AVOCADO: The Alligator Pear
(Persea americana), a creamy rich fruit which is getting more
popular worldwide, is also known as “Alligator pear” due to its
pear shape and leather-like skin surface. Meanwhile, the name
“Avocado” is actually derived from the Aztec word "Ahuacatl".
The Spanish found it hard to pronounce and changed it to a more
convenient word, “Aguacate”,
which eventually became “Avocado” in English.
It is believed that avocados originated and were cultivated in
Mexico as early as 500 B.C. as Peru archeologists found
domesticated avocado seeds buried with Incan mummies dating back
to 750 B.C.
Avocados are native to Central and South America and have been
cultivated in both places since 8,000 B.C. Today, avocados are
grown and harvested commercially in many tropical and
subtropical countries such as Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand,
Vietnam, USA, Sri Lanka, Brazil, India, China, Japan, Peru,
Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ethiopia, Spain, Palestine,
South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Hawaii. You
can even plant it yourself in your own garden as long as the
weather temperature does not go lower than 5°C during the winter
Benefits of avocados
Avocados are very high in nutrition and it
can be a complete food for you.
Why is that so, you ask? Containing various
nutrients, vitamins and minerals that your body
need, avocados are considered one of the
healthiest fruit in the world. Avocados are a
good source of dietary fibre, folate, iron,
copper, vitamin K, vitamin B-complex, vitamin C,
vitamin E, phosphorus and magnesium.
Prostate Cancer Prevention
Avocado have been proven to inhibit the growth
of prostate cancer. An avocado is also a dietary
source of the carotenoid
lutein; containing measurable amounts of related
carotenoids (zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and
beta-carotene) plus huge amounts of tocopherols
(vitamin E). All of these nutrients combined
together are shown to be able to combat and
inhibit prostate cancer cells growth.
Oral Cancer Defense
Researcher has found that certain compounds in
avocados are capable to split out pre-cancerous and
cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them
without harming healthy cells.
Breast Cancer Protection
Avocado, like olive oil, is rich of oleic acid,
which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in
Avocados are consists high of carotenoid lutein than
any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein able
protects against macular degeneration and
cataracts, two disabling age-related eye
Avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol, a compound
that has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.
Researcher found that, 48 volunteers experienced an
average drop in cholesterol of 18% after eating
avocados for only one week. Avocados are not
only sodium-free and cholesterol-free but they
also contain a monounsaturated fat known as
oleic acid that can help to lower one’s
cholesterol level. Research found that people
with moderately high cholesterol levels have
showed health improvements after consuming a
diet high in avocados.
Avocados also contain great amounts of potassium
that help to control and prevent circulatory
diseases, like high blood pressure, heart
disease or stroke, even better than a
medium-sized banana. This fruit’s low sugar
content makes it most suitable for consumption
among diabetics or
One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended
daily value of folate. Studies show that people
who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower
incidence of heart disease than those who don't.
The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and
glutathione in avocado are also great for your
The high levels of folate in avocado are also
protective against strokes. People who eat diets
rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke
than those who don't.
Better Nutrient Absorption
Adding avocados into your salads can help to
increase absorption of carotenoids from the
vegetables. A study has found that even by
mixing a small amount of avocado into the salad
can significantly boost your body's ability in
absorbing the health-promoting carotenoids that
is provided in other vegetables. Certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten
with avocado. As per research, when a group of
people ate a salad containing
avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes
lycopene and beta carotene) than those who
didn't include avocados.
Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione,
an important antioxidant that researchers say is
important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart
Avocados are also rich in vitamin E,
an essential vitamin that protects against many
diseases and helps maintains overall health.
into your Diet!
We highly encourage you to eat more avocados
seeing that it contains so many amazing health
benefits in that small pear-shaped fruit.
Including them in your diet would be the best
way. Don’t know how? Here are some tips and
ideas for you.
1. Replace butter with avocado spread for your
2. Dip raw vegetables like lettuce sticks in
avocado puree instead of eating chips.
3. Mix avocado slices in your salad for a rich
4. Put avocado into your favorite creamy
tofu-based dressing to give it an extra richness
and beautiful green color.
5. Blend ripe avocados with sugar and milk for a
6. Add avocado cubes as one of the toppings for
your ice cream.
7. Use chopped avocado to garnish your black
8. Make an avocado salmon salad with mayonnaise.
Meanwhile, you can come out with your own
creative way of serving avocados too!
Avocados and Storing Them
It is difficult for you to
find the perfect avocado in the store because
avocados ripen within days and can easily turn
over-ripe. It is recommended that you purchase
unripe avocados a few days earlier than when you
need them so you can let the fruits ripen at
home before you consume them. This way you can
get a perfect fruit with no bruises.
There are some characteristics you need
to take note when selecting avocados:
1. A ripe avocado should be
slightly soft when you hold it. However, it
should not have any dark sunken spots or cracks
on the fruit.
2. Avocado that has a slight neck was probably
ripened on the tree. It will actually have
3. An unripe avocado is firmer to hold and less
likely to have bruises.
4. The Hass avocado should have a pebbled dark
green or black skin.
5. The Fuerte avocado has smoother, brighter
green skin. Avoid those that are too light and
6. Florida avocados have less fat and calories,
but their taste is not as rich as California
Open your avocados by
cutting it in half lengthwise, then twist it
gently in the opposite direction. Remove the pit
with a spoon or the knife and peel off the skin
Do not refrigerate avocados
when they are unripe. The cold
temperature will slow down the ripening process.
However, you may store your avocados in the
refrigerator when the fruit is ripe up to a week
long. It is highly recommended for you to store
avocados as a whole fruit because sliced ones
turn brown easily after being exposed to oxygen
in the air. Nevertheless, you may sprinkle some
lemon juice or vinegar on the fruit to avoid the
natural browning effect.