai R, Awachare CM. Nutrient management for avocado (Persea americana miller). Journal of plant nutrition. 2020 Jan 2;43(1):138-47. doi: 10.1080/01904167.2019.1659322 
  • Tzatzani TT, Kavroulakis N, Doupis G, Psarras G, Papadakis IE. Nutritional status of ‘Hass’ and ‘Fuerte’ avocado (Persea americana Mill.) plants subjected to high soil moisture. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 2020 Feb 7;43(3):327-34. doi: 10.1080/01904167.2019.1683192 

Composition 

  • Ford NA, Spagnuolo P, Kraft J, Bauer E. Nutritional Composition of Hass Avocado Pulp. Foods. 2023 Jun 28;12(13):2516. doi: 10.3390/foods12132516 
  • King-Loeza Y, Ciprián-Macías DA, Cardador-Martínez A, Martín-del-Campo ST, Castañeda-Saucedo MC, del Pilar Ramírez-Anaya J. Functional composition of avocado (Persea americana Mill. Var Hass) pulp, extra virgin oil, and residues is affected by fruit commercial classification. Journal of Agriculture and Food Research. 2023 Jun 1;12:100573. doi: 10.1016/j.jafr.2023.100573

Byproducts and Uses

  • Araújo RG, Rodriguez-Jasso RM, Ruiz HA, Pintado MM, Aguilar CN. Avocado by-products: Nutritional and functional properties. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 2018 Oct 1;80:51-60. doi: 10.1016/j.tifs.2018.07.027
  • Egbuonu AC, Opara IC, Onyeabo C, Uchenna NO. Proximate, functional, antinutrient and antimicrobial properties of avocado pear (Persea americana) Seeds. Journal of Nutritional Health and Food Engineering. 2018;8(2):00260. doi: 10.15406/jnhfe.2018.08.00260
  • Sadiye AK. Phytochemicals in avocado peel and their potential uses. Food and Health. 2021 Mar 21;7(2):138-49. doi: 10.3153/FH21015 
  • Salazar-López NJ, Domínguez-Avila JA, Yahia EM, et al. Avocado fruit and by-products as potential sources of bioactive compounds. Food Research International. 2020 Dec 1;138:109774. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2020.109774

Avocado Oil: 

  • Cervantes‐Paz B, Yahia EM. Avocado oil: Production and market demand, bioactive components, implications in health, and tendencies and potential uses. Comprehensive reviews in food science and food safety. 2021 Jul;20(4):4120-58. doi: 10.1111/1541-4337.12784 

Treatment: General Health

  • Bhuyan DJ, Alsherbiny MA, Perera S, et al. The odyssey of bioactive compounds in avocado (Persea americana) and their health benefits. Antioxidants. 2019 Sep 24;8(10):426. doi: 10.3390/antiox8100426  
  • Dreher ML, Cheng FW, Ford NA. A comprehensive review of Hass avocado clinical trials, observational studies, and biological mechanisms. Nutrients. 2021 Dec 7;13(12):4376. doi: 10.3390/nu13124376 
  • Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 2013 Jan 1;53(7):738-50. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.556759
  • Ford NA, Liu AG. The forgotten fruit: A case for consuming avocado within the traditional Mediterranean Diet. Frontiers in nutrition. 2020 May 29;7:78. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2020.00078 
  • Fulgoni VL, Dreher M, Davenport AJ. Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001–2008. Nutrition Journal. 2013;12:1. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-1 
  • Jimenez P, Garcia P, Quitral V, et al. Pulp, leaf, peel and seed of avocado fruit: A review of bioactive compounds and healthy benefits. Food Reviews International. 2021 Aug 18;37(6):619-55. doi: 10.1080/87559129.2020.1717520 
  • Zhu L, Huang Y, Edirisinghe I, Park E, Burton-Freeman B. Using the avocado to test the satiety effects of a fat-fiber combination in place of carbohydrate energy in a breakfast meal in overweight and obese men and women: a randomized clinical trial. Nutrients. 2019 May;11(5):952. doi: 10.3390/nu11050952 

