ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Amazing Truth About Avocados

Updated on February 20, 2017
JohnMello profile image

John Mello is a composer, musician, and author of books for children and adults.

An Avocado Tree

Avocado tree (Persea americana)
Avocado tree (Persea americana) | Source

Avocado's Origins

Avocados are native to Central and South America where they have been cultivated for over 10,000 years.

Another name for the avocado is the alligator pear, so-called because of its pear shape and the alligator-like texture of its skin.

The Aztec word for avocado was ahuacatl, which means "testicle tree". A look at the picture below (avocado on a tree) might help throw some light on this rather graphic description.

Avocados have a reputation for being fatty or even fattening. That’s true on one level, but it’s only part of the story.

Did you know that avocados are fruits, and not vegetables? According to the University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources, the avocado is actually a single-seeded berry of the fleshy (as opposed to dry) variety.

Here are a few more facts that might surprise you.

Avocados are nutrient rich, packed with nearly 20 minerals and vitamins guaranteed to make staying healthy a lot easier. They are fatty, it's true, but with the right kind of "healthy" fat. 3 slices of avocado (roughly one ounce) contain 50 calories but less than 5 grams of fat, making them an indispensable part of any calorie-controlled diet.

An avocado cut in half - how tempting!
An avocado cut in half - how tempting! | Source

Avocados are Loaded with Potassium

Potassium is a mineral noted for its ability to protect against circulatory diseases. It regulates blood pressure and lessens the likelihood of heart disease or stroke. Just one avocado contains more potassium than a medium-sized banana - 50 per cent more - and considerably less sugar. These super foods also provide healthy amounts of vitamins C, E, B6 and K, as well as iron, copper, and dietary fiber.

Avocados make a tasty addition to a healthy salad
Avocados make a tasty addition to a healthy salad | Source

Fast Fact about Folate

The word "folate" comes from the Latin word folium, which means leaf. You can see how similar the word is to foliage, which can help identify sources of the vitamin, found in abundance in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and asparagus.

Avocados are Full of Folate

Folate or folic acid is a type of B vitamin that works to enable the body to produce red blood cells. Folate deficiencies are common in older people, particularly those aged 75 and above, while a lack of folate during pregnancy can result in babies being born with birth defects.

Folate helps with cell growth and reproduction and is also beneficial for maintaining a healthy heart. Found in beans and green leafy vegetables, you can get about one quarter of your RDA of folate from just one large avocado.

Avocados contain carotenoid lutein, useful for maintaining healthy eyesight
Avocados contain carotenoid lutein, useful for maintaining healthy eyesight | Source

Avocados Contain Healthy Fats

What are "healthy" fats? They're the unsaturated fats that have been scientifically proved to contribute to a strong heart and healthy cardiovascular system. Avocados are rich in mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, both of which help your body make the most of fat-soluble nutrients.

Saturated fats, on the other hand, are known to lead to obesity and heart disease, which is why most of the world's government health departments recommend limiting or reducing their intake. Substituting mono-unsaturated fats for the saturated variety is also believed to boost energy and reduce irritability.

As you might suspect, moderation is the only sensible approach. Avocado IS good for you, but that doesn’t mean you should eat nothing but avocado. A balanced diet is always the practical solution to make sure you get all the nutrition you need to stay fit and healthy.

Avocado cross-section hinting at the luscious fruity goodness inside
Avocado cross-section hinting at the luscious fruity goodness inside | Source

Avocados are Cholesterol & Sodium Free

Cholesterol is a naturally occurring body fat which is important for cell structure, making hormones, and providing energy. Too much cholesterol in the blood can cause hardening and narrowing of the arteries, conditions which will ultimately lead to a whole host of illnesses and diseases.

Avocados are completely free of cholesterol and sodium, and the unsaturated fats contained in the fruit aid in the growth and development of the brain and nervous system. So these unassuming fruits will keep your arteries clear, keep your brain working well, and stop you from ingesting excessive amounts of salt that can wreak havoc with your health.

Avocados are fruit that grow on trees and ripen after being harvested
Avocados are fruit that grow on trees and ripen after being harvested | Source

What's In An Avocado?

Amount per 1-oz Serving
Dietary fiber
Makes you feel full, promotes healthy laxation, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
2 g
Folate (folic acid)
Needed to make normal red blood cells and prevent anemia.
27 mcg
Boosts energy levels to combat fatigue and regulate body temperatures.
0.2 mg
Assists with muscle control, energy distribution, and protein production.
9 mg
Regulates blood pressure and lowers the risk of bone loss.
150 mg

As well as the minerals listed above, avocados are also packed with a whole bunch of vitamins, such as:

  • Niacin (Vitamin B3) - for converting food to energy and helping digestive system and nerves function.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) - for releasing energy from carbohydrates and red blood cell production.
  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) - essential for growth, for breaking down and using food, and for production of hormones and cholesterol.
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) - helps the body make antibodies to fight off disease and also keeps blood sugar levels stable.
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1) - helps convert carbohydrates into energy and is essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system.
  • Vitamin E - boosts the immune system and opens up blood vessels to prevent clotting.
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) - vital for maintaining the condition of skin, bones, and connective tissue. It also promotes healing and helps your body absorb iron.
  • Vitamin K - keeps bones and tissues healthy and makes proteins for normal blood clotting.

Absolutely Avocados
Absolutely Avocados
75 to-die-for recipes like Crab and Avocado Quesadilla and Avocado and Tuna Ceviche

What Makes Avocados So Amazing

As well as being nutrient dense and filled with gorgeous goodness, avocado is one of the most versatile and user-friendly foods on the planet. Here are some more fabulous facts about this fantastic fruit you may not be aware of:

  • It makes up one of your 5-a-day (fruit) - or 8-a-day, depending on changing government guidelines
  • It works equally well in savory or sweet dishes
  • It packs any recipe with fabulous flavor
  • It makes an ideal first fruit for babies
  • It can be used as a trendy serving dish when cut in half
  • It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner
  • It makes dressings and smoothies rich and creamy, but without adding fat or sugar
  • It's a great vegetarian substitute for animal fats
  • It can be eaten with just a spoon
  • It can be eaten as a dip OR a dipper
  • It complements almost every style of cuisine, from Mexican to Asian
  • It can be eaten raw OR baked, grilled, or fried
  • It can be part of a starter, salad, main course, dessert, smoothie, Popsicle, or practically any other way you can think of eating it

Avocados are at the heart of any decent guacamole
Avocados are at the heart of any decent guacamole | Source

Avocados were considered to be symbols of love and fertility by the Aztecs. This could be due to the fact that the fruit grows in pairs on the tree and that one avocado tree needs another avocado tree nearby to propagate.

A pair of avocados growing on a tree
A pair of avocados growing on a tree | Source

Avocado Recipes

There are plenty of easy and interesting recipes online to turn an ordinary avocado into a spectacular meal. One of the best sites is AvocadoCentral, which you can visit by following this link. The recipe for Raspberry Avocado Salad is positively divine.

To get kids (or fussy grown-ups) to eat more avocado, try making an avocado popsicle. Add half an avocado, a dash of lime juice, and 2 tablespoons of honey to 1 cup of milk, and then freeze in the shape of your choice.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)