You’ve heard of guacamole. You’ve maybe hopped on the avocado toast bandwagon. You have probably heard everywhere that this is one thing you absolutely need to add to your diet. But just how healthy are avocados? Just what do they add to your health and nutrition? Are they over-hyped or as good as advertised? We’re going to find out!
Welcome back to the next installment in our series examining the foods we eat and how they either contribute, detract, or add absolutely nothing to your diet. I think it’s important to not only know which foods are healthy, but why they are healthy and you should eat them.
If you are interested in reading up on the previous posts in the series, feel free to click on one or more of the following links:
- Oregano’s Health Benefits
- Basil’s Health Benefits
- Parsley’s Health Benefits
- Rosemary’s Health Benefits
- The Artichoke’s Health Benefits
- The Apricot’s Health Benefits
- Arugula’s Health Benefits
- The Apple’s Health Benefits
- Aloe Vera’s Health Benefits
As with my other posts on these topics, I’m going to take a look at where avocados come from, how they grow (including how to do it yourself), what you can expect from a nutritional standpoint, and talk about any health benefits beyond the vitamins, minerals, and macros.
Additionally, I will provide some delicious recipes to help you incorporate avocados into your diet should they prove worthy of inclusion!
Let’s get to it!
Where Do Avocados Come From?
According to Britannica.com, avocados are native from the southern Mexico region to the Andes mountains region in South America. While it has a flavor profile more akin to a vegetable, it is actually a fruit due to the large seed that can be found in the middle.
What kind of fruit is it? It’s considered to be in the berry family (my if only grapes were that big…yum!) and have been grown since before the Spanish conquered the region. Apparently, they were not seriously grown en masse until the 1900s though, when people started to plant orchards.
Though they are native to the Mexico, Central, and South American regions, they can be grown in other areas that share similar climates. That’s why you will see avocados grown in Florida, Hawaii, California, South Africa, Australia, and even among some Mediterranean countries.
Around where I live, I have generally seen two varieties of avocados at the supermarket: the well-known Hass and the Florida avocado. I had always wondered what the difference was, so I did some research.
According to Chowhound, the Florida (also known as the Dominican avocado) variety are generally larger, firmer, and have a milder flavor due to their lower fat content. Because they are lower in fat, they are also lower in calories.
Growing Your Own Avocados
I always try to figure out ways to do things myself when it comes to herbs, vegetables, etc. This section is dedicated to giving you the knowledge to do the same thing.
I’m love DIY gardening because not only is it a fun activity (there is nothing better than eating something you have grown with your own hands!), but it many times is also healthier since you know exactly what goes into the growing process. Budget-wise, it is also a great way to save money since you can collect seeds to plant the following season.
Since avocados come from a tree, you are going to have to be in it for the long-term investment. However, if you have the patience and the right knowledge, you can definitely do it and reap a reward that would beat purchasing avocados from the store any day!
Check out these two growing guides I found for more information.
How To Grow Avocados In Containers:
Quick Care Guide To Growing Hass Avocados:
Nutritional Profile of Avocados
I have really had a great experience using the nutritional information tool from Self.com for finding out the calorie, vitamin, mineral, etc., content of the foods I highlight. Check it out, as they have a huge database of both raw and cooked foods, including some restaurant items.
Because there are generally two types of avocados you will find in the market (Hass/California or Florida), I will be listing the nutrition facts for both of them so you can get a better comparison.
As always, I will be looking at the item with percentages based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Let’s take a look at the results! Please note that for both types of avocado, I chose a 1 cup, pureed measurement because their size difference would throw off the comparison.
1 Cup Pureed Florida Avocado:
- Calories: 276
- Total Fat: 23.1g (36%)
- Saturated Fat: 4.5g (23%)
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg (0% DV)
- Sodium 4.6mg (0% DV)
- Total Carbohydrates: 18.4g (6% DV)
- Dietary Fiber: 12.9g (52% DV)
- Total Sugar: 5.6g
- Protein: 5.1g
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 221mg
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 3,634mg
- Vitamin A: 322 IU (6% DV)
- Vitamin C: 40mg (67%)
- Vitamin E: 6.1mg (31%)
- Thiamine: 0.0mg (3%)
- Riboflavin: 0.1mg (7%)
- Niacin: 1.5mg (8%)
- Vitamin B6: 0.2mg (9%)
- Folate: 80.5mcg (20%)
- Pantothenic Acid: 2.1mg (21%)
- Calcium: 23mg (2%)
- Iron: 0.4mg (2%)
- Magnesium: 55.2mg (14%)
- Phosphorus: 92mg (9%)
- Potassium: 807mg (23%)
- Zinc: 0.9mg (6%)
- Copper: 0.7mg (36%)
- Manganese: 0.2mg (11%)
1 Cup Pureed Hass/California Avocado:
- Calories: 384
- Total Fat: 35.4g (55%)
- Saturated Fat: 4.9g (24%)
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg (0% DV)
- Sodium 18.4mg (1% DV)
- Total Carbohydrates: 19.9g (7% DV)
- Dietary Fiber: 15.6g (63% DV)
- Total Sugar: 0.7g
- Protein: 4.5g
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 253mg
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids: 3,886mg
- Vitamin A: 338 IU (7% DV)
- Vitamin C: 20.2mg (34%)
- Vitamin E: 4.5mg (23%)
- Vitamin K: 48.3mcg (60%)
- Thiamine: 0.2 (12%)
- Riboflavin: 0.3mg (19%)
- Niacin: 4.4mg (22%)
- Vitamin B6: 0.7mg (33%)
- Folate: 205mcg (51%)
- Pantothenic Acid: 3.4mg (34%)
- Choline: 32.7mg
- Betaine: 1.6mg
- Calcium: 29.9mg (3%)
- Iron: 1.4mg (8%)
- Magnesium: 66.7mg (17%)
- Phosphorus: 124mg (12%)
- Potassium: 1,166mg (33%)
- Zinc: 1.6mg (10%)
- Copper: 0.4mg (20%)
- Manganese: 0.3mg (17%)
- Selenium: 0.9mcg (1%)
When comparing the two types of avocados, one thing is particularly clear: they are nutritional powerhouses. You will notice that the Florida variety is lower in calories and total fat than the California/Hass, but in terms of saturated fat, they are about equal. Florida avocados also contain a bit more protein.
