What is an avocado?
Avocado is also known by the name of alligator pear due to its rough green colored skin like an alligator and its pear like shape. It is a fruit native to Central Mexico and comes in different sizes and shapes such as egg shaped, spherical and pear shaped etc. Avocados are mainly grown in Mediterranean and tropical climates are its crop is commercially valuable.
Avocados have a pear shaped, fleshy and green skinned body that matures after harvesting. Their trees are partly self pollinating and they are proliferated via grafting so as to maintain the quality and quantity of the fruit. Avocados belong to Genus- Persea and Family- Lauraceae and botanically it is named as Persea Americana.
Avocados were known as the ‘fertility fruit’ by Aztec civilizations and the word ‘avocado’ originated from the word aguacate in Spanish.
Where the avocados came into existence?
The avocado tree originated in Puebla State of Mexico. This fruit was first located in the cave of Puebla in Mexico in 10,000 BC. Avocado tree had been cultivated in South and Central America for a long period of time. The first record of use of word avocado was given by a writer in his book about Jamaican plants.
The avocado plant was introduced to Brazil in 1809 and to South Africa and Australia in the late nineteenth century. From then onwards, there is no looking back and the plant is known world wide for its nutrients and its health benefits and is cultivated in almost all the major countries throughout the world.
Health benefits of avocados
• Avocado is a good source of monosaturated fats which improves the metabolism of our body.
• The high fat content in avocados keeps a person free from appetite for a longer period of time. Thus, it prevents overeating and helps a person in reducing weight easily.
• Avocados are rich in vitamins and minerals and so, they are considered a healthy option by everyone.
• Avocados are helpful in removing the intestinal decompositions which results in coated tongue and as a result, bad breath.
• Oil extracted from avocados is used for the preparation of beauty products such as moisturizers, creams and cleansers etc.
• The oleic and linoleic acid in avocados helps in lowering the amount of low density lipids or bad cholesterol in our body.
• High content of folate and potassium in avocados help in the regulation of blood pressure and protection of our body from any kind of circulatory diseases.
• Avocados help in improving the immunity of our body against diseases.
• The high potassium content in avocados prevents the formation of kidney stones.
• Avocados help in maintaining the balance of electrolytes in our body due to their high potassium content. It also improves the muscle activity and nerve functions of our brain.
• The phytonutrients present in avocados help in the prevention of prostate cancer.
• Furthermore, the avocados help in the absorption of carotenoids by our body.
• Avocados are good for the treatment of skin diseases and are a good source of antioxidants.
Some facts about avocados
• Avocados are very high in calories and have many health benefits as well.
• Avocado fruit ripens after its harvesting.
• Avocados trees grow at a very fast pace and range from fifty to seventy feet in height.
• The leaves normally stay on the avocado tree for 2 to 3 years and then shed in early spring.
• An avocado tree which is propagated through grafting will generate fruit within 1 to 2 years unlike trees which grow out of a seedling, bearing fruit after a long period of 8 to 20 years.
• An avocado tree is partially self-pollinating.
• An avocado tree begin flowering in the month of January and its one panicle usually produces 2 to 3 fruits.