The Aztec Treasured Avocado

The avocado, a true Aztec treasure, originated in south-central Mexico around 7,000 to 5,000 B.C. and became domesticated thousands of years later. Archaeologists in Peru discovered domesticated avocado seeds buried with Incan mummies dating back to 750 B.C. The Aztecs called them ahuacatl, meaning “Fertility fruits” – but when the Spanish conquistadores arrived they called the fruit “aguacate”, which eventually gave way to “avocado” in English.

Avocados are also known as “alligator pears” for their shape and reptilian skin — and as “poor man’s butter” (see below for a recipe) for their creaminess. Avocados are most colorfully known as the fruit of the “testicle tree.” It’s no mystery why. Fully fruited, these ovulate gems hang down from the trees in twos – and have a longstanding reputation as aphrodisiacs.

Unique Flavour

The avocado has a unique flavor and texture. All other tree fruits have either a tart, tart-sweet, or sweet flavor and a juicy texture. The avocado looks like a huge green olive and, like the olive, has a single hard pit. It is very firm when immature and is rich in oil when it reaches full ripeness.

Avocados are technically fruit – large berries with one big seed – in the same family as cinnamon and bay laurel. Like bananas, avocados are climacteric fruit, which means they can mature on the tree but won’t ripen until they are removed.

Is Avocado High in Fat?

Avocados have suffered a bad reputation for their high fat content, but one fourth of a medium avocado contains only 81 calories and contributes a wealth of nutrients (see below). Avocados are virtually the only fruit that has monounsaturated fat, plus it has a bonus of polyunsaturated fat. According to the American Heart Association, these fats help reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease risk for heart disease.

Depending on the variety, the immature fruit comes in every possible shade of green. Some are smooth and shiny, others are dull and have pebble-grained skins. Some varieties retain their original green color as they ripen. In others, as the fruit ripens the green changes to bronze, reddish purple, or even jet-black. Some varieties are almost round, but for the most part avocados are pear- shaped. Hence they are often called avocado pears.

Avocado can be eaten as is, mixed with other fruits, as salad, a shake, baked in breads and even made into a dip. In the Philippines, ripe avocado is often eaten as a snack by scooping from flesh from the skin then mixed with a some sugar and milk or cream. It is simply delicious!

Avocado is a fruit and a tree. It often said to be the most nutritious fruit in the world. Avocado provides more than 25 essential nutrients such as protein, potassium, vitamin E, C, B-vitamins, folic acid, iron, copper, phosphorus and magnesium, just to name a few. Avocado also provides calories for energy and beneficial phytochemicals such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein.

Avocado Plant Tip: The tips of avocado plants tend to attract aphids and mealybugs. Dip a Q-Tip in vodka to remove the pests.

Avocado Facts

Some of the following tips are from the California Avocado Commission…

  • Avocados are sodium and cholesterol free and have only five grams of fat per serving, most of it the monounsaturated kind.
  • Avocados were once a luxury food reserved for the tables of royalty, but now California avocados are enjoyed around the world by people from all walks of life.
  • Brazilians add avocados to ice cream
  • Filipinos puree avocados with sugar and milk for a dessert drink.
  • Latin Americans wrap avocados up and give them as wedding gifts.
  • The avocado is also called an Alligator Pear because of its pear-like shape and green skin.
  • About 43 percent of all U.S. households buy avocados.
  • Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable, belonging to the genus Persea in the Lauraceae family.
  • Avocados ripen quickly when placed in a brown paper bag and set in a warm place.
  • Of the fruits more commonly eaten raw, the avocado has the most nutritional value, with 741 calories per edible pound, 2.2 percent protein and vitamins C and E.
  • Avocados have a higher fat content than most other vegetables, but are still a good source of protein.
  • Avocados are sodium and cholesterol free and have only five grams of fat per serving, most of it the monounsaturated kind.
  • Avocados were once a luxury food reserved for the tables of royalty, but now California avocados are enjoyed around the world by people from all walks of life.
  • Brazilians add avocados to ice cream
  • Filipinos puree avocados with sugar and milk for a dessert drink.
  • Latin Americans wrap avocados up and give them as wedding gifts.
  • The avocado is also called an Alligator Pear because of its pear-like shape and green skin.
  • About 43 percent of all U.S. households buy avocados.
  • Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable, belonging to the genus Persea in the Lauraceae family.
  • Avocados of the Florida type (Trapp Type) are not recommended for persons watching their fat intake. They contain 22.1 percent palmitic acid. The California type (Fuerte Type) has only 9.1 percent palmitic acid.
  • Florida avocados have half the fat of California avocados.
  • California avocados that are picked in November to March have one-third less fat than those picked September and October. They are less mature and have only 2 grams of fat compared to six grams of fat.
  • Another method of ripening avocados is to place them in a plastic bag with a piece of banana peel.
  • Placing the pit of an avocado in freshly made guacamole prevents the dip from turning brown. Leaving the pit in a guacamole dip will not keep the dip from turning black. The only area that won’t turn black is the area under the pit which protects the dip from oxygen and the color change.
  • Avocados will not ripen if placed in the refrigerator.
  • To ripen avocados quickly, place them into a wool sock, then set them in a dark place.
  • Ripe avocados should be stored in the refrigerator for longer life.
  • An avocado is ripe when it gives slightly to the touch.
  • The fat in avocados is mostly monounsaturated, which is one of the fats most preferred by the body.