Treatment: Antioxidants

  • Villa-Rodríguez JA, Molina-Corral FJ, Ayala-Zavala JF, Olivas GI, González-Aguilar GA. Effect of maturity stage on the content of fatty acids and antioxidant activity of ‘Hass’ avocado. Food Research International. 2011 Jun 1;44(5):1231-7. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2010.11.012 
  • Wang W, Bostic TR, Gu L. Antioxidant capacities, procyanidins and pigments in avocados of different strains and cultivars. Food chemistry. 2010 Oct 15;122(4):1193-8. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.03.114 

Treatment: Cancer

  • Ericsson CI, Pacheco LS, Romanos-Nanclares A, et al. Prospective study of avocado consumption and cancer risk in US men and women. Cancer Prevention Research. 2023 Apr 3;16(4):211-8. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-22-0298 
  • Ding H, Chin YW, Kinghorn AD, D’Ambrosio SM. Chemopreventive characteristics of avocado fruit. InSeminars in cancer biology 2007 Oct 1 (Vol. 17, No. 5, pp. 386-394). Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2007.04.003 
  • Ding H, Han C, Guo D, Chin YW, Ding Y, Kinghorn AD, D’Ambrosio SM. Selective induction of apoptosis of human oral cancer cell lines by avocado extracts via a ROS-mediated mechanism. Nutrition and cancer. 2009 May 7;61(3):348-56. doi: 10.1080/01635580802567158 
  • Galván GC, Freedland SJ. Avocados: A Recipe for Good Guacamole or Lower Cancer Risk?. Cancer Prevention Research. 2023 Apr 3;16(4):187-9. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-23-0031 
  • Lara-Márquez M, Baez-Magana M, Raymundo-Ramos C, et al. Lipid-rich extract from Mexican avocado (Persea americana var. drymifolia) induces apoptosis and modulates the inflammatory response in Caco-2 human colon cancer cells. Journal of Functional Foods. 2020 Jan 1;64:103658. doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2019.103658  
  • Lu QY, Arteaga JR, Zhang Q, Huerta S, Go VL, Heber D. Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract: role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry. 2005 Jan 1;16(1):23-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2004.08.003 
  • Paul R, Kulkarni P, Ganesh N. Avocado fruit (Persea americana Mill) exhibits chemo-protective potentiality against cyclophosphamide induced genotoxicity in human lymphocyte culture. J Exp Ther Oncol. 2011 Sep 1;9(3):221-30. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22070054/ 

Treatment: Cardiovascular Health

  • James-Martin G, Brooker PG, Hendrie GA, Stonehouse W. Avocado consumption and cardiometabolic disease risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2022 Dec 21. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2022.12.008  
  • Mahmassani HA, Avendano EE, Raman G, Johnson EJ. Avocado consumption and risk factors for heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 2018 Apr 1;107(4):523-36. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqx078 
  • Pacheco LS, Li Y, Rimm EB, et al. Avocado consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in US adults. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2022 Apr 5;11(7):e024014. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.121.024014 
  • Park E, Edirisinghe I, Burton-Freeman B. Avocado fruit on postprandial markers of cardio-metabolic risk: a randomized controlled dose response trial in overweight and obese men and women. Nutrients. 2018 Sep 12;10(9):1287. doi:10.3390/nu10091287 
  • Tabeshpour J, Razavi BM, Hosseinzadeh H. Effects of avocado (Persea americana) on metabolic syndrome: A comprehensive systematic review. Phytotherapy research. 2017 Jun;31(6):819-37. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5805 
  • Wang L, Tao L, Hao L, et al. A moderate-fat diet with one avocado per day increases plasma antioxidants and decreases the oxidation of small, dense LDL in adults with overweight and obesity: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Nutrition. 2020 Feb 1;150(2):276-84. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz231 
  • Zhang X, Xiao D, Guzman G, Edirisinghe I, Burton-Freeman B. Avocado Consumption for 12 Weeks and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Adults with Overweight or Obesity and Insulin Resistance. The Journal of Nutrition. 2022 Aug;152(8):1851-61. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxac126 

Treatment: Digestive Health

  • Henning SM, Yang J, Woo SL, et al. Hass avocado inclusion in a weight-loss diet supported weight loss and altered gut microbiota: a 12-week randomized, parallel-controlled trial. Current developments in nutrition. 2019 Aug;3(8):nzz068. doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzz068  
  • Muralidharan J, Galiè S, Hernández-Alonso P, Bulló M, Salas-Salvadó J. Plant-based fat, dietary patterns rich in vegetable fat and gut microbiota modulation. Frontiers in nutrition. 2019 Oct 11;6:157. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00157
  • Thompson SV, Bailey MA, Taylor AM, et al. Avocado consumption alters gastrointestinal bacteria abundance and microbial metabolite concentrations among adults with overweight or obesity: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Nutrition. 2021 Apr;151(4):753-62. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxaa219 

