Avocados have a beloved place in the heart of food lovers around the world. From tree to toast, avocados go on quite a journey, providing many benefits along the way. Read on to learn the most recent facts about avocados, or jump to a specific section to discover more:
Avocado Consumption Facts
- Other names for avocados include butter fruit and alligator pears.
- California is the nation’s leading avocado grower, producing over 138,000 tons in 2022.
- In the U.S., avocados are grown on over 51,000 acres.
- In 2022, the U.S. imported over $3.2 billion worth of fresh avocados and $582 million worth of prepared or preserved avocados.
- The U.S. exported about $31 million in fresh avocados.
- Almost half of the world’s avocado exports come from Mexico — valued at about $3.5 billion.
- Other countries growing avocados include Chile, Peru, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Haiti, Vietnam, Brazil, Israel, the Dominican Republic, and Ethiopia.
- The average price of an avocado in 2022 was $1.67, a 13% increase from $1.48 the previous year.
- In 2022, 38% of consumers purchased fresh avocados.
- Consumers earning $50,000–$100,000 were most likely to purchase avocados, with 44% of the age group reporting purchases.
- Kids appear to have an influence on avocado purchase behavior, with 41% of households with no children purchasing avocados, versus only 34% of households with children.
- Consumers in the western U.S. were more likely to report purchasing avocados compared any other region.
- Consumers ages 50–59 were the highest percentage of avocado purchasers (46%), followed by consumers ages 60 and up (41%).
- Avocados are a water-intensive crop, requiring about 70 liters of water to grow a single avocado. That’s 14 times the amount required for a tomato.
Avocado Health Facts
- A recent 2023 study found that consuming avocado more than once a week was associated with a decreased risk of certain cancers, including bladder, lung, and colorectal.
- The average 7-ounce avocado contains 322 calories, 30 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, and 17 grams of carbs.
- Avocados are an excellent source of B vitamins, with a 7-ounce avocado containing 20% DV of B2, 22% DV of B3, 56% DV of B5, and 30% DV of B6.
- Avocados are rich in fiber, with a 7-ounce avocado containing 14 grams.
- The high fiber content in avocados may help relieve constipation naturally.
- One serving of avocado packs more potassium than a serving of banana (487 mg vs 422 mg).
- Avocados could contribute to gut health. One study of 163 adults found that daily avocado consumption for 12 weeks increased gut bacteria diversity compared to a control group.
- Avocados are packed with antioxidant compounds including carotenoids, Vitamin C, Vitamin E.
- Avocados may be beneficial for eye health due to their high levels of two types of carotenoids: lutein and zeaxanthin. Studies have shown these to decrease risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Avocados are high in folate, which is especially important during pregnancy. One avocado contains 27% of the DV of folate during pregnancy.
- Many studies found that the healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins and minerals in avocado contribute to heart health — however, these studies were founded by the Hass Avocado Board, and may be skewed.
- Avocados may help prevent and control type 2 diabetes due to their monounsaturated fat content, high fiber, low carbohydrates, and low glycemic index.
- Avocados are rich in Vitamin K, which is essential for healthy bones.
Avocado Botanical Facts
- Avocados are technically classified as a berry.
- Avocados belong to the Lauraceae family, which also includes cinnamon and bay leaves.
- There are over 500 species of avocados.
- It can take anywhere from 5–13 years (or more!) after planting a seed for an avocado tree to produce fruit.
- While imported avocados are available year-round, peak season for California-grown avocados runs from spring to early fall.
- Mature avocado trees may reach a height of 15–35 feet.
- Avocados originated in Mexico and Central America.
- They were first planted in America in 1833 in Florida.
- Irresponsible avocado growing practices in Michoacán lead to deforestation, with about 36,000 acres lost annually.
- The avocado-related deforestation has endangered the habitats of the native Monarch butterfly populations.
- Avocado trees require rich soil and warm sunny days with cooler nights — making California an ideal climate for growing.
- California grows eight avocado varieties commercially, but Hass is by far the most popular, accounting for 95% of production.
- A Hass avocado tree typically produces 150 avocados, or 60 pounds of fruit, each harvest.
- Avocado trees can produce up to one million flowers, with only 1 in 10,000 buds turning into an avocado fruit.
Sources: Avocado Global Market Report 2023 | National Library of Medicine (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) | Statista | USDA | Fresh Trends 2023 Survey | Danwatch | Agricultural Marketing Research Center | University of Florida | UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County | Harvard School of Public Health | JAMA | ScienceDirect (1, 2)