An avocado is a fruit and not a vegetable. It is the fruit that comes from the avocado tree. The trees have broad, beautiful green leaves. Most non-grafted avocado trees are very large, but grafted trees are smaller and more manageable.
This pear shaped fruit has a creamy and smooth texture. In addition, it is one of the most nutrient-dense foods. The avocado nutrition consists of numerous minerals and vitamins. As a result, eating this fruit has many health benefits.
Furthermore, the fruit is a good source of energy and monounsaturated fatty acids. That is, the naturally good and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Dietary fat is very important as the body needs it in order to help in absorption of nutrients. Despite its high level of fats, an avocado provides extremely low levels of cholesterol.
This universal fruit is also known as avocado pear, alligator pear or butter pear. The fruit seems like a large berry with a large seed inside known as a stone or pit. Once the fruit reaches maturity it is first harvested and then stored for ripening. Once ripe, it yields to gentle pressure and is, at the same time, very delicious.
Avocado Fruit or Vegetable?
An avocado is a large berry fruit with a fleshy creamy pulp and one small seed inside. The fruits come in different varieties and shapes. For instance, while some appear to be pear-shaped, others tend to be egg shaped or spherical.
Most noteworthy, avocados are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Hence this is a very nutrient-dense fruit. It is very high in nutrition value and very beneficial for our growth and development.
Consequently, these are one of the world’s healthiest fruits.
The avocado fruit originally originated from Mexico. Since then they have gained a rise in popularity in every part of the world.
Commonly Asked Questions about Avocados
Here are answers to several questions many people ask about this very popular and widely available fruit.
What is an Avocado?
The avocado is the edible and highly nutritious fruit of avocado trees. Most sources place the origins of the tree in South Central Mexico. The tree belongs to the Lauraceae family of flowering plants. Its fruit contains a single large seed and edible flesh. The skin of the fruit is edible as well, but has a very bitter taste.
Is an Avocado Fruit or Vegetable?
The Avocado is a fruit and not a vegetable. It is the edible and highly nutritious fruit that comes from avocado trees.
What are some of the ways to enjoy this fruit?
One can add take advantage of the many simple avocado recipes. One tasty way of enjoying this fruit is to add it to a chicken salad recipe. Other appetizing ways to eat the fruit include:
- Potato salad recipe
- Pasta salad recipe (alligator pear with pasta)
- Using the fruit as a dressing
- Shrimp alligator pear salad
- Avocado tomato salad
- Cucumber tomato alligator pear salad
- Avocado rice salad recipe
- Corn avocado salad
- Alligator pear and tomato salad
- Avocado cilantro dressing (using the coriander leaves)
It is okay to eat an avocado every day. The fruit has mono saturated fat (good fat). This fat lowers blood pressure. Eating these fruits regularly also reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Moreover, the fruit provides us with dietary fiber (good for digestion), potassium, sodium, magnesium and folate. It is also a good source of vitamins A, B-6, C, E and K.
What are some of the Health Benefits of eating an Avocado?
- They help in digestion – They contain soluble and insoluble fiber which bulks up stool. As a result, this super-food is good for anyone who has diarrhea or constipation.
- Promote skin health – the vitamins, minerals and monounsaturated fats in the fruit act as a natural skin moisturizer and are beneficial to people who have acne.
- Avocados are great for the eyes – the fruit contains lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid that protects retinas in our eyes from light-induced oxidative damage. This makes the fruit particularly beneficial to the eyes of the aging.
- Helps hair grow – the Vitamin B in the fruit encourages growth of hair. In addition, both vitamins B and E protect and strengthen our hair. They also prevent, and help repair, damage to the scalp.
- They lower risk of cancer – this wonder fruit contains antioxidants as well as the good fat. The L-glutathione in the fruit protects our cells from free radicals that cause damage. It also helps in detoxifying the body – thereby getting rid of the pollutants that facilitate metastatic growth.
- Regular consumption of avocados slows aging.
- The fruit is loaded with potassium. This makes it great for the heart and cardiovascular system.
What is the Recommended serving size?
The fruit is a high calorie food. As a result, it is recommended that you eat a 1/3 of a medium-sized avocado per serving. Try not to exceed one full fruit per day.
Which are the Different Types of Avocado?
There are over 100 varieties. They include:
- Hass variety – are oval shaped with thick, bumpy skin. The large fruit weighs between 200 and 300 grams.
- Reed – Has large and round fruits that remain green when ripe.
- Fuerte – has a pear shape and a thin, smooth skin. It remains green even while ripe.
- Bacon – Its fruit is medium in size and has an oval shape.
- Gwen – this oval variety produces fruits that are bigger than the Hass variety. However, it has similar taste, appearance and texture to the Hass variety.
