Search Food Dictionary
Food Dictionary Ads


open this page in your Mobile / Tablet
QR Code
Food Dictionary Ads
Avocado is a tree native to Mexico and Central America, classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. Avocado or alligator pear also refers to the fruit, botanically a large berry that contains a single seed.

Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Commercially, they ripen after harvesting. Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.

Culinary uses

The fruit is not sweet, but distinctly and subtly flavored, with smooth texture. It is used in both savory and sweet dishes, though in many countries not for both. The avocado is popular in vegetarian cuisine as a substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content.

It is used as the base for the Mexican dip known as guacamole, as well as a spread on corn tortillas or toast, served with spices.

In the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, and southern India (especially the coastal Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka region), avocados are frequently used for milkshakes and occasionally added to ice cream and other desserts. In Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, a dessert drink is made with sugar, milk or water, and pureed avocado. Chocolate syrup is sometimes added. In Morocco, a similar chilled avocado and milk drink is sweetened with confectioner's sugar and hinted with orange flower water.

In Ethiopia, avocados are made into juice by mixing them with sugar and milk or water, usually served with Vimto and a slice of lemon. It is also common to serve layered multiple fruit juices in a glass made of avocados, mangoes, bananas, guavas, and papayas. Avocados are also used to make salads.

Avocados in savory dishes, often seen as exotic, are a relative novelty in Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Brazil, where the traditional preparation is mashed with sugar and lime, and eaten as a dessert or snack. This contrasts with Spanish-speaking countries such as Chile, Mexico, or Argentina, where the opposite is true and sweet preparations are rare.

In Australia and New Zealand, it is commonly served in sandwiches, sushi, on toast, or with chicken. In Ghana, it is often eaten alone in sliced bread as a sandwich. In Sri Lanka, well-ripened flesh, thoroughly mashed with sugar and milk, or treacle (a syrup made from the nectar of a particular palm flower) is a popular dessert. In Haiti, it is often consumed with cassava or regular bread for breakfast.

In Mexico and Central America, avocados are served mixed with white rice, in soups, salads, or on the side of chicken and meat. In Peru, they are consumed with tequeños as mayonnaise, served as a side dish with parrillas, used in salads and sandwiches, or as a whole dish when filled with tuna, shrimp, or chicken. In Chile, it is used as a puree-like sauce with chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs; and in slices for celery or lettuce salads. The Chilean version of Caesar salad contains large slices of mature avocado. In Kenya and Nigeria, the avocado is often eaten as a fruit eaten alone or mixed with other fruits in a fruit salad, or as part of a vegetable salad.

Avocado slices are frequently added to hamburgers, tortas, hot dogs, and carne asada. Avocado can be combined with eggs (in scrambled eggs, tortillas, or omelettes), and is a key ingredient in California rolls and other makizushi ("maki", or rolled sushi).

In southern Africa, avocado 'Ritz' is a common dish.

In the United Kingdom, the avocado became available during the 1960s when introduced by Sainsbury's under the name 'avocado pear'.

Nutritional Value:

About 75% of an avocado's energy comes from fat, most of which (67% of total) is monounsaturated fat as oleic acid. Other predominant fats include palmitic acid and linoleic acid. The saturated fat content amounts to 14% of the total fat in a single serving of avocado while containing zero cholesterol. On a weight basis, avocados have 35% more potassium than bananas. They are rich in folic acid and vitamin K, and are good dietary sources of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E and pantothenic acid.

Avocados have a high fiber content of 75% insoluble and 25% soluble fiber. High avocado intake was shown in one preliminary study to lower blood cholesterol levels. Specifically, after a seven-day diet rich in avocados, mild hypercholesterolemia patients showed a 17% decrease in total serum cholesterol levels. These subjects also showed a 22% decrease in both LDL (harmful cholesterol) and triglyceride levels and 11% increase in HDL levels. A 2013 epidemiological report showed that American avocado consumers had better overall diet quality, nutrient levels, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome.

Health benefits of 

Extracts of avocado have been studied in laboratory research to assess potential for lowering risk of diabetes mellitus.

Maintain a healthy heart:  Avocado contains vitamin B6 and folic acid, which help regulate homocysteine levels. High level of homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Avocado also contains vitamin E, glutathione, and monounsaturated fat, which help in maintaining a healthy heart.

Lower cholesterol levels:  Avocados are rich in a compound called beta-sitosterol which has been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels. According to a study, patients with mild hypercholesterolemia who included avocados in their diet for 7 days had 17 percent decrease in total blood cholesterol levels, a 22 percent decrease in both LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, and a 11 percent increase in HDL (good cholesterol) levels.

Control blood pressure:  Avocados are also a great source of potassium, which helps in controlling blood pressure levels.

Anti-Inflammatory properties:  Phytonutrient compound found in avocados, such as polyphenols and flavonoids have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders.

Promote eye health:  Avocado is an excellent source of carotenoid lutein, which known to help protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Regulate the blood sugar levels: The monounsaturated (good) fats in avocados can reverse insulin resistance which help to regulate blood sugar levels. Avocados also contain soluble fiber which keep a steady blood sugar levels.

