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Avocado: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more


“From wraps to toasts, from salads to smoothies”, avocadoes are climbing the charts as a popular superfood. Persea americana, or avocado, originated in Mexico in 500 BC. It was brought to India in the 19th century. However, the production is very limited in India, and they’re grown scattered in southern states like Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. There are nearly 25 avocado varieties commercially packed and shipped in California, of which the Fuerte variety accounts for two-thirds of the total production. Over the past few years, the Hass avocado variety has replaced Fuerte becoming the leading global variety. Avocadoes are packed with the goodness of vitamins and minerals, have low carbohydrate content and are a rich source of fibre. Let us read more about this super food.1,2 

avocado benefits

Nutritional Value of avocado: 

Avocado is packed with the goodness of vitamins, minerals, terpenoids and carotenes. The nutritional components of avocado are given in the table below. 

Nutritional components Value per 100 g 
Energy 167 kcal 
Fat 15.4 g 
Carbohydrates 8.64 g 
Fibre 6.8 g 
Protein 1.96 g 
Potassium 507 mg 
Phosphorus 54 mg 
Magnesium 29 mg 
Calcium 13 mg 
Vitamin C 8.80 mg 
Vitamin E 1.97 mg 
Zinc  0.68 mg 
Iron 0.61 mg 
Copper 0.17 mg 
Manganese 0.15 mg 
Folates 89 µg  
Vitamin A 7 µg  
Vitamin B3 1.91 µg  
Vitamin B5 1.46 µg  
Vitamin B6 0.29 µg  
Vitamin B2 0.14 µg  
Vitamin B1 0.08 µg  

Table 1: Nutritional value of avocado1 

Properties of Avocado: 

The consumption of avocado shows numerous scientifically proven properties; some of these properties are mentioned below: 

  • It may act as antioxidant. 
  • It may act as an anticancer agent. 
  • It might show hepatoprotective action. 
  • It may act as an anti-diarrheal agent. 
  • It may act as cardio-protective.3 

Low folate levels have been linked in studies to depression. Folate is present in abundance in avocado. Homocysteine, an enzyme, may interfere with blood flow to the brain and the delivery of nutrients if it builds up, but folate helps keep this from happening.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: Avocado Oil Vs Olive Oil: A Scientific Comparison of Health Benefits

Potential Uses of Avocado for Overall Health 

Some of the potential avocado benefits are described as follows: 

1. Potential uses of avocado for cardiovascular health  

Literature reviews suggest that avocado consumption may positively impacted cardiovascular health. Pacheco et al. conducted a study in 2022 to assess the effects of avocado consumption on the risks of cardiovascular diseases in US adults. This study showed that higher avocado intake was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. This indicates that the consumption of avocados may positively impact cardiovascular health; however, more studies are needed to support these claims.4 If you have any heart-related issues, consult your doctor and do not self-medicate. 

2. Potential uses of Avocado for osteoarthritis 

Osteoarthritis is characterised by impairment and deterioration of joint cartilage. Dreher et al. conducted a literature review in 2013 to assess the effects of avocado consumption on osteoarthritis. The summary estimates of this review suggest that avocadoes contain anti-inflammatory compounds which exhibit analgesic (pain-reducing) and anti-oxidant properties. This indicates that the consumption of avocados may potentially manage osteoarthritis. However, we need more studies to support these claims.1 

3. Potential uses of Avocado for managing abdominal obesity 

The habitual intake of avocado has been cross-sectionally linked to lower abdomen obesity. Khan et al. conducted a study in 2019 to check the effect of avocados on abdominal obesity. The study was conducted for three months, where the overweight persons ate one avocado daily. Three months of consumption of avocado showed a reduction in abdominal obesity. Additionally, due to low carbohydrate content, avocadoes may help in managing weight. This indicates that the consumption of avocados may help in lowering abdominal obesity. However, more studies are needed to support these claims.5 

4. Potential uses of Avocado for Type II Diabetes mellitus 

Type II diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by abnormal glucose concentration in plasma (hyperglycaemia), impaired insulin activity, and/or insulin deficiency due to decreased beta-cells. Studies have identified Persea americana may have anti-diabetic properties. Ojo et al. conducted a study in 2022 to assess the effects of avocado consumption in rats with hyperglycaemia. This study showed that when the rats were administered aqueous avocado extract, it inhibited beta cell death, improved insulin sensitivity, and caused a reduction in plasma glucose levels. This hypoglycaemic effect of avocados is attributed to flavonoids like myricetin and luteolin and phenolic compounds like gallic acid. These flavonoids and phenolic compounds exert anti-oxidant and anti-diabetic properties. This indicates that avocado consumption may positively impact Type 2 Diabetes mellitus.6 

5. Potential uses of Avocado on cognitive function 

Diets rich in MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) may help improve cognition (process of understanding) and reduce cognitive decline. Avocados have the potential to improve cognitive function because of the presence of MUFA, carotenoids, micronutrients and fibre. Adams et al. conducted a study in 2020 to assess the effect of avocado consumption on cognitive function. This randomised trial showed a positive result. This may indicate that the consumption of avocados may help improve cognitive function. However, more studies are needed to support these claims.7 If you have any brain related problems, consult your doctor and do not self-medicate. 

6. Other potential uses of avocado3 

  • It may help reduce cholesterol due to the presence of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). 
  • Being a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, it may help improve vision. 
  • It may improve digestion due to its high fibre content. 
  • It may provide anticancer effects against prostate and breast cancer due to the presence of antioxidants. 
  • It may help improve skin elasticity and firmness. 

