Avocado Amazing Facts From A Nutritionist

The avocado is a pear-shaped fruit with skin that can be thick or thin, green or purplish black, and smooth or bumpy, depending on the variety. The flesh of the avocado is pale yellow-green and has the consistency of firm butter and a faint nut-like flavor.
  • Rich source of monounsaturated fat
  • Good source of fiber
  • Avocado Varieties

    The two most commonly sold varieties of avocados in the United States are the Hass and Fuerte, both grown in California. The Guatemalan Hass avocado, the most popular variety, has a thick, pebble-textured and purplish skin and usually weighs no more than 12 ounces. The Fuerte avocado, a Guatemalan-Mexican hybrid, has a more pronounced pear shape and is slightly larger than the Hass. It has a shiny, thin, dark-green skin with small, raised, pale spots. Florida-grown varieties, which are Mexican in origin and include the Booth, Waldin, and Lula, are larger, less costly, and more perishable than California avocados. In addition, they contain less fat and fewer calories and lack the rich, creamy flavor of the California varieties.

    Distribution & botanical facts

    The avocado, native to the tropics and subtropics of Central America, was first cultivated in the United States in the mid1800s in Florida and California. Ninety percent of today’s domestic crop of avocadosis grown in California. With a harvest of 168,000 tons, the United States is the second-largest grower of avocados in the world, behind Mexico at 718,000 tons.

    The avocado tree, a popular shade tree in rural and suburban Hawaii, California, and Florida, is a dense evergreen that may reach a height of 80 feet.

    Avocados do not ripen on the tree; ripening is inhibited by hormones produced by the leaves. This delay in ripening is a commercial advantage because the fruit may be left unharvested for long periods (up to 7 months). However, overripe avocados may seed internally and become moldy.

    Uses

    Avocados that are unblemished and heavy for their size are best. Ripe avocados yield slightly to finger pressure, but if the finger leaves a dent, the avocado may be overripe. Ripening can be hastened by enclosing the fruit in a paper bag and leaving at room temperature. Ripe avocados should be refrigerated and used within 1 to 2 days. Because cooking destroys the flavor of avocados, it is not recommended. Fresh avocados can be sliced and added to cooked dishes just before serving. They can be diced and mixed into salads, mashed to use in toppings or dips, puréed to use in cold soups and desserts, or julienned to include in sushi rolls. When exposed to air, avocado flesh discolours quickly. Addition of lemon or lime juice to mashed or puréed avocados can delay discolouration. Placing an avocado pit in a bowl of mashed avocados will not prevent discolouration.

    Nutrient composition

    Avocados are known for their high fat content; however, most is monounsaturated fat. They are low in saturated fat and are sodiumand cholesterol-free. Avocados are a good source of dietary fiber. They also contain lutein, one of the carotenes that is a phytochemical with antioxidant properties.

    Nutrient Content

  • Energy (kilocalories) - 324
  • Water (%) - 74
  • Dietary fiber (grams) -10
  • Fat (grams) - 31
  • Carbohydrate (grams) -15
  • Protein (grams) - 4
  • Minerals (mg)

  • Calcium - 22
  • Iron - 2
  • Zinc - 1
  • Potassium - 1,204
  • Magnesium - 78
  • Phosphorus - 82
  • Vitamins (mg)

  • Vitamin A123 RE
  • Vitamin C - 16
  • Thiamin - 0.2
  • Riboflavin - 0.2
  • Niacin - 3.8
  • Vitamin B6 - 0.5
  • Folate 124 μg
  • Vitamin E - 3

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