Avocados: A Surprising Source of Antioxidants

Avocados: A Surprising Source of Antioxidants

Posted under Eye Health, Low Vision Info

Avocados are not just for making guacamole.  While most of us think of dark leafy greens as superstars for eye health, the nutrient dense avocado is not to be ignored.  Some of the benefits of eating this, yes, fruit,  are:


  1. Rich in Antioxidants

“Among the twenty most commonly eaten fruits, avocado ranks number one for vitamin E, lutein, glutathione and beta-sitosterol,” writes ophthalmologist and author of SuperFoods HealthStyle, Steven G. Pratt.  Lutein is one of two carotenoids that form the macular pigment found in the center of the retina.  High concentrations of lutein are also found in the lens of the eye,  Higher intake of lutein and glutathione are associated with reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Glutathione, called by some experts as the Mother of All Antioxidants, fights oxidative stress and free radical damage.


  1. Healthy Source of other Nutrients

Avocados are also a rich source of the minerals magnesium and potassium as well as other vitamins such as folate (vitamin B9) and vitamin K.


  1. Healthy Anti-inflammatory Monounsaturated Fat

The type of fat we consume can contribute to inflammation or can provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Healthy fat is necessary for many body functions  and for healthy cell membranes. The three types of fat are saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.  Monounsaturated fats are plant based fats found in olives, flaxseed, walnuts and avocados.  Avocados are rich in oleic acid which is a type of monounsaturated fat.  “In conclusion, oleic acid could be reported as an anti-inflammatory fatty acid playing a role in the activation of different pathways of immune competent cells.” Role of oleic acid in immune system; mechanism of action; a review.

Nutr Hosp. 2012 Jul-Aug;27(4):978-90. doi: 10.3305/nh.2012.27.4.5783


  1. Boosts Absorption of Fat Soluble Nutrients

Many nutrients require some fat to be absorbed by the body.  Nutrients like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein all require some fat for the body to reap the benefits of these antioxidants.  Include some chunks of avocado in your spinach salad or saute your spinach in some avocado oil so that all of the fat soluble vitamins and carotenoids will be utilized by the body.


On your next visit to the grocery store be sure to add a bag of avocados to your cart and add them to your salad, blend them in your green smoothie, spread them on your toast, or top your soup with several slices.  For more tips on how to get more antioxidant rich foods in your diet visit:


Antioxidant Rich Foods


Leslie Degner, RN, BSN