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Avocado: loaded with nutrients and versatile

Published: May 04, 2018

An avocado: an unsweet fruit
An avocado: an unsweet fruit

The botanical name given to the avocado tree is Persea American which is classed as a Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor, and bay laurel.

The green-skinned fleshy bodied fruit, which can be pear, egg-shaped or round, is botanically considered a large berry with a single seed or pit, and is commonly called avocado or alligator pear.
The avocado tree is native to Mexico and Central America, but avocados are cultivated commercially in many tropical and Mediterranean climates.
Unlike most other fruits, particularly tropical fruits, avocados are not sweet, have a high fat content and do not respond well to cooking due to chemical reactions which occur with heating which can render avocados inedible.  
However, the essential nutrient and monounsaturated fat content of an avocado, and versatility as a raw fruit support their inclusion in a healthy diet.
Avocados, with their higher fat content, are a good source of energy for vegans, vegetarians, and populations with limited access to fatty foods. 
Ripe avocados yield to gentle pressure, have a creamy smooth texture and subtle flavor which makes them amenable to both savory and sweet dishes. Savory dishes include:

  • guacamole
  • sushi
  • various spreads to which spices can be added

Avocado combines well with chicken and rice dishes, and can serve as an edible serving dish for tuna, shrimp and chicken.

Sweet dishes include milk shakes and ice cream which are popular in the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, Southern India and Morocco.
When cut open and exposed to air the flesh may become brown due to the action of enzymes contained in the fruit.
Addition of lemon or juice to the exposed flesh can prevent enzymatic browning.
Nutritional value
In terms of energy (kcal), fat provides about 75% of the total calories in an average size 20...To learn more about avocado nutrient value follow the link to the full article.

Related Topics

Diet  Health  Nutrients  Fats  Vitamins 


Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth