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Avocado

 

Avocado is a pear-shaped berry fruit with a single large seed. It has a creamy consistency like butter and skin like an alligator; thus, its other name is alligator pear.

It is scientifically known as Persia Americana from the family of Lauraceae, which is a native tree from the Western Hemisphere of Mexico to the Andean regions. Hans Sloane coined the term ‘avocado’ in a 1969 index of Jamaican plants. 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) classified avocado as a vegetable-based on typical usage. However, this is considered a fruit as they fit the botanical criteria of a berry. Mexico is regarded as the world’s largest producer of avocados.

Different Types of Avocados

There are three significant avocado races, namely Mexican, Guatemalan, and West Indian. There are hundreds of avocado hybrids with varying characteristics across the different regions of the world. 

  • Mexican race has small, thin, smooth skin and can be found in cold climate places. 
  • The Guatemalan race has thick, hard, brittle, and warty skin. They are less frost resistant compared to Mexican types. 
  • West Indian has shiny, thin to medium thickness skin and can be found in warm climate places. 

Hawaii’s main avocado export is Sharwill. It is a cross between Mexican and Guatemalan races. It has small seeds and greenish-yellow flesh creamy with a nutty flavor, and its skin turns green when ripened. 

Moreover, there is also one prominent avocado variety in Hawaii that most Hawaiians love - the Malama Avocado.

This avocado type features a regular, plump fruit that ripens mostly in fall. It has purple skin, easy to peel, and has a nutty flavor.

It also has a high oil content and is creamy, so you should eat this moderately.

Medicinal Values

Avocado is incredibly nutritious. It is loaded with healthy fats and various essential nutrients that the body needs. It contains: 

  • Folate lowers the risk of getting any kind of cancer. High levels of folate in avocado help in keeping depression symptoms at bay;
  • Vitamin K is essential to boost bone health by slowing down bone loss and reduce the risk for arthritis and osteoporosis;
  • Vitamin E is essential in decreasing inflammation in the body; and
  • Fiber is crucial in achieving weight loss and metabolic health. 

Avocado also maintains healthy:

  • Digestion due to its rich fibers;
  • Blood pressure because it has high potassium that lowers sodium level and eases tension on the blood vessel walls;
  • Heart as it helps in lowering cholesterol level; and 
  • Vision because it is rich with antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin.

Health Benefits

Avocado contains vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that help prevent disease and keep the body in good shape. 

Some nutritional facts in a 68 gram, about a one-half serving of avocado, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI):

Calories

114

Dietary Fiber

6 g

Magnesium

19.5 g

Potassium

345 mg

Sodium

5.5 mg

Vitamin A

43 μg

Vitamin B6

0.2 mg

Vitamin E

1.3 mg

Vitamin K

14 μg

Apart from these nutrients, avocado also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), and B3 (niacin). 

Avocado and avocado oil are high in oleic, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid suitable for the heart.  

Precautions

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), avocado fruit is toxic to horses. Its leaves, bark, skin, or pit are documented to be harmful to some animals like cats, dogs, cattle, goats, rabbits, birds, and fish.

People who suffer from severe allergies to latex may also have symptoms after eating some avocado. Proteins from avocado are likely similar to the protein from Brazilian rubber trees to make latex products, which causes an allergic reaction. This may be called latex-food syndrome or latex-fruit allergy. 

Where can i buy Avocado?  Find out which local farmer has Avocado



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