What type of fruit is avocado?:- The avocado is around, pear-shaped, or oblong, and the skin of the fruit can vary in texture and color. The skin can be flexible to woody, smooth to rough and green-yellow, reddish-purple, purple, or black. The flesh of the fruit is greenish yellow to bright yellow when ripe and has a buttery consistency and rich nutty flavor, but the lower varieties may be fibrous.
The avocado fruit has a large seed that represents up to 10-25% of the weight of the fruit. The fruits of the different avocado varieties vary in moisture and oil content, from less than 5% to more than 30% oil.
They are often eaten in salads, and in many parts of the world, they are eaten for dessert. Avocado puree is the main ingredient in guacamole, a characteristic sauce in Mexican cuisine. Avocados provide thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin A, and in some varieties, the meat contains up to 25 percent unsaturated oil.
Avocado trees can be tall or spread out, and have elliptical to egg-shaped leaves 10-30 cm (4-12 inches) long. The small greenish flowers are born in dense inflorescences and lack true petals. The flowers have nine stamens, arranged in three series, and a single-celled ovary.
Interestingly, there are two types of avocado flowers, A and B, depending on the cultivar. These flowers are dichogamous (the male and female parts ripen separately), and each flower opens only twice.
Type A flowers are functionally feminine in the morning, close at noon, and then reopen as functionally masculine in the afternoon of the following day. Type B flowers are functionally feminine in the afternoon, closing at night, and then reopening the next morning as functionally masculine.
When the two types of flowers are grown together, this temporary overlap of the mature male and female parts encourages cross-pollination and therefore increased fruit production.
The avocado is a fruit of a tree that has a variable growth and development, reaching a height of 10 to 12 meters in its natural habitat. Such habitat is classified as subtropical-tropical.
The tree has a woody trunk that can reach up to 80 cm to 1 m in diameter in trees from 25 to 30 years old (cluster), which can be axillary or terminal.
What type of fruit is avocado?
Avocado is a single seed berry.
The flower has a mature ovary known as a fruit. It consists of the wall of the ovary, or pericarp, which encloses one or more seeds. The pericarp is differentiated into three layers of tissue: the outer layer is the exocarp, which is commonly called the skin or cortex.
The middle layer is the mesocarp, which generally constitutes the majority of the pericarp. The inner layer is endocarp, which in some fruits is hard, leathery, or hard, in other fruits it is soft or fleshy.
All fruits can be classified into two main categories: dry and fleshy. Avocado falls into the last category. There are two main classes of fleshy fruits which are drupes and berries. Drupes are characterized by having a fleshy mesocarp but a hard, leathery, or bony endocarp.
They are said to have “stones” or “bones” instead of seeds (example: peaches). Also, a drupe generally has only one seed. Berries, by contrast, are characterized by having a fleshy endocarp, as well as mesocarp, and may have more than one seed.
If one examines a longitudinally cut avocado fruit, as indicated above, one sees that the exocarp is the skin or the rind. It can be very thin as in the Mexican race avocados or thick and almost woody as in some of the great fruits of the Guatemalan race.
The mesocarp is fleshy and makes up the majority of the pericarp. In some soft ripe avocados, it can adhere to the outer seed coat when the seed coat is removed when the seed is removed from the fruit, giving the seed a sort of icy appearance.
Origin of Avocado
Based on the archaeological evidence found in Tehuacán, Puebla (Mexico), it is believed that the avocado appeared approximately 12,000 years ago. It has been determined that the country of origin of this fruit is the central part of Mexico, passing through Guatemala towards Central America.
In this region, you can find the natural genetic stock, which can be useful for biotechnological improvement of the species. As evidence of this theory, primitive avocado trees have been found from the Sierra Madre Oriental in the state of Nuevo León, Mexico, to Costa Rica, in Central America.
From this center of origin, the avocado spread to the southeastern part of the USA, to the Antilles, to a large part of South America: Colombia, Venezuela, Las Guyanas, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. This wide dispersion in areas of ancient civilizations can be explained by a high appreciation of the fruit in these cultures.
The avocado’s life cycle (longevity and productive period) is long. A tree from 1 to 4 years old is considered young, from 8 years old it is considered an adult and fully productive, a period that can last for more than 20 or 25 years. Some types of avocado under favorable conditions grow indefinitely.
The avocado is a very productive tree that bears fruit throughout the year. The two harvest periods are classified as maximum and minimum where the maximum harvest period lasts from October to January and the minimum from February to September.
