Benefits of the Alligator Pear AKA the Avocado
Avocado is the fruit of the avocado tree, scientifically known as Persea americana (1).This fruit is prized for its high nutrient value and is added to various dishes due to its good flavor and rich texture.These days, the avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health-conscious individuals. It’s often referred to as a superfood, which is not surprising given its health properties (2).
Due to its various health benefits, this fruit is now grown in a number of countries. It has a very thick skin that protects it from pesticides. This is the reason you don’t need to buy organic avocados; it is one of the safest crops in terms of its low exposure to pesticides. <See EWG Clean 15>
Nutritional Value of Avocado
Avocados are considered a “superfood” and have a special position in the food calorie pyramid. Avocados are rich in various nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They are also a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids and have a low sugar content. They are a good source of energy and contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, avocados contain calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, phosphorus and zinc.  They also contain minerals such as vitamin C, B6, B-12, A, D, K, E, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. Furthermore, they are a great source of dietary fiber, and a single serving can provide more than 40% of the daily requirement!
Avocados are rich in potassium and successfully balance the potassium to sodium ratio which is vitally important to overall health. According to CAC (California Avocado Commission), a medium-sized California Hass avocado contains almost 22.5 grams fat.  Two-thirds of this fat is of the monounsaturated variety, and they are also very low in fructose. Perhaps most importantly, avocados have a unique collection of organic compounds like phytosterols, carotenoids, and flavonoids.
Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving (3):
- Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value (DV)
- Folate: 20% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
- Potassium: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
- It also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).
This is coming with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber, so there are only 2 “net” carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food.
How to Select and Store Avocado?
Fresh, ripe avocados with no dark spots should be chosen. Do not refrigerate avocados unless they are ripe. If a portion of the fruit has been used then the remainder may be stored in the refrigerator for future use. Unripe avocados can be stored at room temperature.
Quick Serving Ideas
Guacamole: Mix chopped onion, tomato, lettuce and avocado in a bowl. Add salt, pepper, lime juice, and drizzle olive oil over the salad. Fresh avocado guacamole can be added as a topping on your meats and fish too.
Soup: Garnish soups with chopped avocado for additional flavor and health benefits.
Fruit: Ripe avocados can be consumed directly.
Dressing: They can be used for dressing food preparations of your choice and can be sliced perfectly with avocado slicers available in the market.
Is avocado a fruit?
Yes, avocado is a fruit; although technically, it is a berry. Also known by the name of ‘Alligator Pear’ (a reference to its dark, rough outer skin), avocados are rich in healthy fats and are popular in many cuisines all over the world. They have numerous health benefits, both as a food and as an addition to natural skincare products.
Are avocados good for you?
Avocados are great for your health when incorporated into a balanced and healthy diet. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and are full of ‘healthy’ fats, which help keep you feeling full for longer. Avocados can be a great natural or vegan substitute for products like butter and margarine.
Learn More about its health benefits at:
What are YOUR favorite recipes for an avocado?
Here’s a plethora of recipes from the Food Network