Facts about Avocado
Avocado, also called an avocado pear or alligator pear is a staple in the Aztec diet. Gaining popularity in recent years, it is a tasty addition to culinary inventions with many beneficent properties.
1From a botanical point of view, avocado is a large berry.
It contains a single, large seed.
2Its name comes from the Spanish word aguacate.
The name derives from Mexicano – the Uto-Aztecan language family – āhuacatl.
3The avocado belongs to the Lauraceae family.
It is a flowering plant family that includes true laurel – an aromatic evergreen tree.
4It originates from southcentral Mexico.
Later avocado cultivations spread to North, South, and Latin America, Africa, Asia, and southern Europe. Mexican cultivations produce over 2,3 million tons a year.
5Some sources claim avocado was domesticated by Mesoamerican tribes about 5,000 years ago.
It makes its cultivation as old as the invention of the wheel.
6Avocado is pear-shaped, round, or egg-shaped.
It is usually 7 – 20 centimeters long and weighs about 100 – 170 grams. Its flesh is fat and creamy, and the outer layer thick, leathery, and green or brown-green.
7Avocado trees grow up to 20 – 24 meters high.
8The ripening period of the fruit is exceptionally long and takes between 6 to 8 months.
9Avocado contains many valuable substances beneficial to the human body.
One of them is oleic acid, which lowers blood cholesterol levels.
10Avocado is rich in unsaturated fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6.
It increases the absorption of lycopene from tomatoes, therefore it should be consumed together.
11It also contains a lot of monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acids.
It means it has four times less fat than butter.
12Avocado contains more potassium than a banana.
13It also contains vitamins B, C, E, A and is an antioxidant.
It has beneficial anti-cancer properties.
14Avocado seed contains twice as many antioxidants as the flesh and is a viable source of soluble fiber, which is an ally of those who try to keep a slim figure.
Some claim that the avocado seed contains more valuable substances than the fruit itself. It is used after drying and pulverizing. It is estimated that about 70% of the amino acids are found in the seed. Phenolic compounds contained in the seed prevent stomach ulcers. It is a source of zinc, which protects men from prostate problems. According to the scientist, flavonoids in the seed inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
15Regular consumption of avocado provides good protein and fiber.
There are 7 grams of fiber per 100 grams of fruit.
16Women should consume avocados during pregnancy due to folic acid.
17The flesh of avocado has been treated as an effective aphrodisiac for centuries.
The leaves and bark were used to reduce fever and treat women’s diseases.
18Avocado has many uses in the beauty industry.
Facial masks based on avocado help achieve firm and moisturized skin.
19The avocado trade is so beneficial that it has become an interest of drug cartels.
There are known cases of seizing cultivations by the mafia.
20The increasing popularity of avocados is causing deforestation to prepare new cultivation sites.
21Because of persin – a fungicidal toxin produced by the plant for self-protection – avocados are highly poisonous to many organisms.
It is poisonous to horses, cattle, goats, rabbits, ostriches, chickens, canaries, corrugated parakeets, and fish. Most persin is found in bark, seed, leaves, and rind, and a small amount is also found in the flesh. Persin is generally harmless to humans.