The fruit yield per tree varies according to the type of avocado, the crop, and the area. An adult orchard generally stabilizes its production of 80 to 100 kg of fruit per tree per year. Yield is also modified by the age and density of trees within an orchard.
Young trees have a lower yield than adults, produce 10 to 20 kg per tree, and stabilize their production at 10-15 years of age. The maximum production of a tree is generally reached at 15 years of age.
Avocado is consumed in various forms in northern South America, Central America, and Mexico, such as pureed salads, seasoned with salt, pepper, vinegar, and other condiments, in addition to being used in the preparation of other dishes.
In Brazil, ripe fruit is more appreciated, along with sugar, honey, and liqueurs, and consumption is mainly influenced by its sensory and nutritional characteristics.
The avocado seed is enclosed in a hard shell and comprises 13-18% of the size of the whole fruit. It contains a good variety of fatty acids, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and a small amount of protein.
The seed is also considered a rich source of phytochemicals, including substances that plants produce to protect themselves. While some of the phytochemicals in an avocado seed may have antioxidant potential, others may offer no health benefit.
Nutritional and physicochemical characteristics of avocado.
The pulp content in various varieties is between 52.9 and 81.3%, about the fruit mass. High levels of lipids and low carbohydrates remain in the avocado pulp after the elimination of water, which gives the product a high content of dry matter.
Therefore, it is considered one of the few cultivated fruits that has the lipid fraction as the main component, which can reach up to 25% of the fruit portion.
The avocado pulp contains 67 to 78% moisture, 13.5 to 24% lipid, 0.8 to 4.8% carbohydrates, 1.0 to 3.0% protein, 0.8 to 1.5% ash, 1.4 to 3.0% fiber, and energy between 140 and 228kcal.
The avocado has four times more nutritional value than any other fruit, except the banana, which contains proteins (1 to 3%) and significant levels of fat-soluble vitamins, folic acid, and appreciable amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, match. , sulfur and silicon, and vitamins E, B1, B2, and D.
The fruit excels in potassium levels (339 mg 100 g-1) compared to other fruits, which regulates muscle activity and protects the body from cardiovascular disease. It also represents a source of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that acts on potentially carcinogenic compounds.
Bioactive compounds in avocados
Avocado contains substantial amounts of bioactive compounds in addition to important major compounds such as phytosterols, especially in the lipid fraction, and the main representative is β-sitosterol.
Diets rich in phytosterols can lead to a reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. An average 17% decrease in blood cholesterol levels was observed in a study in Mexico with 45 volunteers who consumed avocado once a day for a week.
Phytosterol is a substance of plant origin whose structure is very similar to cholesterol. Its mechanism of action in the body involves the inhibition of intestinal cholesterol absorption and the decrease in liver cholesterol synthesis. It acts on total plasma cholesterol and LDL cholesterol without affecting HDL and triglycerides in the blood.
The benefit of lowering cholesterol also comes from substituting unsaturated fats for saturated fats, which promote a decrease in total and LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL levels.
The β-sitosterol in avocados also has a special effect on immunity, contributing to the treatment of diseases such as cancer, HIV, and infections. About cancer, it works by suppressing carcinogenesis and in HIV by strengthening the immune system.
This compound improves lymphocyte proliferation and the activity of natural killer cells, which inactivates invading microorganisms. Furthermore, studies have shown that β-sitosterol activity is an aid in weight loss by reducing compulsive binge eating and fat accumulation in the abdominal region.
Pear shape, small to medium, or slightly larger. The skin is slightly rough to the touch, with many small yellow spots, thin, not adherent to the flesh; green flesh close to the skin, 12 to 17% oil with small, tight seed. It is an early mid-season carrier, has an excellent flavor, and is susceptible to fungal diseases.
The Hass avocado (Persea Americana) is a medium-sized fruit with pear-shaped to ovoid and a pleasant, creamy, and smooth texture. About 90% of avocados consumed in the US USA And most avocados worldwide are Hass avocados. Avocado is a medium-density fruit (1.7 kcal / g) because it contains approximately 80% water and dietary fiber.
Avocados are low in sugar and it contains 15% MUFA-rich oil, which helps increase the bioavailability of carotenoids in salads and sauces that are often consumed with avocado.
It tends to be insufficient except in New Zealand. It is hard, leathery, dark purple or almost black skin when mature; fairly thin pebble, good tasting pulp, 18 to 22% oil, generally; Small seed.
Mid-late season, medium fruit with good shipping qualities. Excellent flavor, heavy production, somewhat alternative bearing, increasingly popular in the European market.
