What is the avocado?

The Avocado (Persea Americana) is a tree that is native to Mexico in Central America. It belongs to the family of flowering plants called Lauraceae.

The edible parts are the fruits which have a shape similar to that of pears. They can reach 25 cm in length and 1.4 kg in weight. Their skin is rather thick and it can have a variable color from dark green to deep purple and can be smooth or wrinkled. The pulp is usually rather compact and greenish-yellow in color.


What are the nutritional properties of avocado?

The avocado provides 231 calories per 100g of fruit, corresponding to:

  • 3% carbohydrates

  • 8% proteins

  • 89% lipids

and consists of 64 grams of water.

More particularly, 100g of avocado contain:

  • 1.8g of soluble sugars

  • 3.3g of fibers

  • 4.4g of protein

  • 23g of lipids

The later correspond to 2.48% of saturated fat (in the form of palmitic acid), and 18.33% of monounsaturated fatty acids (in the form of palmitoleic acid, and especially oleic acid) and for 1.45% of polyunsaturated fatty acids (in the form of linoleic acid and in minor amounts of alpha-linolenic acid and arachidonic acid).

Among the vitamins, again for 100 gr, the avocado is rich in:

  • 18mg vitamin C (A (14 micrograms of retinol equivalent)

  • 6.4mg Vitamin E

  • 1.1mg of vitamin B3 or PP (niacin)

  • 0.12mg of vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

  • 0.09mg of vitamin B1 (thiamine)

It also contains amounts of vitamin D greater than those found in butter or eggs.

Among the minerals there are:

  • 450mg of potassium

  • 44mg of phosphorus

  • 13mg of calcium

  • 0.6mg of iron

  • 2mg of sodium


When should you not eat avocado?

Avocado may reduce the anticoagulant effect of warfarin; thus those who are being treated with this medication should consult with their doctor about the risks associated when consuming this fruit.


Possible benefits of avocado

The avocado has a long history of use for medicinal purposes. Experiments conducted nowadays suggest that derivatives of this seed could have an anti-tumor effect. Avocado derivatives were also tested in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.


Avocado possible contraindications

There are no known specific contraindications to avocado consumption, except those who are allergic to:

  • latex

  • bananas

  • melons

  • peaches

  • chestnuts

  • tomato

  • potatoes

  • kiwi

They must consume it with care because of the possible risk of a cross-allergy. Among the possible allergic reactions triggered by the avocado are oral allergy syndrome (itching in the mouth and throat and swollen tongue) and generalized symptoms (wheezing, tightness in the chest, abdominal cramps, diarrhea). Also if taken in large quantities, seeds and leaves of Persea Gratissima may be toxic.


Seasonality of avocado

The avocado begins to ripen in the summer and continues to be available until the end of autumn. You can store them in a cool dry place, protected by a paper bag.