- Pinkerton – has a smaller seed than most varieties. It has a long pear shape and produces more fruit per tree
What is an Avocado Guacamole?
The avocado guacamole is a popular Mexican cuisine. It is basically a pear-based salad that is made by mashing the ripe fruits, salt, tomato, lime juice, sour cream. Peas can also be added.
Avocado Nutrition: Calories, Nutritional Value and Health benefits of Avocado
One serving of about 1/3 of the fresh fruit contains 50 grams. It will give you about 80 calories. The avocado nutrition is packed with lots of Vitamins. These include vitamins A, B-6, C, D, E, K, B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B2 (riboflavin) and B5 (Pantothenic Acid).
The minerals in this fruit include:
- Calcium: 10mg
- Protein: 1g
- Iron: 0.3mg
- Magnesium: 15mg
- Potassium: 250mg
- Copper: 0.1mg
- Sodium: 0mg
- Zinc: 0.3mg
- Manganese: 0.1mg
- Phosphorous: 30mg
- Carbohydrate: 4g
- Dietary fiber: 3g
- Sugar: 0.3g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
The fruit is also a great source of folate, omega 3 fatty acids and have a low sugar content. The fats in this fruit include:
- Saturated fat: 1g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1g
- Mono unsaturated fat: 5g
Avocado also comes with lots of organic compounds. These include phytosterols that block absorption of cholesterol, carotenoids that act as antioxidants in our bodies and flavonoids that act as antioxidants, fight inflammation and boost our immune system.
Health benefits of Avocados
The Avocado is considered a super food. This is because it is very rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fats and organic compounds. It’s packed with nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Hence, as a result, it is considered the world’s healthiest food.
Unlike other fruits, this fruit contains more fat than sugars. These are the healthy fats. Due to its flavor, texture and various nutrients value, it can easily be eaten raw or added to other dishes.
It’s very healthy to have at least one avocado in one meal a day. The various nutritional benefits of these fruits include:
I. Eating Avocado helps in Weight Loss
Avocado comes with the good fats that helps keep you feel satisfied and full for longer. As a result, it helps reduce your appetite since fats take longer to digest. Hence eating them in moderation helps promote healthy weight loss.
II.Aids in Digestion
The fruit is a good source of fiber. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. While soluble fiber improves digestion, insoluble fiber aids in bowel health, thus adding bulk to your stool.
III. Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease
The monounsaturated fats in avocados helps to reduce cholesterol levels. This reduces the risk of heart attacks and heart diseases. The fruits are rich in potassium, thereby help to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
IV. Avocado are Good for Male Health
These fruits are good sources of zinc, potassium and sugar. Zinc helps men increase testosterone levels and produce more sperm. Potassium ensures a great cardiovascular system while the sugars provide the energy men require to last longer in bed and in their day-to-day activities. As a result, this is one of the best fruits for men.
V. Helps to relieve Arthritis symptoms
This fruit is packed with numerous vitamins that provides anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. Consequently it provides carotenoid, an antioxidant soluble fat that helps in reducing pain and inflammation due to arthritis.
VI. Promotes Skin Health
Avocado is very good for skin health. The fats in the avocado fruit helps the skin to improve its elasticity, ease symptoms of sunburn and supports healing. Furthermore, its helps maintain a nourished and moisturized skin. The anti-oxidants in the fruit also help in maintaining a health skin and reduces the signs of aging.
VII. Maintains Healthy Hair
Avocados contain fatty acids that contributes to a healthy hair. Above all, it also helps to restore your hair’s shiny and smooth texture. The natural oils in the fruit help to moisturize, strengthen your hair and also aid in healthy hair grow.
VIII. Supports Eye Health
Avocado contains a high lutein content that keeps the eyes healthy and provides a healthy vision. Most noteworthy, this fruit is very rich in antioxidants that protects the eyes.
IX. Lowers Blood Pressure
The potassium available in an avocado is very high. A high potassium intake helps reduce blood pressure hence maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.
X. Promotes Liver Function
An avocado provide antioxidants that protects the liver from any injury and also from liver diseases. Vitamin C and E and antioxidants help to neutralize harmful free radicals. In addition, the fruit contains glutathione compounds. These are needed to filter out harmful substance and safeguard liver cells from damage.
XI. Help improve Cholesterol levels
Avocado is very rich in mono unsaturated fats, the good fats. They help to boost high density lipoprotein (HDL) and lowers low density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL contains more protein and less cholesterol. The HDL found in avocados helps reduces the bad cholesterol by carrying it into the liver where it’s broken down and then eliminated.
XII. Helps with Diabetes Management
Avocados helps to boost fiber intake hence reducing blood sugar levels. Hence it contains the good fat that helps slow sugar absorption. Therefore providing a regulating effect on blood sugar levels consequently lowering the risk of diabetes.