Avocado Nutrition

Ounce for ounce, avocados contain more blood pressure lowering potassium than bananas. Avocados are rich in good-for-you monounsaturated fats, and cholesterol-lowering beta-sitosterol and cancer-protective glutathione, along with vitamin E, folate, vitamin B6 and fiber.

  • Calories (1/4 avocado): 81
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 3 grams (1 cup of avocado supplies 30 percent of the daily recommendation of fiber)
  • Sodium-free
  • Cholesterol-free
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 55 milligrams
  • Vitamin C: 5 milligrams
  • Vitamin K: 10.6 micrograms
  • Folate: 41 micrograms
  • Beta-carotene: 31 micrograms
  • Lutein and Xeaxanthin: 136 micrograms
  • One cup of avocado has over 35 percent of one’s daily allowance for vitamin K

To test an avocado for ripeness:

Cradle the avocado in the palm of your hand. If it yields to the slightest and gentlest pressure, it is ready to serve, it is a Florida avocado. If it is of the California variety, give it an extra day. Too many avocados are cut and served before they have reached full maturity and flavor. Once the fruit is cut, the ripening process is terminated. So make sure that it does have the slight yield before you cut it.

Avocados are not only flavorful and colorful, but are also blessed with versatility.

They can be sliced, diced, pureed or served on the half-shell. They are flavorful enough to serve alone, but also blend well when served with fresh fruit, salad greens, cottage cheese, cold meats and especially seafood. A fully ripe avocado has the consistency of soft butter and makes a delicious and colorful sandwich spread.

A cut avocado, like a sliced peach or banana, will darken and discolor when exposed to air.

Sprinkling the exposed surfaces with fresh lemon or lime juice will retard this discoloration. Try to use a cut avocado as soon as possible. In the interim, cover the exposed surfaces with plastic film. If you cut the avocado in half, don’t remove the pit until ready to serve.

Avocados are tropical fruits and don’t like cool temperatures.

Never put a firm avocado in your refrigerator. At best it won’t ripen properly, at worst its flesh will turn black.

A black-skinned avocado is a hallmark of quality.

The California Hass variety is an ugly duckling that has a dull, pebble-grained green skin when it is immature. As it ripens. the color of the skin turns to jet-black. This least attractive variety is by far the finest-flavored avocado available. When you see this Hass variety, remember that its ugliness is only skin deep.

If buying an avocado to use immediately, select a fruit that yields gently to pressure. If planning to use later in the week, select one that is still firm. Handle ripe avocados carefully to avoid internal bruising.

Avocado Health Benefits

Cancer Fighter

Extracts from avocados kill or stop the growth of precancerous cells that lead to oral cancer and may have a similar effect on other cancers, according to a study. Researchers credit the fruit’s unique combination of nutrients – which include folate and vitamins C and E.

