Whether you’re a long-time fan or a convert thanks to the current avocado craze, this healthy fruit has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. Once a seasonal specialty that was primarily sold in growing regions like California and Florida, today everyone from Seattle to New York is digging into avocados. In fact, between 2000 and 2015, consumption in the United States quadrupled to around 4.25 billion Hass avocados annually, which account for 95% of the American market.
Why the surge? Experts attribute it largely to the opening of trade markets in the late 1990s, when Mexican avocados, which are grown year-round, were given the US stamp of approval. Combine that with the wants of health-conscious Americans, and you have a perfect meeting of supply and demand.
One thing’s for sure: Avocados are a nutrient-rich food. They’re virtually the only fruit with a generous dose of monosaturated fat – that’s the heart-healthy, good-for-you kind – and that fat comes with zero cholesterol. One-third of a medium avocado (50g) offers nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. While they are calorie dense at 80 calories for that 50g serving, there’s no question it packs a nutritional punch.
The most hipster way to enjoy avocado these days is on toast – simply brown a piece of whole-grain bread, smear on avocado, and if you’re feeling creative, add anything your imagination dreams up. Think of avocado as a substitute for less healthy fat sources like butter and mayonnaise. Guacamole is a classic preparation, try adding it to a smoothie for creaminess, and if all else fails a Google search will yield countless healthy recipes that include avocados – like this Halibut with Avocado Sauce from Canyon Ranch.
However you enjoy avocados, it’s a nutritional powerhouse food that’s as nutritious as it is delicious!