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Is Avocado a Fruit or Vegetable?

Is Avocado a Fruit or Vegetable

There’s no doubt that we love adding avocados to everything, whether they’re sweet or savory dishes – who doesn’t love avocado toast and guacamole?

But is avocado a fruit or vegetable? We’re here to end this long-standing debate! 

Avocados are fruits, specifically single-seeded berries from the laurel family (Lauraceae). They have a creamy yet slightly nutty flesh, making it a versatile ingredient for sweet and savory dishes. 

Read on to learn more about your favorite fruit!

Avocado 101

Image: Epicurious

Avocado is an evergreen tropical flowering tree native to Central America. It comes from the laurel family and is widely cultivated for its nutritious, fleshy fruits.

Avocado trees are native to Mexico and thrive in warm climates. It can reach 30 to 40 feet and spread between 20 to 30 feet. 

This is a low-branching tree with rounded canopies that are also perfect for providing shade to other plants. 

It also has dark evergreen oval leaves that grow up to one foot long. The leaves are arranged spirally around the branches. 

On the other hand, the avocado tree has a light gray bark and shallow roots that grow on the top 6 to 8 inches of soil. The avocado tree blooms clusters of yellow-green flowers between the winter and spring. 

The flowers and their petals then wilt away and begin their fruit production. They produce these creamy, smooth-textured fruits covered with thick, dark-green skin.

Here’s an overview of the physical characteristics of an avocado plant. 

Scientific NamePersea americana
Common Name• Alligator Pear
• Avocado
Region of OriginCentral America
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone10a, 10b, 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b
Height30 to 40 feet
Lifespan50 years
Propagation• Seed
• Cuttings
• Grafting
• Layering
Growth RateMedium

Every avocado contains a seed called the pit, surrounded by a three-layered pericarp. Check out the table below to see what’s inside the pericarp of an avocado fruit. 

Endocarp• Innermost layer
• Thin and unidentifiable
MesocarpFleshy, edible layer
Exocarp• Outer layer
• Skin or rind

Fruits are classified between drupes and berries. Drupes have tough inner layers and single stones or pits like peaches, while berries have fleshy inner layers and have more than one seed, like kiwi.

So, avocados are classified as berries because of their fleshy endocarp and mesocarp layers. 

What is the nutritional value of avocados?

Nutrition Value of Avocados
Image: BBC Good Food

One serving of avocado is only 80 calories but comes packed with 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, making it a good source of healthy fat and a staple for a balanced diet.

They contain over 75% of healthy unsaturated fat, making them a good food substitute to reduce blood cholesterol levels. This fruit is also sodium free, making them a great alternative to processed food.

It’s also rich in nutrients lacking in processed food and modern-day diets, such as magnesium, folate, and vitamins C, E and B6. 

Here’s a breakdown of all the nutrients you can get from 7 ounces (201 grams) of avocado. 

Fat30 grams
Protein4 grams
Carbohydrates17 grams
Fiber14 grams
Vitamin C22% of the daily value
Vitamin E28% of the daily value
Vitamin K35% of the daily value
Riboflavin20% of the daily value
Niacin22% of the daily value
Pantothenic acid56% of the daily value
Folate41% of the daily value
Magnesium14% of the daily value
Potassium21% of the daily value
Copper42% of the daily value
Manganese12% of the daily value

What are the health benefits of avocado?

Health Benefits of Avocado
Image: Tasting Table

Avocados are an excellent source of nutrients and antioxidants for vision, gut health and pregnant women. 

It also helps prevent inflammation and chronic diseases, reduces the risk of heart disease, promotes weight loss and prevents cancer and osteoporosis.

Read on to learn about each health benefit in detail!

1. Avocados prevent inflammation and chronic diseases. 

Avocados prevent inflammation and chronic diseases
Image: Better Homes & Gardens

By eating half of the avocado fruit, you’ll already get the 15% daily need for B6, which helps prevent inflammation and protect against oxidative damage and prevents chronic diseases.

Studies have also shown that consuming antioxidants contained in avocados, like vitamin C and E, carotenoids, and other phenolic compounds, have led to better cognitive function and improved heart health of individuals.

2. Avocados support good vision.

Avocados support good vision
Image: Self

Are you spending a lot of screen time these days? Avocados can also help keep your eyes healthy. 

They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help minimize eye damage, especially from UV lights. It also has beta-carotene, which reduces your risk of developing macular degeneration. 

3. Avocados promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your body.

Avocados promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your body
Image: California Avocados

Avocados are high in fiber, 14 grams in each avocado, to be exact. 

Having enough fiber in your body promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your digestive system. It also reduces bile acid concentration which induces intestinal inflammation if left at a high level.

You’ll be less likely to develop inflammatory bowel disease, colon or colorectal cancer with a healthy gut. 

4. Avocados provide nutrient needs in pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Image: Serious Eats

Pregnant and breastfeeding women need an increased intake of folate, potassium and vitamin C, which avocado contains a lot. 

For instance, an avocado can provide 27% of the recommended folate intake of pregnant women. Folate reduces a mother’s risk of suffering miscarriage or the baby from neural tube abnormalities.

Avocado’s high fiber content also helps prevent constipation, a common problem among pregnant and breastfeeding women. So, we highly recommend incorporating avocados to get enough vitamins and minerals for mothers out there.

5. Avocados reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Avocados reduce the risk of heart disease
Image: SciTech Daily

Avocados have high potassium and magnesium content, which help decrease the levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol, which contributes to plaque buildup on artery walls and leads to heart diseases.

Potassium is a crucial element in regulating blood pressure and the nervous system. 

This fruit is significantly rich in potassium, a nutrient of public health concern, as more people fail to consume at least 4,7000 mg daily. 

So, adequate potassium intake, like eating avocados, will significantly help prevent hypertension and stroke – risk factors for many heart diseases. 

6. Avocados aid in weight loss.

Avocados aid in weight loss
Image: South China Morning Post

Avocados may be high in calories, but it’s rich in nutrients, fiber and healthy fat, promoting satiety as it makes you feel full and less hungry.

Studies have also shown that increased avocado intake leads to decreased abdominal fat and overall weight loss in individuals. 

7. Avocados help prevent cancer.

Avocados help prevent cancer
Image: Times of India

Avocados have compounds like folate, carotenoids and phytochemicals that prevent the onset of cancer. 

For instance, folate has been associated with reduced risk for colon, stomach, cervical, throat, breast and pancreatic cancers. Carotenoids, on the other hand, prevent cancer from progressing.

8. Avocados help prevent osteoporosis.

Avocados help prevent osteoporosis
Image: Surfer Today

Vitamin K is an essential nutrient to keep bones healthy; you can get many of them from avocados. 

Eating just half of an avocado will already give you 18% of the daily value of vitamin K that your body needs. 

Vitamin K will increase calcium absorption and reduce excretion through your urine with the right amount. 

FAQs on Avocado

How do you distinguish between fruits and vegetables?

Fruits are the sweet and fleshy product that develops from the ovary of a plant, while vegetables are the parts of a plant consumed by humans as food, such as the leaves, stems, roots, flowers and stalks of the plant. 

What are other fruits commonly considered vegetables?

Some fruits commonly considered vegetables because of their savory taste are eggplants, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, pumpkins, and zucchini.

Is avocado a Filipino fruit?

Avocado is not a Filipino fruit. It was first introduced to the Philippines by Spaniards using an avocado seed from Mexico. 

How many avocados can I eat in a day?

You can eat one-half to one avocado a day. Daily consumption of avocado leads to the development of fiber-fermenting bacteria and lower bile acid concentrations.

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