May 30, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

What We Didn’t Know About a Fruit That’s Actually a Vegetable


Do you like avocado toast? Or do you prefer guacamole? Either way, you are clearly avocado lovers.

Check out some interesting facts about the green wonder of nature.

Although avocado is often called a vegetable, it is actually a fruit that belongs to the bay family. The name “avocado” was invented by the Irishman Sir Hans Sloane: that’s what he named the tree in 1696 in a catalog of Jamaican plants. He also called the tree “alligator pear” because of the shape and rough texture of the skin. There are more than 500 varieties of avocados grown around the world.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the heaviest avocado weighed 2.5 kg! The fruit that set the record on January 3, 2018 belongs to Felicidad Pasalo from the US state of Hawaii.

Avocados were used by land conquerors to make ink. They discovered that the seeds secrete a liquid that turns red when exposed to air.

Avocados are mainly grown in Mexico. Scientists have even found evidence that this fruit was eaten as early as 10,000 BC.

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Avocados are expensive, at least compared to most fruits, due to high labor costs. High-hanging fruits, which can only be picked by hand, are removed from the trees with long picking sticks. But the tree can reach a height of 20 m!

Although the avocado grows on a tree, it ripens only after it is harvested. The easiest way to get it to do this faster at home is to keep it in a paper bag (from the supermarket, in standard packaging of vegetables and fruits) at room temperature.

Among the Aztecs The avocado was considered a symbol of love and fertility. Although plants are capable of self-pollination, a good harvest is only possible with cross-pollination. In South America, the main pollinators of avocados are stingless bees, although the flowers are also visited by a variety of other insects.

Avocados are rich in vitamins, nutrients, and fiber (soluble and insoluble). It also has more potassium than bananas and more protein than any other fruit. Dogs and cats can be fed avocados, but only without the skin, as they can be toxic to animals.

In studies where people ate a diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids, avocados showed a reduction in total cholesterol (by 8.2%), LDL and apolipoprotein.

In studies on rats, it was found that avocados has protective properties against the gastric mucosa and liver. Scientists are studying the exact mechanism of these properties, as well as potential applications for humans.

Study in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus demonstrated improvement in lipid profile and blood glucose maintenance. Complex carbohydrates in the diet were partially replaced by monounsaturated fatty acids, with avocados being one of the main sources.

Two separate randomized studies showed that combination of avocado and soybeans can be used as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug in patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis knee or hip. Efficacy was higher in patients with hip osteoarthritis.

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Research on this mixture in vitro And in vivo When studying cartilage destruction, they showed that a mixture of avocado and soy caused a decrease in the spontaneous production of inflammatory mediators (for example, prostaglandin E2) from chondrocytes. This combination of avocado and soy (1 part avocado and 2 parts soy) should be considered as a symptomatic slow-acting drug with a lasting effect.

By the way, avocados have begun to be grown in Crete, but so far the production is “faltering.”



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