Treatment: Eye Health

  • Amra K, Momin M, Desai N, Khan F. Therapeutic benefits of natural oils along with permeation enhancing activity. International Journal of Dermatology. 2022 Apr;61(4):484-507. doi: 10.1111/ijd.15733 
  • Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. The Journal of nutrition. 2005 Mar 1;135(3):431-6. doi: 10.1093/jn/135.3.431 

Treatment: Inflammation

  • Catunda IS, Vasconcelos BD, Andrade ED, Costa DF. Clinical effects of an avocado–soybean unsaponifiable extract on arthralgia and osteoarthritis of the temporomandibular joint: Preliminary study. International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2016 Aug 1;45(8):1015-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2016.01.008 
  • Christiansen BA, Bhatti S, Goudarzi R, Emami S. Management of osteoarthritis with avocado/soybean unsaponifiables. Cartilage. 2015 Jan;6(1):30-44. doi: 10.1177/1947603514554992 
  • Dabas D, Ziegler GR, Lambert JD. Anti-Inflammatory Properties of a Colored Avocado Seed Extract. Adv. Food Technol. Nutr. Sci. Open J. 2019;5:8-12. doi: 10.17140/AFTNSOJ-5-151 
  • Salehi B, Rescigno A, Dettori T, et al. Avocado–soybean unsaponifiables: a panoply of potentialities to be exploited. Biomolecules. 2020 Jan 13;10(1):130. doi: 10.3390/biom10010130 

Treatment: Maternal Health

  • Comerford KB, Ayoob KT, Murray RD, Atkinson SA. The role of avocados in maternal diets during the periconceptional period, pregnancy, and lactation. Nutrients. 2016 May 21;8(5):313. doi: 10.3390/nu8050313 
  • Nursila N, Sutarno M. The Effect Of Avocado Fruit On The Nutritional Needs Of Pregnant Women Trimeter I At Pmb Tati Hidayat Jati Rahayu Bekasi In 2022. International Journal of Health and Pharmaceutical (IJHP). 2023 Feb 8;3(3):558-66. doi: 10.51601/ijhp.v3i3.198 

Treatment: Skin Health

  • Henning SM, Guzman JB, Thames G, et al. Avocado Consumption Increased Skin Elasticity and Firmness in Women‐A Pilot Study. Journal of cosmetic dermatology. 2022 Sep;21(9):4028-34. doi: 10.1111/jocd.14717 

Treatment: Weight Management

  • Guan VX, Neale EP, Probst YC. Consumption of avocado and associations with nutrient, food and anthropometric measures in a representative survey of Australians: a secondary analysis of the 2011–2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. British Journal of Nutrition. 2022 Sep;128(5):932-9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114521003913 
  • Khan NA, Edwards CG, Thompson SV, et al. Avocado consumption, abdominal adiposity, and oral glucose tolerance among persons with overweight and obesity. The Journal of Nutrition. 2021 Sep;151(9):2513-21. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab187 
  • Tramontin ND, Luciano TF, Marques SD, de Souza CT, Muller AP. Ginger and avocado as nutraceuticals for obesity and its comorbidities. Phytotherapy Research. 2020 Jun;34(6):1282-90. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6619

Negative Reactions

  • Cherian S, Neupert K, Varshney P. Avocado as an emerging trigger for food protein–induced enterocolitis syndrome. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. 2018 Sep 1;121(3):369-71. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2018.06.034

Books: 

  • Alvarez AJH, Lalanne MGM (eds). Avocado Consumption and Health. Nova Science Publishers, Incorporated; 2020.
  • Miller J. Avocado: A global history. Reaktion Books; 2020 Apr 13. 
  • Popenoe, W. The Avocado in Guatemala. Creative Media Partners, LLC; 2018.
  • Schaffer B, Wolstenholme BN, Whiley AW, editors. The avocado: botany, production and uses. CABI; 2013.
  • Yahia, Elhadi M.. Sustainable Production and Post-Harvest Handling of Avocado. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited; 2023. 

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