Vision Protection

Protect your vision with a few slices of avocado at lunch or dinner. Avocados are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants found in the retina that keep eyes healthy; they also may help prevent age-related problems, like cataracts and macular degeneration.

High in Vitamin E

Do not let the high calorie content of avocados put you off! Avocados are excellent sources of vitamin E and lutein, as well as other nutrients. New research suggests that avocados have nearly twice as much vitamin E, making them the highest fruit source of this nutrient.

For example, a 3-ounce serving of avocados contains 4.31 IU of Vitamin E, while grapes and peaches have only 1.04 IU each. Avocados also contain phytochemicals, which, like Vitamin E, are antioxidants that mop up free radicals, which can damage cells and have been associated with aging, heart disease, and cancer. Avocados also are high in monounsaturated fat, which lowers blood cholesterol.

Many avocado recipes in cookbooks and on the Internet include avocado as an ingredient in its raw, unheated form so as to preserve the health benefits. These health benefits are made possible by the avocado’s unique and delicate fats. For example, in Mexico they add sliced avocado to chicken soup after it is cooked. The avocado warms and mingles well with the soup but retains its nutritional concentration since it is not cooked.

If opting to do a quick heat of your avocados in the microwave, approximately 40 seconds on medium heat is a heating method that won’t significantly change the fatty acid profile of avocados.

Avocado for Skin & Hair Care

  • The Avocado Face Mask. Often used as a main ingredient in face masks, the oils in avocados contain high levels of vitamin E that are essential for healthy skin. Simply grab one, puree it, spread on your face, and leave for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Beat under eye baggage. If you have dark and puffy eyes, banish them with the power of avocado. Crush up some avocado into a pulp and dab it under your eyes. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing. You can even cut slices of avocado and wear them on your eyes as you would cucumber slices.
  • Make your hair shine. Make a concoction of avocado and extra virgin olive oil. Just mix one avocado and a few teaspoons of olive oil and apply it to your hair. Allow it to sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing with cool water. You should notice instance moisture and shine.
  • Get smoother skin. Make your own skin exfoliation cream by mixing one avocado and a few tablespoons of oatmeal in a bowl. Add a squirt of lemon juice if you wish. Rub it in a circular motion onto your skin and rinse. You will notice smoother, cleaner skin.

Using Avocados in Your Foods

Peel and use avocados in salads, or as a basis for a delicious guacamole. Slice in half and fill with shrimp, tuna or chicken salad for a festive lunch. An easy way to slice a ripe, Haas avocado is to cut it in half length-wise around the seed, rotate the halves to separate, and then scoop out the seed and flesh with a spoon.

Avocados can turn brown when cut. To reduce the browning effect, immediately sprinkle with lime or lemon juice, or vinegar. Remember avocados can be cooked as a part of a main dish.

To ripen, keep avocados at room temperature for 3 to 10 days. To speed ripening, place avocados in a brown paper bag, or use a fruit ripening bowl. Ripe avocado can be stored in the warmest part of the refrigerator for several days.

Alternatively, ripen avocados in a brown bag or bowl of flour. You can test it for ripeness by saing a toothpick through the end in the stem.

The creamy, earthy texture and flavor of avocados pairs well with seafood, poultry, salads, Mexican food, sushi and eggs. Try avocados mashed as a spread on breads, slice them into sandwiches and salads, and fill avocado halves with your favorite foods, from crabmeat to curried chicken.

If you want your avocado NOW, soften it in a microwave at 50 percent power for 30 to 45 seconds — and keep doing it until you can feel it’s soft. It won’t ripen, but it WILL soften.

Add avocado to salsa for a bigger health payoff. A study from the Ohio State University found that people absorbed four-and-a-half times more of the cancer-fighter lycopene from the tomatoes when avocado was added; the healthy fats help you absorb more nutrients.

Weight Loss with Avocado: Easy Tips

Healthier Fat. Skip the mayonnaise and choose creamy avocado on your sandwiches. It packs 4 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (which lowers cholesterol), 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein per ounce, making it a lower-fat, more filling substance for the mayonnaise.