XIII. Supports a Healthy Brain
Avocado contains the omega 3 fatty acids that improves blood supply to the brain. Also, they lower blood pressure hence promoting a health brain and as a result, enhancing its functions.
XIV. Helps prevent Cancer
Studies have proven that avocados contains oleic acid that prevents breast cancer. Similarly, it also helps inhibit growth of prostate cancer. Finally, research reveals that molecules from avocados could help in treating cancer.
XV. It’s good for Pregnant Women, Infants and Babies
Avocado contains folic acid that contributes to a healthy pregnancy. Folic is very vital for the baby’s development of brain and other organs. Furthermore, it also helps in preventing birth defects and deformities in the womb.
The fruit also contains Vitamin B6 that helps in reducing nausea and morning sickness of a pregnant woman.
XVI. Reduces the Risk of Depression
The fruit is very rich in mono unsaturated fats. These fats provides an inflammatory properties. The fruit also provides folate that prevents accumulation of homocysteine in the brain thus lowering the risk of depression.
Avocado also help in improving bone health, kidneys health and in lowering the risk of vitamin K deficiency.
The fruit is a rich and creamy delicious fruit that can easily be consumed directly or incorporated with any other dish. Other than in salads, guacamole and drinks, there are other many appetizing ways to eat an avocado. In addition, having this fruit with other foods, fruits and vegetables increases nutrient intake and absorption.
Avocado Fruit – Appetizing Ways to eat an Avocado fruit
Once an avocado comes to maturity, it is harvested and stored in order to ripen. As a result, the fruit rarely ripens while still on the tree.
To check whether it is ripe, gently squeeze the skin. If soft, then it’s ripe and ready to eat. If hard, allow it to ripen further. The fruit provides a very delicious cream, packed with lots of health benefits.
How to eat an avocado
One may have or enjoy a raw avocado. To eat this fruit,
- Easily peel off the skin
- Slice the avocado
- Sprinkle salt and its ready
In addition, one can also add pepper and sprinkle some lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil or vinegar and then eaten raw.
Other appetizing ways to eat an avocado fruit include:
Avocado Salad and salad dressing
There are various appetizing easy avocado salad recipes that one can easily make even at home. For example; tomato avocado salad, mango avocado salad, tomato cucumber avocado salad and many more.
Adding a layer of the fresh fruit to a burger is another way to make a burger even taste better. This fruit comes with a rich creamy taste. As a result, it is used to make a nutrient-dense topping for a burger.
The fruit is a great addition to smoothies. They provide an amazing creaminess to any smoothie. Furthermore, they enable many nutritious and delicious smoothie recipes. These include avocado banana smoothie, chocolate avocado smoothie and many more.
The creaminess and rich texture of this fruit results in a delicious avocado soup.
To add an avocado to a sandwich, slice a fresh fruit into layers to add to the sandwich. Also one can simply use an avocado spread. This adds another creamy flavor to your sandwich.
Avocado Guacamole or Avocado dip
The fruit is also used to make a Guacamole. This is a very popular dish enjoyed far and wide. While mostly used with chips, Guacamole, similarly, provides a very delicious sandwich and a burger.
Bake the Avocado
Avocado provides a healthy substitute for butter while baking. As a result, one can use it to make very nutritious cookies, muffins and cakes.
Make an Avocado spread
The fruit makes a tasty avocado spread. This is a healthier alternative to butter or margarine.
An avocado provides a great addition to top a pizza.
Avocado sushi roll
An avocado provides a delicious and creamy sushi roll rich in fiber and healthy fats. While making a sushi roll, other than an avocado, other vegetables can also be included. For instance, carrots, cucumber etc.
Additional uses of this fruit include in pudding, salsa, baked egg, avocado sauce, ice cream, drinks and so on.
Adding an avocado to one’s diet provides a great taste and various health benefits. Also it provides a meal with a nutritional boost.
Avocado Varieties – Different types of avocado fruits
There are very many avocado varieties. These are the 100+ types of avocado fruits grown all over the world. Additionally, the different types come in various sizes, taste and skin color. Furthermore, they also come in different skin texture and shapes. Some are egg-shaped, others are spherical while some are pear shaped.
In spite of the differences, they all originated from one tree. Hence all avocados have one thing in common: They all very nutritious. The majority of these fruits come in a green skin. While some remain green even when they ripen, others do change their color.
The most popular and common varieties are:
- Hass variety
- Lamb Hass variety
Hass avocado is the most common and the most popular type. It’s very unique in that it comes in a green skin but changes when it ripens. As a result, it changes to dark purple black color. Hence the name dark skinned. Its oval or pear shaped and its skin texture is a bit rough and pebbly.
