Avocados Avocados are commercially valuable, and are cultivated in tropical
and mediterranean climates throughout the world, producing a green-skinned,
pear-shaped fruit that ripens after harvesting. Trees are partially
self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a
predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.
The fruit of horticultural cultivars has a markedly higher fat content than
most other fruit, mostly monounsaturated fat, and as such serves as an
important staple in the diet of various groups where access to other fatty
foods (high-fat meats and fish, dairy, etc.) is limited.
A ripe avocado yields to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand
and squeezed. The flesh is prone to enzymatic browning; it turns brown
quickly after exposure to air. To prevent this, lime or lemon juice can be
added to avocados after they are peeled.
The fruit is not sweet, but fatty, and distinctly yet subtly flavored, and
of smooth, almost creamy texture. It is used in both savory and sweet
dishes, though in many countries not for both. The avocado is very popular
in vegetarian cuisine, as substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads
because of its high fat content.
Avocados have diverse fats. For a typical avocado: • About 75% of an avocado's calories come from fat, most of which is
• Avocados also have 60% more potassium than bananas. They are rich in B
vitamins, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K.
• Avocados have high fiber content among fruits – including 75% insoluble
and 25% soluble fiber.
High avocado intake lowers blood cholesterol levels. Avocado fruits have
potential mouth-anticancer activity due to a combination of specific
aliphatic acetogenins. Extracts of avocado have been traditionally used to
treat hypertension and diabetes mellitus.