Spice up your omelet. Love omelets? Try dicing up some avocado and tossing it into your omelet instead of cheese. It contains less fat and will add flavor and some creaminess to your omelet.

Quick Ideas for Serving Avocados:

  • Garnish black bean soup with chopped avocados.
  • Tofu based dressings are complemented nicely by avocado, giving them extra richness along with a beautiful green color.
  • Mix chopped avocados, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and seasonings to give a twist to traditional guacamole.
  • Replace mayonnaise on your sandwiches with avocado.
  • For a healthful salad, combine sliced avocado with fennel, oranges and fresh mint.
  • Top quartered avocado slices with corn relish and serve with a wedge of lime.
  • Make your own baby food. Puree a ripe avocado and feed it to babies who are ready for smooth foods. They will love the texture and taste, plus it is packed with vitamins and healthy oils. You can add some instant cereal or a pureed banana for extra flavor if you wish.
  • Fill them up! Avocados have tough shells that are perfect for filling. The next time you make chicken salad, tuna salad, or even guacamole (all using avocados of course) consider putting your mixture back into the avocado shell halve. It is the perfect little serving dish.
  • Avocado Mango Salad. Mix 1 cubed mango with 1/4 cup diced avocado and 2 tablespoons minced cilantro. Squeeze with juice of 1/2 lime and sprinkle with ground red pepper. Serve with wedges of toasted large whole wheat tortillas. Total calories are 367.
  • Avocado Bruschetta. Spread two slices toasted whole wheat bread with 1/4 cup sliced avocado, mashed. Top with two sliced cherry tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Have with one medium apple. Total calories are 374.

Edible Energizer. One-half an avocado contains fatty acids that can help lower inflammation linked to fatigue causing conditions.

Avocado Butter (AKA Poor Man’s Butter)

  • 1 medium avocado, ripe, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Cut avocado in half; remove pit and any membrane. Scoop flesh out into a food processor or blender with a spoon. Add the other ingredients and process for about a minute until light and fluffy.

Add in suggestions: Finely chopped onion with some olive oil, and a dash of vinegar, marinated in the fridge for a few hours, and added to the avocado butter when served.

Serve with crackers, bread, toast, or tortilla chips. Will keep, covered, about 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Avocado ‘n Chia Guacamole

Brain-benefiting, heart-healthy guacamole is an irresistible way to get the good fats your body needs to thrive. Here, chia seed makes this wonderful food even more super. Serve it with veggie sas, tortilla chips, quesadillas, or any other side dish that strikes your fancy.

  • 1 avocado, preferably Hass, pitted and peeled
  • 1/8 cup organic chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
    Salt, to taste
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon minced red onion or scallions
  • Optional: A dash of hot sauce

In a small bowl, mash the avocado, chia seed, lemon juice, salt, and (if using) onion and hot sauce, until smooth. Serve immediately.

Truly Easy Guacamole

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 5 to 6 drops Jalapeno green sauce
  • 3 packets True Lemon

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy with lime flavored chips.

Avocado Caution

Individuals with latex allergies should limit their avocado consumption or avoid it completely. Unfortunately, the fruit contains high amounts of chitinase enzymes, which are associated with latex allergies. Lightly cooking the food slightly deactivates these enzymes.

Avocado Nutrition Facts 2022

Avocado FAQs

Do avocado make you gain weight?

While many different things can affect weight loss or weight gain, the biggest factor is the number of calories you eat. Because avocados are relatively high in calories, it can be easy to eat too much without realizing it.

What are benefits of avocado?

Avocados are a source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids. Avocados contain high levels of healthy, beneficial fats, which can help a person feel fuller between meals.

Is avocado good for losing weight?

Avocados are high in fiber, which promotes weight loss and metabolic health. High fiber foods help reduce appetite, decrease the risk of high blood pressure, and serve to lower your cholesterol levels. Avocados rev your metabolism and are keto-friendly even though they are high in carbohydrates.

What happens to your body when you eat an avocado a day?

In fact, researchers have found that avocados may protect the heart in a similar way as olive oil and nuts do in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. A 2018 analysis of 10 studies found an increase in HDL (protective cholesterol) in people who consumed an average of 1 to 3.7 avocados daily.