In addition, it’s very creamy with a pale yellow green flesh and comes with a rich smooth nutty and buttery flavor. Despite having a fairly thick skin, it’s easy peeling especially when it is well ripe. The fruit provides 18 to 22% of oil content.
Shepard is a common variety that falls in the green skin category. It’s a bit similar to Hass variety in that it also comes with a nutty and buttery texture. But differs in that it’s characterized with a smooth skin and a sticky flesh.
The fruit does not change color in that it remains green even when ripe. In addition, it’s longer and more elongated in terms of its shape.
Fuerte is another very popular type of an avocado due to its great taste. The fruit comes in a green skin with plenty of small yellow dots. The fruit remains green even after ripening. Its pear shaped with a thin and smooth skin.
Due to its higher water content, the fruit provides 12 to 18% of oil content. Fuerte variety is very rich in flavor. It contains a light or a pale green flesh with a creamy buttery texture. Finally, the fruit comes with a medium seed and it peels easily when ripe.
Bacon Avocado Variety
Bacon avocados are pear or oval shaped. The fruit comes with a smooth and thin green skin that is faintly sprinkled. Its medium sized with a yellow green flesh. It has a large to a medium seed. Before it ripens, its skin is green but ones it ripens, its skin may slightly darken though they do not turn black.
This variety comes with a mild creamy unique flavor and a high oil content. Despite having a high oil content, it’s less oily than Hass variety. They have a much thinner skin than Reed and even Hass variety hence peels easily. Bacon provides 16 to 19% oil content.
Gwen avocado fruit
Gwen avocado is oval or pear shaped. It comes with a rich nutty and buttery flavor hence very similar to Hass variety in terms of its taste and texture. The fruit also comes with a thick pebbly skin just like Hass variety though it’s slightly larger and rounder in size.
The fruit is characterized with a creamy gold green flesh and a small seed. It’s very easy to peel. Once ripe, its skin remains green though it dulls slightly. The oil content in Gwen variety is about 18%.
Pinkerton Avocado Variety
A Pinkerton fruit, unlike other varieties is pear or oval shaped. It’s quite long or oval. Furthermore, it seems slender and more of an elongated pear. It’s a bit similar and shares some of its characteristics with the Hass variety. For instance, it’s very rich with a creamy nutty and buttery flavor. The skin of the fruit is thick with a green color.
This variety is slightly pebbly hence making it a bit rough. It’s very easy to peel and comes with a pale green flesh and a small seed. Once it ripens the fruit darkens in color and forms dark patches. In addition, this variety has a high oil content of about 18 to 25%.
Reed avocado is a green fruit that remains green even after it ripens. The fruit is round and larger in size. It is slightly pebbly with a Creamy and smooth flesh.
This variety has a pale golden yellow color with a nutty and buttery flavor. Reed variety comes with a smooth textured slightly thick skin and a medium to a large pit. It’s very easy to peel and very tasty. Finally, reed provides 19 to 20% oil content.
Zutano Avocado Variety
A Zutano avocado is pear shaped. This variety is medium sized with a shiny thin yellow green skin. In addition, its flesh comes with a pale green color. The Zutano variety has a light taste with a mild flavor. Its skin peels easily and their oil content is between 15 to 18%.
Sharwil Avocado Fruit
Sharwil avocado variety is oval or pear shaped. It comes with a bright green skin that stays green even when it ripens. The fruit has a small seed with a greenish yellow flesh. Furthermore, Sharwil variety is very delicious with a rich, creamy nutty flavor. This variety comes with a high oil content of 15 to 24%.
Lamb Hass Avocado Variety
Lamb Hass avocado is very similar to Hass variety. In that, just like Hass variety, it comes with a pebbly skin. Although it’s a bit larger and rounder in size. The skin is dark and even gets darker as it ripens. This fruit has a medium sized seed and a creamy nutty flavor. It peels easily and its flesh is pale green in color. Furthermore, the fruit provides about 18% of oil.
Other avocado varieties include Cocktail avocados, Choquette, Lula, Maluma and Wurtz.
Which avocado varieties are the best?
Avocados comes in many varieties. They are all very creamy and delicious. Deciding on the best variety is not easy. This is because, they differ in terms of taste, skin color, shape and oil content. Each variety comes with some unique characteristics. In addition, they also differ in oil, texture and nutritional value.
The Hass variety has always and is still considered the best variety. It’s the most familiar and the most popular type. It’s very easily and widely available. This is because this kind is grown all over the world.
An Avocado is a super food, very high in monounsaturated fatty acids, that provides numerous health benefits. It’s used as a vegetable and can be eaten in various ways. The fruit is also used in cosmetic products, especially for hair and skin. Furthermore, it is a good source of oil.