However, in most other categories, Hass avocados have Florida ones beat. No matter which way you slice it, each variety of avocado contains a huge amount of fiber, Omega-3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, and great numbers as far as vitamins and minerals are concerned.
They are also low in sugar, so you aren’t going to get a spike and then crash later on. Overall, you would be doing pretty well if you decided to add either variety of avocado to your diet. If you are wondering how you might go about that, I’ve chosen some really awesome recipes for you to try out. Check out the videos below!
5 Easy and Healthy Avocado Recipes:
Ultimate Avocado Toast with a Fried Egg:
Potential Health Benefits of Avocados
The benefits of eating avocados go way beyond the sheer amount of nutrition they contain. According to Healthline, not only are they high in good fats, but they also contain properties that can help lower the bad cholesterol, raise the good, and lower the amount of triglycerides in the blood, leading to a lower risk of heart disease.
Additionally, avocados are incredibly high in antioxidants and even increase how effectively your body absorbs the antioxidants from other foods. Avocados also show promise in prevention of certain cancers and symptom relief from arthritis.
For those who are looking to shed a few pounds, avocados are a great food to include in your diet. The reason for this is because they are full of fiber and good fat. This combination helps you to stay fuller for longer, and thus results in you eating fewer calories during the day. Fewer calories eventually becomes less weight!
Medical News Today also cites evidence that avocados are a great addition to a diet because they contain vitamins and minerals essential for overall bone health.
Pregnant women, and those looking to get pregnant, should pay special attention to avocados because of the high amount of folate. This is an incredibly important nutrient for the growth and development of the baby in the womb.
Time For Some Guacamole!
How healthy are avocados? Well, after doing the research, I feel they live up to and surpass the expectations as a super food. Whether you are talking about the macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals, or the deeper health benefits they provide, avocados are worthy of inclusion in any diet!
What certainly helps is that they are mild in flavor and wonderfully versatile. You can incorporate them into a wide variety of dishes at any point during your day. That’s a big thumbs up from me.
But now, it’s your turn! What do you think of avocados? Do you often use them in your meals? What is your favorite way of including them? Do you have a go-to avocado toast recipe you use? Do you use California/Hass or the Florida variety most often? Let me know down in the comments below! I’d love to hear your recipes and ideas.
If you happen to have any questions about avocados that you feel I didn’t answer in the post, feel free to ask away and I will do my best to give you a helpful answer.
In case you were wondering about other ways to help your nutrition journey, I’ve compiled a list of various posts I have written that might be of great help to you. Check them out if you get the chance. Some are just informational, while others will link you to great products and services.
Restaurant Survival Guides:
- What To Eat For Health – Part 1: At Chipotle
- What To Eat For Health – Part 2: At Arby’s
- What To Eat For Health – Part 3: At McDonald’s
- What To Eat For Health – Part 4: At Chick-fil-A
- What To Eat For Health – Part 5: At Burger King
- What To Eat For Health – Part 6: At Panera
- What To Eat For Health Part 7 – At Panda Express
- What To Eat For Health Part 8 – At Au Bon Pain
- Banana And Peanut Butter Oatmeal
- Banana-Carrot Pancakes
- Easy Beef and Bean Burritos
- Panko Chicken with Wilted Greens and Fried Eggs
- Grilled Ribeye Steak and Cheese Sandwiches
- My Ultimate Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl
- Capellini Pomodoro
Nutritional Products and Supplements:
- Garden Of Life Raw Meal Vegan Protein Powder
- Vega One All-In-One Organic Shakes
- Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli
- Orgain Organic Protein Powder and Superfoods – I’m Switching!
- What Is PBfit? A Boost Of Protein and Flavor!
Nutrition Boosting Services:
Diet Analysis And Nutrition Tips:
- The OMAD Diet
- The Carnivore Diet
- The Juicing Diet
- Intermittent Fasting
- Tips To Be Healthy And Fit On Vacation
On another topic, I really like to save money. However, I also like to find ways to make more money and help out my family. Does that sound like you? If so, here are some of my recommended avenues to help you out!
Should you want to make a few extra bucks in your spare time, check out Survey Junkie!
Looking for a way to save money and earn rewards like free gift cards? Download the Honey browser extension!
Want to turn a passion for fitness into a potential career as a personal trainer? Well, you are going to need to get educated and there is no better place to achieve that than with ACE Fitness!
On the subject of having a passion for fitness, if you want to get great discounts on everything from workout gear to events, services, travel, and more, you have got to check out my review for the Active Advantage!
Are you curious to know how I have started to make a consistent income from the comfort of my own home? Then do yourself a favor and take a look at my full Wealthy Affiliate review! You won’t regret it!
Fitness isn’t my only passion. I also write music and sing! Check that out at the link. I also draw silly cartoon characters and place my designs on various fun products like t-shirts, stickers, etc., through a company called Zazzle. See the latest product I have out now by CLICKING HERE.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and any of the others you may have clicked on. If you did and want to know when the next one is published, enter your email in the “Subscribe” box at the top right of the page. I’d also appreciate if you share this post with those you know by clicking the social media buttons!
That’s all for now! As always, God Bless and Happy Eating!