Benefits of avocado: Health and beauty benefits you need to know about!

We explore the reasons why avocados are one of the best things to add to your shopping list

Th benefits of avocado shown in a pattern made from avocados.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The health benefits of avocado are plentiful: they're great for your skin, your body and your mind. We explore the secrets inside this humble fruit.

Everywhere we turn someone is shouting about the benefits of the pear-shaped fruit (yes, it's a fruit!). While we're already huge fans of the taste of avocado and love trying out new avocado recipes, we were pleasantly surprised to see just HOW healthy and all-round awesome avocados really are.

Here we explore everything there is to know about avocados and look at exactly how they can benefit your health, beauty, and general wellbeing.

What are the benefits of avocado?

The benefits of avocado are plentiful. There's a reason avocados are labelled a superfood! Avocados are confusing in that they technically contain a high amount of fat. However, these are good fats, known as monounsaturated fatty acids. These monounsaturated fatty acids contain a huge amount of health benefits.

Avocados contain oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil, and is known to offer significant protection against breast cancer. This marvellous monounsaturated fat is also seen as crucial for lowering cholesterol, the risk of strokes, cancer and heart disease.

Monounsaturated fats are also essential for plump, youthful skin! These fats, along with vitamin E, which avocados are also a rich source of, stimulate production of anti-wrinkle wonder collagen - making them the best food to eat for a healthy complexion.

How many calories in an avocado?

Half a medium avocado contains 138 calories and it also counts as one of your five-a-day. A medium avocado contains 230-280 calories, whilst a large avocado can contain up to 400 calories.

However, if you're on a diet, tucking into an avocado will help to reduce cravings for other, less healthy foods. This includes foods high in fat that have absolutely no health benefits.

Good old guacamole is a great start, but adding avocado to a salad rather than scooping it up with crisps will give you an even higher boost of vitamins and nutrients!

Can avocados help to lower cholesterol?

It's been reported that a massive two-thirds of adults in the UK have high cholesterol. Cholesterol is one of the main risk factors for heart disease.

In a recent study of people with moderately high cholesterol levels, those who ate a diet high in avocados had significant reductions in cholesterol after just one week. The monounsaturated fat avocados contain can not only help reduce your cholesterol, but also lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease.

Can avocados help with anxiety?

Of course, no food is a substitute for proper support and treatment, but people with anxiety can supposedly benefit from eating more foods containing vitamin B.

Avocados are rich in in vitamin B. Produce like avocado that contain these vitamins release neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, helping to boost your mood.

What does avocado do to your face and is it good for a face mask?

With celebs such as Victoria Beckham reportedly slapping them on their skin and all those monounsaturated fats avocados are full of, it's fair to say this fruit makes a great homemade face mask. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, avocados are moisturising without clogging pores, plus they also contain vitamin C - a natural skin brightener.

You'll need just three ingredients for your face mask:

  • Half an avocado
  • A teaspoon of honey (organic if possible)
  • A teaspoon of plain yogurt

To make an avocado face mask, just mash the avocado, then add the yogurt and honey and whip the mixture until it's mostly smooth. Then apply a thick layer to clean skin. After 10-15 mins, remove with a hot flannel and hey presto - happy skin.

Jessica Ransom
Senior Food Writer

Jessica is a freelance food writer, stylist and recipe tester. She previously worked as Senior Food Writer at Future. While at Future Jessica wrote food and drink-related news stories and features, curated product pages, reviewed equipment, and developed recipes that she then styled on food shoots. She is an enthusiastic, self-taught cook who adores eating out and sharing great food and drink with friends and family. She has completed the Level 1 Associate course at the Academy of Cheese and is continually building on her knowledge of beers, wines, and spirits.