Avocado Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/03/22 •  8 min read
avocado benefits and side effects

Health

Avocado health benefits may include:

Avocados are…

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Teach Kids Where Our Food Comes From. Look Inside!

Environment

Water footprint: low, it takes 1,981 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of avocados / 237 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of avocados

Carbon footprint: low, 0.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fruits, a car driving equivalent of 2 miles or 3.25 kilometers

Destruction: low to high, avocados from Mexico are problematic since there is little environmental protection for the industry, reports show deforestation in the state of Michoacán, diverse forests are destroyed to make way for avocado farms, many trees are intentionally burned down to bypass a Mexican law, allowing owners to change their land-use permit to agriculture instead of forest land if it was “lost to burning”

Avocados are…

Animals

Kills: none, avocado production does not require any animals

Harms: none, avocado production does not require any animals

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from avocado production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Avocados are…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: laborers often face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Avocados have…

Where do most avocados come from?

The world’s top avocado exporter is Mexico, followed by Peru, Spain, Netherlands, USA, Chile, New Zealand, Columbia, South Africa, Morocco. Mexico is the world’s largest avocado producer then the United States, Columbia, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Chile, Brazil, Israel. Some 95% of all United States avocado production is located in Southern California.

What are avocado uses?

Avocado uses include smoothies, dips, dressings, salads, on sandwiches, as guacamole, on toast, desserts like brownies and mousse, and more.

Are avocados nutritious?

Yes! Avocados are a great source of Vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium and healthy fats.

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

avocados are alkaline.

Are avocados alkaline or acidic? Avocados are alkaline. What is the pH level of avocados? Avocados have a 9.0 pH level, raw, once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

avocados are gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Are avocados gluten free? Yes, avocados are gluten free. Avocados do not contain gluten. Avocados are a type of fruit, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

avocados are not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Are avocados a common food allergen? No, avocados are not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to avocados but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

avocados have a low water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Do avocados have a high or low water footprint? Avocados have a relatively low water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of avocados? It takes 1,981 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of avocados / 237 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of avocados.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource?

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

avocados likely have a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Do avocados have a high or low carbon footprint? Avocados likely have a relatively low carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of avocados? It takes around 0.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of fruit, a car driving equivalent of 2 miles or 3.25 kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

avocados may or may not be sustainable *depends on where they come from

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, are avocados eco friendly? Are avocados sustainable?

Avocados from Mexico are problematic since there is little environmental protection for the industry. Reports show deforestation in the state of Michoacán and diverse forests have been destroyed to make way for avocado farms. Many trees are intentionally burned down to bypass a Mexican law, allowing owners to change their land-use permit to agriculture instead of forest land if it was “lost to burning”.

avocados are vegan.

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Are avocados vegan? Yes, avocados are vegan. Avocados are a fruit and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Additionally, growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

avocados have labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Are avocados a product with labor concerns? At this time there are some concerns with avocado production. It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns that may come with specific brands. Be sure to buy fair trade avocados.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Conclusion

Avocado pros include:

Avocado cons include:

Sources:

Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties – FoodData Central

Avocado | Food and Nutrition Information Center | NAL | USDA

Tesco suspends avocado supply from Kakuzi over allegations of human rights abuse

World economic forum: Avocado: the ‘green gold’ causing environment havoc

Are Mexican avocados the world’s new conflict commodity?

Food and agriculture organization of the united nations

Adriane Marie

As an educator, author and conscious consumer advocate, I study and organize ethical info for you to quickly see how our purchases impact animals, people and the planet. I hope you find this HEALabel knowledge useful and can apply it to your life for personal and societal improvement and empowerment.