Though there are studies that show the benefits of Avocado in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of Avocado on human health.  

Regular bowel movements, that are essential for the elimination of toxins through the bile and stool, are encouraged by an adequate fibre intake from avocado. Dietary fibre also supports microbial diversity and a healthy gut, according to studies. This may aid the body in preserving a balanced bacterial count. This may lessen digestive system irritability and inflammation.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

How to Use Avocado? 

This super versatile fruit can be used in the following ways: 

  • Simply season avocado with salt, pepper, lemon juice and paprika.  
  • By adding avocados in toasts or sandwiches. 
  • Guacamole, the famous Mexican dish prepared by mashing avocado and seasoning it with different herbs.3 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any avocado or any other herbal supplements in large quantities. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Side Effects of Avocado: 

A few side effects related to the consumption of avocado include: 

  • Consumption of avocadoes by allergy-prone individuals may trigger an anaphylactic reaction, characterized by urticaria (skin rash). Respiratory manifestations including bronchial asthma, angioedema (painless swelling under skin), etc.8  

However, if you experience any adverse reactions to avocado, it is advised to discontinue its intake and immediately contact a doctor or your Ayurvedic physician who has prescribed it to you. They will be able to guide you appropriately for your symptoms. 

Precautions to take with Avocado: 

Eating avocado is okay if taken in moderate amounts. However, general precautions must be followed in the following conditions: 

  • It is advised to wash avocados before consumption as the skin might have microbes or dirt. 
  • It is advised to not consume avocados in excess as they’re rich in fibre, it may become difficult to digest it and can result in bloating or diarrhoea.8 

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

Avocadoes are rich in potassium and may interact with drugs like lisinopril, ramipril, captopril are used in hypertension. Therefore, you must always seek the advice of your Ayurvedic physician about the possible interaction of raw avocadoes with other drugs, and follow the prescription thoroughly, as they will know your health condition and other medications you are taking.9 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) What are avocado benefits for weight management? 

Avocadoes may help in managing weight as they are rich in fibre and healthy fats but low in carbohydrate content.1 

2) Can avocados help improve digestion? 

Yes, avocados may help in improving digestion due to their high fibre content. However, there are not many studies in support of this. Thus, it is recommended to consult a doctor for proper treatment for digestion related ailments.3 

3)  Can avocados help in managing diabetes?

Animal studies have shown a positive result between consumption of avocados and diabetes. However, more studies need to be done to support these claims in humans. Therefore, it is advised to consult a doctor for a proper outcome.3 

4) Can avocados help improve vision? 

Yes. Avocado, being a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, may help improve vision. However, it is advised to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis of any vision related ailments and not consider the consumption of avocado as a substitute to modern medicine.3 

5) What are the side effects of excess avocado consumption? 

Consumption of avocado in excess can cause avocado hypersensitivity in allergy-prone individuals which is characterised by skin manifestations like urticaria, angioedema and respiratory manifestations like bronchial asthma.9 


  1. Dreher, Mark L, and Adrienne J Davenport. “Hass avocado composition and potential health effects.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition vol. 53,7 (2013): 738-50. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.556759. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/ 
  1. Tripathi et al. Avocado cultivation in India -Bulletin. 2014. Researchgate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303797732_Avocado_cultivation_in_India_-Bulletin 
  1. Jerajani, D. (2022) 9 proven health benefits of avocado – pharmeasy, PharmEasy Blog. Available at: https://pharmeasy.in/blog/9-proven-health-benefits-of-avacado/ (Accessed: November 27, 2022).  
  1.  Pacheco, Lorena S et al. “Avocado Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in US Adults.” Journal of the American Heart Association vol. 11,7 (2022): e024014. doi:10.1161/JAHA.121.024014. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35352568/ 
  1. Khan, Naiman et al. “Effects of Avocado Consumption on Abdominal Adiposity and Glucose Tolerance: Findings from the Persea Americana for Total Health (PATH) Randomized Controlled Trial (P21-005-19).” Current Developments in Nutrition vol. 3, Suppl 1 nzz041.P21-005-19. 13 Jun. 2019, doi:10.1093/cdn/nzz041.P21-005-19. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6578444/ 
  1. Ojo, Oluwafemi Adeleke et al. “Antidiabetic activity of avocado seeds (Persea americana Mill.) in diabetic rats via activation of PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.” Scientific reports vol. 12,1 2919. 21 Feb. 2022, doi:10.1038/s41598-022-07015-8. Available at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-07015-8 
  1. Adams, Michelle et al. “Acute Effects of Avocado Consumption on Cognition: Preliminary Results.” Current Developments in Nutrition vol. 4, Suppl 2 1185. 29 May. 2020, doi:10.1093/cdn/nzaa057_001. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7258339/#:~:text=Given%20their%20dense%20content%20of,performance%20and%20prevent%20cognitive%20decline
  1. Blanco, C et al. “Avocado hypersensitivity.” Allergy vol. 49,6 (1994): 454-9. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.1994.tb00839.x. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8074265/ 
  1. Barode, D.S. (2022) Avocado juice: Uses, benefits, side effects and more!, PharmEasy Blog. Available at: https://pharmeasy.in/blog/ayurveda-uses-benefits-side-effects-of-avocado-juice/#Side_Effects_of_Avocado_Juice (Accessed: November 28, 2022).  

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