Avocado vs. Banana

Avocado

When considering which fruit to add to your smoothie or have as part of your snack, which is better for you, a banana or an avocado?

Even though they are often classified as vegetables due to their color and typical uses, avocados are actually a nutrient-rich fruit! Avocados are most commonly used to make guacamole, but can also be eaten raw, used on salads, added to puddings and smoothies for a creamy texture, or substituted for butter when baking. While avocados are considered a relatively high fat food, with 29 grams of total fat in one cup of avocado puree, most of this is monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to help reduce cholesterol and lower the risk for heart disease (American Heart Association News, 2015). Avocados are sources of many micronutrients, including potassium, sodium, magnesium, vitamins A, C, E, K1, and B-6, and more (Dreher and Davenport, 2013). Vitamins help facilitate energy production, boost your immune system, and assist in blood clotting, and minerals help with growth, bone strength, and fluid balance (Streit, 2018). Other nutritional components in one cup of pureed avocado include 298 calories, 9mg of sodium, 10 grams of fiber (35% of the daily recommended value), and 5 grams of protein.

Bananas are often recommended for people with active lifestyles because they are high in potassium, which helps maintain fluid levels in the body and prevent cramping. Potassium can improve kidney health and reduce the risk of kidney stones forming as you age. Bananas also provide fiber and vitamins C and B6, which are associated with reduced risk of stroke (Ware, 2017). They are low in fat (0.5 grams in 1 cup of banana), add only 134 calories to your diet, and provide a moderate amount of fiber (4g). However, avocados actually contain more potassium per 1 cup serving than bananas—avocados will net you 700mg, while a banana will yield around 525mg. Bananas are widely enjoyed, but when it comes to health benefits, avocados are a strong contender in the fight.

The Verdict: Avocados win! While avocados are higher in total fat and calories, they are rich in many micronutrients, and their health benefits outweigh those of bananas. If you do not already include avocados in your diet regularly, try these recipes to add heart protective factors, fiber, and potassium to your routine! Adding in avocados doesn't mean you have to cut out bananas, however, as both are whole, plant-based foods that are important for your health. Try an avocado-banana smoothie to get the benefits of both!

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