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Avocado – the miracle fruit that tastes like a vegetable

The green dip called guacamole is delicious and attractive looking. Also, it is very healthy, and it even has healing properties.

Photo: Wikimedia.org
Photo: Wikimedia.org

The pear-shaped fruit grows on a tree, which belongs to the family of laurels. The evergreen tree that originates from Central America and its fruits have already been consumed in 5000 B.C., as American Indians used to grow it and consume its nutritious fruits raw. Since the 18th century, this tree has been grown In Tropical, subtropical and Mediterranean regions as well. The fruits are also called alligator pears, and Aztecs call the tree testicle tree, as the fruits hang down in pairs from the branches. The fruit itself is pear or apple shaped, and it has dark green or reddish-brown to black skin.

The avocado tree (Persea Americana) belongs to the family of laurels, and it is an evergreen. The fruits are pear or apple shaped, and its skin is greenish or reddish-brown to black, and it feels like man-made leather. The flesh of the fruit is light green, white or yellow, and it resembles the texture of butter; it tastes a little like walnuts. The pip, which is also rich in valuable substances, is found in the middle of the fruit, and it can grow as big as an egg. The frequently asked question is whether avocado is a fruit or a vegetable. Probably the safest description is that avocado is a fruit that tastes like a vegetable.

Avocado is used in salty and sweet recipes as well. We can flavor it with lemon juice and various spices; in Hawaii and South East Asia, however, it is served with sugar and mixed with sweet soft drinks.

What are the most important uses of avocado?

This fruit is very rich in unsaturated fats, which help the healthy functioning and regeneration of the heart and the circulatory system, and they reduce the level of bad cholesterol. Because it contains many kinds of vitamins and minerals, it helps replenish us with vitality and energy. It contains vitamins A-, B1-, B2-, C- and E, and zinc, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper and iron. Avocadoes alkalinize the body, and they are easy to digest. The cold pressed oil obtained from avocado pips does miracles to dry skin, and it slows down the aging process. The cosmetic industry makes great use of this property – avocado oil is used in nutritive facial creams. Avocadoes contain a low amount of sugar, so persons with diabetes or on a weight loss cure can include them in their diet.

An interesting thing about avocado is that the milky juice of the avocado turns reddish when it gets into contact with air. Because of this property, it was used to dye textiles by Indians. The wood of the avocado tree has a lovely reddish brown and it is used in making furniture, wood carvings and buildings.