Pear shape; medium-sized, moderately rough skin; good quality flesh. Large tree and with bears regularly, but not as strong as Strong or Hass. Late season, large seed, tree of medium vigor.
Early cultivation, rounded; late, pear-shaped with neck; medium-sized, moderately leathery skin, flexible; thick pulp, up to 10% more than in Hass or Fuerte; smooth texture, good flavor, high in oil, classified as good quality but lower than Hass and Fuerte; tends to darken in the latter part of the season; small seed, easily separated from meat with the coat attached to the seed. Mid-season, high yield, occasionally post-harvest problems after storage.
Round; medium to large, (227–510 g); slightly rough, moderately thick, flexible skin; creamy pulp with rich nutty flavor; it does not darken when cut; rated as excellent quality; small to medium seed, tight; the layer adheres to the seed. Get early, and it is sensitive to cold.
Pear shape; medium-sized; olive skin, slightly rough, thin, leathery; high-quality flesh with a nutty flavor and rated excellent, 15-18% oil; small, tight seed. This cultivar is resistant to diseases.
The fruit is small to medium in size, round ovoid, smooth green, almost colorless, and the seed cavity is quickly molded.
The avocado seed is underused and represents a large part of the fruit, so its use can be an alternative to reduce the cost of producing the edible oil. However, the main problem in the use of avocado seeds is the presence of phenolic compounds that exhibit toxicity.
Studies have shown that the seeds can be used in monogastric animal feed after extraction of these substances with ethanol. The extract can present antioxidant activity since the phenolic levels in the seeds vary from 2.3 to 5.7%.
In addition to starch and fiber, there are other non-nitrogenous substances present in the seeds, ranging from 5.1 to 13.2%.
Avocado leaves are a widely used pharmaceutical ingredient in extracts for therapeutic purposes, and also as teas in folk medicine, probably due to their diuretic properties.
Phytochemicals like orhamnetin, luteolin, rutin, quercetin, and apigenin have been isolated from avocado leaves, which can help prevent the progression of various diseases related to oxidative stress.
Avocado is consumed as fresh fruit, in addition to its use in oils, cosmetics, soaps, and shampoos. Unlike many fruits that generally have a sweet or sour taste, avocados have a smooth buttery consistency and a rich flavor.
A popular use is as a fruit salad, but avocados are also processed into guacamole and can be used as a snack spread. Avocado paste with flavor extracts and skim milk can also be used to make ice cream.
The oil extracted from avocados can be used to cook and prepare salads, sauces, and marinades. Avocado oil can also be used for skincare products, such as sunscreen lotions, cleansing, and moisturizing creams, or hair conditioners and makeup bases. Several more uses have been added worldwide.
For example, in Mexico and Brazil, it is added to ice creams and sorbets; in Japan, it is eaten on sushi rolls; in Cuba, the pulp is mixed with capers, green olives, lemon juice, and olive oil to make a sauce served with steamed fish; and in Nicaragua, it is filled with cheese, fried and baked.
In other countries, such as Taiwan, it is eaten with milk and sugar; in Korea, it is mixed with milk and used as a face cream and body lotion; in Indonesia, it is mixed with coffee, rum, and milk to make a refreshing drink; in the Caribbean, it is mixed with salt, garlic, and coconut and served as a main dish; In the Philippines, the avocado puree is mixed with sugar and milk to make a dessert drink.
The health benefits of avocado are extensive and include:
- Those who eat avocado tend to be healthier. Nutrition Journal published a study published in 2013 found that avocado consumers tend to have higher nutrient intakes and lower rates of metabolic syndrome. They also have a lower weight, lower BMI, less abdominal fat, and higher HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol) levels.
- Avocados can help you better absorb antioxidants. Some nutrients are fat-soluble. That means you must consume them with fats so that your body can properly absorb them. The Journal of Nutrition published a study in 2005 found that eating carotenoids (antioxidants including lycopene and beta-carotene) with avocado or avocado oil increased their absorption.
- Avocados can help prevent and treat cancer. A 2015 study published in Cancer Research found that avocation B, a compound derived from avocado, can help kill leukemic cells. A 2015 research review published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that the phytochemicals (plant compounds) in avocados make them potentially beneficial in preventing cancer.
- Avocados can lower your risk of heart disease. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2015 found that eating one avocado per day as part of a moderate-fat and cholesterol-lowering diet lowers LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol).
