Most people don’t know that avocado is a fruit. An avocado is a green fruit that varies from dark to light green with a large pit inside. The avocado has dark leathery skin with a slight gloss. In some parts of the world, they’re known as alligator pears or butter fruit. They’re the main ingredient for guacamole dips. Avocados are making an appearance in everything from salads and wraps to smoothies and even cocktails such as the “Spicy Mint Avocado Magarita”.
One-half of an avocado (100g) provides 160 calories, 2g of protein, 8.5g of carbohydrates, and 14.7g of fat. Avocados are an excellent nutritional source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. The following nutrition information is for half of an avocado and is provided by the USDA
The avocado is a rather distinctive fruit as it is high in healthy monounsaturated fats as compared to most of the fruits which are high in carbohydrates. Avocados are one of the nutrient-dense super foods that have numerous health benefits – ranging from promotion of heart health by providing antioxidants. A small serving of avocado provides substantial amounts of vitamins and mineral thus making it a superfood. Almost one-third of an avocado weighing 50g contains nearly 20 minerals and vitamins it. Avocado is virtually the only fruit which contains monounsaturated fats in such a balanced level that it promotes heart health and gives the body the good fats. Some varieties of avocado are naturally cholesterol-, sugar-, and sodium-free, thus making it healthier for everyone.Avocado is a fruit from the avocado tree scientifically known as Persea Americana. Avocado is pricey for its high nutrient value and is a must ingredient in numerous dishes due to its rich texture and good flavor. Avocado is the major ingredient in guacamole and many other popular dishes too. Avocado is becoming incredibly popular these days among health-conscious individuals. The nutritionists often refer to avocado as a superfood which is not stupefying given its health properties. There are numerous types of avocado that vary in color and shape, from round to pear-shaped and from black to green. The weight of avocados might also vary from 3 pounds (1.4 kg) to 8 ounces (220 grams). One of the most popular varieties of avocado is the Hass avocado.
One of the many reasons for the popular marketing of avocado is that it provides the body with essential fats that help in making the body leaner and avoids the blockage of arteries. According to the American Heart Association and Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a person must avoid the intake of trans fat, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars. Therefore, it is important to make healthier food choices and pick nutrient-dense foods like fresh fruits so that your body remains functional and free of diseases. Speaking of fats, the majority of the fat content in your diet must come from polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats to have a healthy heart. Since there are more than 75% of monounsaturated fats in one serving of avocados, so it is a heart-healthy food choice. Hass avocado is often known as alligator pear as it tends to have a pear shape which is very explainable and has bumpy, green skin similar to an alligator. In a single 3.5 ounce weighing, 100 grams of avocado gives you 160 calories, 15 grams of monounsaturated fats, and 2 grams of protein. Although avocado provides 9 grams of carbohydrates, but 7 grams of these carbohydrates are fibers, so there are only 2 grams of carbohydrates. Thus, making avocado a low-carbohydrate food which is well-suited for fat loss too. The 100 gram serving of avocado also provides 26% of the daily value of vitamin K, 17% of the daily value of vitamin C, 14% of the daily value of vitamin B5 and also gives you small amounts of copper, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, B3 (niacin), B1 (thiamine), and B2 (riboflavin).
Avocado is used for many different purposes other than eating. It is not only highly nutritious as a standalone fruit. It is also a good substitute for vegetable oil. Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than most plant-based cooking oils. This oil is one of the most efficient oils suitable for cooking because it smokes at about 520° Fahrenheit. The smoke point of traditional vegetable oil is about 400° to 450° Fahrenheit.
Avocado is made of tiny molecules that penetrate the hair easily. Avocado oil is a nutrient-rich ingredient that pairs well with hair follicles and strands. It strengthens and repairs strands of hair starting at the root. Avocado smoothens hair and fortifies it while protecting against many elements that may cause damage. While avocado hair products may cost a bit more, its protective properties may be worth it.
Avocado powder can be used in smoothies, ice creams and desserts, soups, spreads, sauces, dips and dressings, in ready-to-mix products, as a flavour ingredient, and in coatings for healthy snacks. It is another season when the much-loved avocados are in high supply in the market, with consumers spoilt for choice.
With the huge supply of the fruits in the market, prices have declined to as low as Shs500 per fruit from retailers and even much lower at wholesale. And quite a good number of fruits are going to waste for lack of market.
But as a consumer, seller or a farmer, you can profit from the current glut if you have some agro-processing techniques. These techniques will not only increase the number of avocado products in the market but also the shelf-life of the fruit and widen its appeal to consumers.