Life Extension Magazine®


Superfoods: Avocado

The nutrient profile of avocados has been shown to improve memory, reduce the risk of heart disease, promote weight loss, and decrease abdominal fat. They fit easily into any diet.

Scientifically reviewed by Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N, in June 2023. Written by: Laurie Mathena.

For thousands of years, people native to Mexico and Central America have been benefiting from one of the healthiest fruits on the planet: the avocado. More recently, studies highlighting these health benefits have paved the way for its soaring popularity in the U.S. as well.

In fact, the amount of avocados available per person (an indicator of consumption) tripled from 2000 to 2021.1

Avocados stand out from other fruits because of their unique nutrient profile, particularly their high amounts of healthy fat and protein.

One medium avocado provides 22 grams of fat and 3 grams of protein.2

Unlike harmful saturated fat, avocados contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats,2 “good fats” known for reducing the risk of heart disease, inflammation, and cholesterol.

Consuming foods like avocados helps the body absorb fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin K, and vitamin E.2

Diets high in monounsaturated fats are especially beneficial for brain health. Avocado oil has been shown to boost BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF is a key protein that has been shown to improve memory and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline.3

Consuming one avocado per day has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by increasing beneficial HDL cholesterol,4 and by decreasing levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol.5

Despite the fact that avocados are high in calories (240 calories per medium avocado),2 consuming them on a regular basis has been shown to help promote weight loss, improve satiety, and decrease abdominal fat.

In one study, eating one avocado per day for three months decreased abdominal fat.6 In another, eating 32 grams (less than 1/3 of an avocado) per day was shown to help prevent weight gain.7

Eating avocado has also been associated with greater feelings of fullness and satiety, compared to eating a low-fat meal.8

Best of all, avocados are versatile and can easily fit into a healthy diet. Try some sliced on a piece of sprouted grain bread with a drizzle of olive oil, mash them up into a guacamole, or toss them in a smoothie. •


  1. Available at: 103810. Accessed February, 25, 2023.
  2. Available at: Accessed February, 25, 2023.
  3. Motta JR, Jung I, Azzolin VF, et al. Avocado oil (Persea americana) protects SH-SY5Y cells against cytotoxicity triggered by cortisol by the modulation of BDNF, oxidative stress, and apoptosis molecules. J Food Biochem. 2021 Feb;45(2):e13596.
  4. Mahmassani HA, Avendano EE, Raman G, et al. Avocado consumption and risk factors for heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018 Apr 1;107(4):523-36.
  5. 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. J Nutr. 2020 Feb 1;150(2):276-84.
  6. Khan NA, Edwards CG, Thompson SV, et al. Avocado Consumption, Abdominal Adiposity, and Oral Glucose Tolerance Among Persons with Overweight and Obesity. J Nutr. 2021 Sep 4;151(9):2513-21.
  7. Heskey C, Oda K, Sabate J. Avocado Intake, and Longitudinal Weight and Body Mass Index Changes in an Adult Cohort. Nutrients. 2019 Mar 23;11(3).
  8. Zhu L, Huang Y, Edirisinghe I, et al. 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 Apr 26;11(5).