- Avocados can help you lose weight. A 2013 study published in the Nutrition Journal found that people who eat avocado with a meal are 23% more satisfied. And they had 28% less desire to eat in the next five hours compared to people who didn’t eat an avocado.
- Avocados can improve brain and memory health. The fruit is rich in oleic acid (or OEA), an omega-9 fatty acid that is linked to improved cognition. A 2009 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that these types of acids can improve memory.
- Avocados can help reduce the risk of depression. Eating monounsaturated fats has been shown to reduce depression. (And balancing fat intake can help control depression.) And the high amount of folic acid has been shown to help keep chemicals, dopamine, and serotonin for the brain to feel good.
- Avocados can help prevent neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. A 2016 study published in Advances in Neurobiology found that the “diverse variety of bioactive nutrients” present in avocados plays a key role in preventing and curing these types of diseases.
- Avocados can keep your eyes healthy as you age. The fruit is rich in carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help protect and maintain healthy cells in the eyes. According to a 2017 study published in the journal Nutrients, avocado can help increase macular pigment with age.
- Avocados can help prevent gum disease. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that the key ingredients in avocados can enhance the protective effects against periodontal disease.
- Avocados can help alleviate osteoarthritis. A 2010 review published in The Physician and Sports medicine magazine found that the key ingredients in avocados can help patients with arthritis of the hip or knee.
- Avocados can combat metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a variety of related problems, including high blood sugar, high serum cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high body mass index, leading to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A 2017 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that “lipid-lowering, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, antithrombotic, anti-atherosclerotic, and cardioprotective effects of avocado” may help protect against this syndrome.
- Avocados can help prevent food poisoning. Biomed Research International published in the journal of 2013 study found that the antibacterial activity of avocados can help protect against e. Coli and other foodborne pathogens.
- Avocados can help reduce liver damage. American Chemical Society presented the study in 2000 which found that avocados contain chemicals that can protect against liver toxins. And avocados can decrease liver damage caused by the hepatitis C virus.
- Avocados can be great for pregnant women. A 2016 study published in the journal Nutrients concluded that avocados are high in folic acid and potassium (generally under-consumed in maternal diets), as well as fiber, monounsaturated fats, and lipid-soluble antioxidants, all of which are linked to improvements in maternal health results of birth and quality of breast milk.
Things you don’t know about avocado
- An avocado has more potassium than a banana
A single avocado contains 975 milligrams of potassium, while a banana delivers only half, with 487 milligrams per large fruit as it is known for being loaded with potassium.
- They will ripen faster with a banana or an apple around
Speaking of bananas! Yellow fruit, like apples, release ethylene gas, a natural plant hormone. If you store your green avocados in a brown bag with an apple or banana, the gases trapped in the bag will help those green fruits ripen faster, according to The Haas Avocado Board.
- Avocados are one of the few high protein fruits.
An avocado contains four grams of protein, among the highest amount from a fruit. And it is a good quality protein to boot. While they don’t contain all the amino acids needed in the body’s protein-building process, they do have all 18 important ones, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Plus, all of that protein is available for the body to use, while some of the protein you can get from meat sources is not.
- You can exchange them in recipes for baked goods for butter
The creamy texture and healthy fats make a surprisingly easy baking substitution. And no, you won’t make green cupcakes. In the right proportions, you can ditch some butter and replace it with avocado for healthier chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, and brownies.
- You don’t have to eat them to reap their benefits
Putting nutritional benefits aside, avocados can play a key role in your healthy hair and skin routine. The antioxidants, amino acids, and essential oils inside an avocado can help repair damaged hair, hydrate dry skin, treat sunburn, and even minimize wrinkles.
How to add avocados to your diet
Avocados have many culinary applications. They are most commonly used to make guacamole. This is done simply by mashing the avocado with lemon juice and adding other optional ingredients, such as onion, coriander, chili, and tomatoes.
Avocados can also be eaten raw and taste delicious with a little salt and pepper. They are also an excellent complement to salads. Due to their high-fat content, they help you absorb vitamins from other vegetables in your food.
Furthermore, their smooth and creamy texture makes them an excellent choice for desserts or smoothies. Lastly, avocados can be used as butter substitutes, either as a spread or for baking.
Note; Avocados are healthy, but that doesn’t give you carte blanche to eat them nonstop. Despite its impressive nutritional profile, if you eat too much, you risk accumulating extra pounds.
On the other hand, when enjoyed as part of a healthy diet, avocados can help you lose weight. Don’t eat avocados in addition to unhealthy foods. Instead, replace unhealthy foods in your diet, such as avocado spread snacks.