Before we start with avocado facts, let us ask you a question. Is avocado a fruit or a vegetable? Many people think that it is a vegetable, but the reality is that it is a fruit! Anyway, let us take a quick look at 20 avocado facts and find out a few things about this fruit.
Avocado Facts: 1-5
1. Avocados come from a family of flowering plants known as Lauraceae. The term avocado refers to a tree as well as its fruit.
2. Avocado is basically a berry – a large one with a single seed inside it. Sometimes avocado is also known as alligator pear.
3. The species of this fruit tree is known as Persea Americana. Experts believe that this fruit/tree originated in Mexico’s Puebla state.
4. Avocados are available as both domesticated and undomesticated. Domesticated ones have a green skin, a fleshy body and a quite big seed. The undomesticated variant has a black skin, somewhat fleshy body but the seed is very large.
5. The avocado is South Central Mexico’s native plant. A fossil study reveals that similar trees were present millions of years ago. Back then, they were far more widespread and were present in as far north as California.
Avocado Facts: 6-10
6. Scientists have unearthed evidences from a cave in Mexico’s Coxcatlan, which reveal that avocados were used as far back as in 10,000 BCE.
7. It is also believed that avocado tree cultivation started in Central America and South America somewhere in 5,000 BCE.
8. Avocados can come in various shapes. The most common shape is pear-shaped. However, spherical and egg-shaped avocados are also pretty common.
9. The word avocado comes from the Spanish word aguacate. This Spanish word is derived from āhuacatl – a Nahuatl word. Interestingly, āhuacatl in turn comes from proto-Aztecan *pa:wa. It also meant avocado.
10. The Nahuatl word āhuacatl was also meant testicle. Why so? Take a good look at the avocado you are holding. Doesn’t it look like that body part?
Avocado Facts: 11-15
11. Here is really an interesting fact about avocados. The size of an avocado is equal to the size of a 16-week old baby in inside a womb!
12. Avocados are extremely rich in potassium. One avocado contains 975 mg of this mineral. This beats a banana which is known to offer 487 mg of potassium provided the banana is a large one.
13. Avocados never ripen on trees. They become mature on trees, but only after harvesting, they ripen. Placed in a brown bag with an apple or a banana, avocados ripen more quickly than usual. Why so? That’s because apples or bananas release ethylene gas – a natural hormones present in plants. This hormone helps the avocados to ripen quickly.
14. As many as 20 minerals and vitamins are present in avocadoes. For example, it contains lutein, which is a very powerful antioxidant. It is known to protect our eyes from light waves of high energy.
15. We already know that it is very rich in potassium. It is essential for helping us to absorb calcium, maintain healthy heart muscles and also maintain proper blood pressure.
Avocado Facts: 16-20
16. Also, avocados have folate. This thing is very essential for pregnant women because folate helps to repair cells, which are damaged during pregnancy.
17. Avocados are good sources of monounsaturated fats. They help to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL), keeping our heart healthy.
18. Avocadoes are rich in protein too! In fact, they are one of the very few fruits that have high protein content. As a matter of fact, they have all 18 important amino acids that are required for protein-building process of our body.
19. This fruit is also known to have high fiber content. It contains both soluble as well as insoluble fiber, both of which are needed by our body for proper digestion and keep us free from gastrointestinal diseases.
20. Did you know that Brazilians add avocados to the ice creams they make? Also did you know that avocado stood as a symbol of fertility and love among the Aztecs?