The avocado comes from a tree native to Central Mexico. While it is common to refer to the avocado as a vegetable, botanically speaking it is a fruit. Avocados were known to the Aztecs as “the fertility fruit”. The most well-known variety of avocado is Hass. Commonly grown in California, the Hass avocado makes up about 95% of the avocado crop in the United States and is available year-round.
Other varieties of avocado include Fuerte, also known as Florida avocados, Cocktail avocados which have no pit and there is even a Bacon variety. Avocados have a smooth buttery texture and can be enjoyed a number of ways. Proper storage and preparation are important to not only enjoying the taste of the avocado but deriving the nutritional benefits as well.
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The majority of avocados’ calories come oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, similar to the fat found in olives and olive oil. MUFAs may improve insulin sensitivity and play a role in the prevention of metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. Read more about the health benefits of avocados.