Avocados grow on trees but are not classified as tree nuts
Technically, tree nuts are the seeds of certain fruit-bearing trees. You’ve probably heard of tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, pecans, cashews, etc., all of which grow on trees.
But even though avocados grow on trees, they are not classified as tree nuts. They are instead classified as a type of berry or climacteric fruit, which means they mature and ripen on trees, similar to bananas. And while tree nuts have hard outer shells with hard or leathery meat inside, avocados have leathery skin, a large pit and soft fruit.
Also known as alligator pear or butter fruit, the avocado originates from a tree called Persia americana and belongs to a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. These trees are partially self-pollinating and are often propagated through grafting to maintain predictable fruit quality and quantity.
Are avocados good for you?
Enriched with important minerals and vitamins for the body, avocados are one of the most nutritious fruits that are also popular to use in many recipes, especially in vegan and paleo dishes. Avocado oil or butter (made from the flesh and not the seed) is also used in skin and hair products for their hydrating properties.
What are the health benefits of avocados?
Aside from being delicious, avocados have a ton of health benefits.
Avocados are rich in anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve arthritis pain. They are also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help lubricate joints. They contain unique fats such as phytosterol, campesterol (a plant hormone), beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol, which keep inflammation under control.
Regulates blood pressure
Promote heart health
Avocados are packed with antioxidants and monosaturated fats that help keep the heart healthy and reduce the risk of stroke. Avocados can also regulate low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, as well as blood triglycerides.
Maintains eye health
Avocados are loaded with beta-carotene and antioxidants that are good for eye health. They also contain nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin that help maintain good eyesight and night vision and minimize damage from ultraviolet light. The high vitamin A content also helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration that comes with old age. Monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados help with better absorption of beneficial fat-soluble antioxidants such as beta-carotene.
Good source of folate
Avocados are a good source of folate, which is good for pregnant women because it promotes healthy fetal development. Studies show that folate can also reduce the risk of depression by preventing the buildup of homocysteine that tends to hamper the circulation and delivery of nutrients to the brain.
Aids weight loss
The high fiber content in avocados can also help with weight loss, with 100 grams of avocado containing 7 grams of fiber. Because fiber takes your body a long time to digest, it makes you feel fuller longer, preventing you from eating too much. Avocados are very low in carbs too as well.
Improves skin health
Avocados are rich in vitamins C and E, both of which are essential in keeping the skin healthy and glowing.
Medically Reviewed on 5/26/2021