Prevent birth defects: Avocados are rich in folate, a B vitamin commonly known as folic acid. One cup of avocado provides about 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. The high amount of folate in avocado is essential in the prevention of birth defects, such as neural tube defect and spina bifida.

Reduce strokes risk: The high levels of folate in avocados may also protect against stroke. A study has shown that individuals who ate a diet rich in folate had a lower risk of stroke than those who did not.

Protect against cancer: Many studies have shown that avocado can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. The oleic acid in avocado is also effective in preventing breast cancer.

Fight free radicals: Avocados contain glutathione, a powerful antioxidants that helps fight free radicals in the body.

Anti-aging properties: Being rich in antioxidants, avocado is beneficial in preventing aging symptoms. The glutathione in avocado may boosts immune systems, slows aging process, and encourages a healthy nervous system.

Cure bad breath: Avocados are one of the best natural mouth wash and bad breath remedies. It cleanses intestine which is the real cause of coated tongue and bad breath.

Increase nutrient absorption: Avocado intake is linked with an increased nutrient absorption. A study suggests that, when participants ate salad included avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes beta carotene and lycopene) than those who did not include avocados.

Skin Care: The avocado oil is added in many cosmetics because of its ability to nourish the skin and make your skin glow. It also aids in treating psoriasis, a skin disease that causes skin redness and irritation.

Weight gain: The avocado has 200 calories for 100 grams. Typically, fruits has approximately 60-80 calories for 100 grams. Due to the high amounts of calories, avocado is a best diet for people who want to gain weight. Avocado is a healthy source of calories, unlike many other calorie-dense foods that may contain excess saturated fats and sugar.

Read More at Wikipedia.
Avocado Recipes see Here , Here and Here, Here.
Also see Avocado slicer  and Pitter and Avocado keeper.

Nutrition Data for Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties (09037)

NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, cubes1 cup, pureed1 cup, sliced1 avocado, NS as to Florida or California
Water73.23 g109.845 g168.429 g106.9158 g147.1923 g
Energy160 kcal240 kcal368 kcal233.6 kcal321.6 kcal
Protein2 g3 g4.6 g2.92 g4.02 g
Total lipid (fat)14.66 g21.99 g33.718 g21.4036 g29.4666 g
Carbohydrate, by difference8.53 g12.795 g19.619 g12.4538 g17.1453 g
Fiber, total dietary6.7 g10.05 g15.41 g9.782 g13.467 g
Sugars, total0.66 g0.99 g1.518 g0.9636 g1.3266 g
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, cubes1 cup, pureed1 cup, sliced1 avocado, NS as to Florida or California
Calcium, Ca12 mg18 mg27.6 mg17.52 mg24.12 mg
Iron, Fe0.55 mg0.825 mg1.265 mg0.803 mg1.1055 mg
Magnesium, Mg29 mg43.5 mg66.7 mg42.34 mg58.29 mg
Phosphorus, P52 mg78 mg119.6 mg75.92 mg104.52 mg
Potassium, K485 mg727.5 mg1115.5 mg708.1 mg974.85 mg
Sodium, Na7 mg10.5 mg16.1 mg10.22 mg14.07 mg
Zinc, Zn0.64 mg0.96 mg1.472 mg0.9344 mg1.2864 mg
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, cubes1 cup, pureed1 cup, sliced1 avocado, NS as to Florida or California
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid10 mg15 mg23 mg14.6 mg20.1 mg
Thiamin0.067 mg0.1005 mg0.1541 mg0.09782 mg0.13467 mg
Riboflavin0.13 mg0.195 mg0.299 mg0.1898 mg0.2613 mg
Niacin1.738 mg2.607 mg3.9974 mg2.53748 mg3.49338 mg
Vitamin B-60.257 mg0.3855 mg0.5911 mg0.37522 mg0.51657 mg
Folate, DFE81 µg121.5 µg186.3 µg118.26 µg162.81 µg
Vitamin B-120 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg
Vitamin A, RAE7 µg10.5 µg16.1 µg10.22 µg14.07 µg
Vitamin A, IU146 IU219 IU335.8 IU213.16 IU293.46 IU
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)2.07 mg3.105 mg4.761 mg3.0222 mg4.1607 mg
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg
Vitamin D0 IU0 IU0 IU0 IU0 IU
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)21 µg31.5 µg48.3 µg30.66 µg42.21 µg
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, cubes1 cup, pureed1 cup, sliced1 avocado, NS as to Florida or California
Fatty acids, total saturated2.126 g3.189 g4.8898 g3.10396 g4.27326 g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated9.799 g14.6985 g22.5377 g14.30654 g19.69599 g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated1.816 g2.724 g4.1768 g2.65136 g3.65016 g
Cholesterol0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 cup, cubes1 cup, pureed1 cup, sliced1 avocado, NS as to Florida or California
Caffeine0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2013. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page
Post your comment ...
sign in with ...