Category: Fruit & Nut Trees
Facts about Avocados. "Scientific name for Avocado plant is persea americana". Avocado plant is a flowering tree found native in the Central American region. The country of Mexico is the world’s top producer of avocados and California comes in second. Colombia, Dominican Republic and Brazil, are the world’s top producing countries after Mexico and the United States.
Appearance of the Avocado
It has a somewhat similar shape to a pear starting with a rounded bottom and leading to a rounded top, but without the inward curve of a pear resulting in an egg-like shape. The avocado is also called "alligator pear", because of the pear shape and alligator skin texture. The avocado has a dark green, weak skin of approximately two millimeters in thickness with a rubbery but bumpy surface. Beneath the skin is soft, yellowish green flesh with a dense custard texture that softens the riper the avocado is. In the center of the avocado is a large seed that fits comfortably in the palm of an average hand.
Avocado plant grows to about twenty meters (6 meters) in height with alternately arranged leaves. As a flowering plant, it’s capable of limited self-pollination. The flowers are subtle, lime green sprouts that appear between groups of leaves. Ideal environments for avocado trees are generally climates without frost, low wind, and plenty of humidity. P. americana does not thrive as well in high saline soils and it’s usually best to have deeper than 3.3 feet (1 meter) of soil to promote healthy root expansion.
Consumption of Avocados
Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable. Avocado fruit is mostly used for consumption. The way it’s consumed varies by the culture. Some prefer to sweeten the flesh while others prefer to spice the custard. Because avocado flesh is not innately sweet, sour, bitter, or spicy, the fruit is versatile and can be utilized for a variety of dishes. One of the most common uses of avocado flesh is the popular Mexican dip referred to as guacamole. The Avocado is smashed into a pulp, filled with specialized guacamole spices, and further mixed with other non-sweet fruits to further complement the unique, oily flavor that avocados have.
Health Benefits of Avocado
In addition to making a wonderful supplement to meats in sandwiches and tortilla chip dips, avocado flesh is also healthy. A serving of avocado is rich in vitamins B, K, C, E, and potassium. It’s also full of diverse fats. 75% of an avocado’s energy comes from fats, 67% of them being monounsaturated acidic fats. Avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit and contain more potassium than a banana. Research has shown that high avocado consumption helps reduce LDL (harmful cholesterol) levels while helping supplement HDL (helpful cholesterol). Along with supplying dietary fiber for smoother bowel movements, one can also get a good source of beta-sitosterol to help reduce benign prostate hyperplasia.