Is one avocado a day too much?

“Usually, I would recommend that ½ to one avocado a day is reasonable,” she says. She notes that since avocados are a pretty significant source of healthy monounsaturated fat, they make you more satisfied and are harder to overdo because they tend to fill you up.

Can I eat eggs and avocado everyday?

However, this mix should be eaten in moderation. “The ideal way not to risk exaggerating with fat and calories is to bring to the table half avocado combined with two eggs, preferably hard-boiled, no more than a couple of times a week,” says the expert, who here shares 5 good reasons to choose this meal combination. Can I eat eggs and avocado everyday?

However, this mix should be eaten in moderation. “The ideal way not to risk exaggerating with fat and calories is to bring to the table half avocado combined with two eggs, preferably hard-boiled, no more than a couple of times a week,” says the expert, who here shares 5 good reasons to choose this meal combination.

What are the possible side effects of Avocado?

#1. Not Good For Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women. …

#2. Possible Weight Gain. …

#3. Liver Issues. …

#4. Medication Interactions. …

#5. Stomach Issues. …

#6. Allergies. …

#7. Latex Intolerance. …

#8. Lowers HDL Cholesterol.

What is the taste of avocado?

Although it is mild, the taste of avocado is very unique. The flavor itself is very subtle and is earthy, grassy, and nutty but fresh. Some people even describe it as buttery.

Is avocado a Superfood?

The avocado is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. Ounce for ounce, they are among the richest in fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium among all fruits. This nutrition profile makes it a worthy Superfood.

Do avocados cause belly fat?

New Study Reveals Avocados Shrink Belly Fat and Promote Weight Loss. People often avoid avocados because they’re high in calories, but a new study reveals an avocado a day can actually help you shrink belly fat and lose weight.

How long does avocado takes to digest?

“Simple carbohydrates, such as plain rice, pasta or simple sugars, average between 30 and 60 minutes in the stomach,” she adds. “But if you put a thick layer of peanut butter on toast, or layer avocado and eggs, it can take upwards of between two to four hours to leave your stomach. How long does avocado takes to digest?

“Simple carbohydrates, such as plain rice, pasta or simple sugars, average between 30 and 60 minutes in the stomach,” she adds. “But if you put a thick layer of peanut butter on toast, or layer avocado and eggs, it can take upwards of between two to four hours to leave your stomach. How do you store half an avocado?

How to store half Avovado?

To keep them from turning brown, seal the flesh with a sprinkle of lemon juice, lime juice, or olive oil, then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate. You can also protect the avocado flesh with water.

Why are avocados so expensive?

Reason 1: Avocado requires a massive amount of water. It takes around 80 litres of water to produce 1kg of avocados. This means they can’t just grow anywhere (most of it is still produced in Mexico and Central America).

Reason 2: Because they can’t grow anywhere, the distribution of avocados is an expensive affair.

Which is better egg or avocado?

Avocado has signficantly more Vitamin C than egg. Avocado is an excellent source of dietary fiber and potassium. … Egg has more riboflavin and Vitamin B12, however, avocado contains more niacin. Egg is a great source of Vitamin D and calcium.

Why avocados are not healthy?

Over the past six months avocados have become good for almost everyone, because it’s been a dry six months and avocados contain a lot of moisture,” Niazov says. However, she adds, they’re not suitable at all for cancer patients, because the avocado’s moisture comes from a very fatty and heavy source

What’s the problem with avocados?

Plantation-farmed cash crop commodities like avocados also encourage deforestation, as local farmers slash and burn huge swaths of natural land to make room for new and larger plantations. Deforestation also leads to climate change, extinction, and increased amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

Is avocado good for high blood pressure?

Avocados are packed with oleic acid, which can reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Avocados are also rich in potassium and folate, both of which are good for heart.

How do I know if an avocado is ripe?

If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure you know it’s ripe and ready-to-eat. Ripe, ready to eat avocados may have a darker color but color can vary so it is best to go by feel as well as color. It will feel lightly soft but it will not feel “mushy” to the touch. Ripe fruit is perfect for that day.

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