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Often hailed as a ‘superfood’, avocado is a fruit (yes, fruit), that’s jam-packed full of nutrients.1
High in healthy fats, there have been numerous studies which show its extensive health benefits (but more on those later).
Here, we explore the benefits of avocado, as well as taking a detailed look at its nutritional profile, and sharing some of our favourite ways to cook avocado. Enjoy!
The avocado (Persea americana) comes from a tree that’s believed to have originated in south-central Mexico, and believe it or not, it’s actually classed as a fruit!
It comes from the flowering-plant family Lauraceae and is actually closer to a berry than a vegetable.
You might be surprised that there are varieties of avocado, but there are!
There are many types of avocado, changing in size, colour, texture, and taste depending on where they’re grown.
The Hass is the everyday avocado you know and love.
It’s available throughout the year and has become popular in all sorts of dishes because of its buttery texture and nutty flavour.
This is a variety of avocado from South Florida and it’s recognisable for its shiny skin.
Its flesh is more watery than the Hass, and it often leaks when it’s being cut.
Often available during the summer months, the Lula retains more water than many types of avocado, making it quite susceptible to fungi.
It’s relatively resistant to cold weather, but it naturally has fewer healthy oils compared to other avocado and grows to weigh approximately 1 pound.
The Pinkerton has rough skin that’s relatively easy to remove, has a smaller seed than the everyday avocado you’re used to, and is recognisable for its unique oblong shape.
When full-grown, it’s likely to weigh between 0.5–1.5 pounds.
Another avocado that only appears during the summer, the Reed is roughly the size of a softball and has a light, subtle flavour.
Unlike most avocados, its skin remains the same shade of green throughout the ripening process.
The Fuerte avocado is grown in Spain, where it gets its name, meaning “strong.”
It’s available for roughly eight months in a year and is shaped almost like a pear.
The flesh has an oily texture compared to some types of avocado.
The Zutano grows to be approximately 0.5-1 pound and its flesh has a mild flavour.
Its skin tends to be a light yellow-green compared to the darker greens and purples of most avocados.
Coming all the way from Australia, the Sharwil has a rough, green skin and yellow flesh.
It’s oilier than most avocados and has a strong flavour, but its growth can be heavily stunted by frost.
The Brogden avocado is a dark-purple hybrid of West Indian and Mexican varieties.
Though it’s very resistant to the cold, it’s hard to peel and thus not a popular commercial variety.
The Monroe is a large avocado that can weigh over 2 pounds (910 grams).
It’s a firmer variety and has less watery flesh.
Avocados can be used for many things outside of cooking, including:
The avocado oil benefits are numerous for your skin, making avocados a great alternative for a natural, at-home face mask.
This is because the nutrients found in avocados are linked to protection against sun damage.
Avocado oil can also be used to cook with, similar to olive oil, although it can reach a much higher temperature without smoke.
As there are many nutrients, such as Biotin, in avocados, they can also be used to support healthy hair in a range of shampoos and conditioners.
Avocados are suitable for most people, but there are some people who are recommended to avoid eating them, including:
Here are just some of our favourite ways to prepare avocado:2
looking for a simple but delicious way to eat an avocado?
Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, paprika, balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice and enjoy!
For a delicious, healthy lunch, simply stuff your avocado with something (we love tuna mayo with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper).
Salads are well-known for being light in calories, so slicing up an avo and adding it to your salad is a great way to feel fuller for longer.
Swap out the fish in your sushi rolls for avocado to make them veggie. They’ll give them a creamier texture.
Avocados upgrade any slice of toast to a full brunch, especially with a runny egg on top.
Grilled avocados can be a healthier BBQ alternative without losing out on flavour.
Simply cut in half, remove the seed, brush with olive oil and lemon juice, then grill for 2-3 minutes.
No nachos are complete without fresh guacamole.
It’s as simple as that.
Adding a serving of avocado to your smoothie can be a quick way to add in healthy fats, fibre, nutrients, and easy calories.
Drop it in, blend it up, and drink away.
If you love avocado enough, they can be added to almost any meal. Soups, sandwiches, curries… Really, anything you want.
Your guide to avocado benefits is complete.
Now you understand the true impact of the avocado, from the different types available and ways to enjoy them, to avocado nutrition, health benefits, and FAQs.
Time to make plans for a brunch packed with fibre, healthy fats, and vitamins?
See just what else this benefit-packed fruit can do for you…
Last updated: 7 September 2021
Joined Holland & Barrett: January 2018
Bsc in Nutrition, Registered Associate Nutritionist and Certification in Pre and Post Natal Nutrition
Donia started her career as a freelance nutritionist, later she joined Nestle as their Market Nutritionist to help support their healthier product range, before joining the team at Holland & Barrett in January 2018.
Donia has over 6 years experience as a Nutritionist and also works with clients on a one to one basis to support their goals which include weight loss, prenatal and postnatal nutrition and children’s health.