Persea gratissima, better known as Avocado is a Tree from the plant family, Lauraceae. The tree and its fruit are both commonly referred to as Avocado. It Fruit has also been commonly named Alligator Pear and Butter Pear.

The Avocado is native to Mexico and parts of South America. The fruit is classified as a Berry and is treated as a vegetable in most culinary dishes. It will grow in some cooler climates but Avocado is typically most prolific in Tropical climates.

Avocado is a rich source of Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre. It is one of the few fruits and vegetables that has a significant portion of Fat – largely monounsaturated. Avocado is a source of Protein.

Avocado contains the spectrum of B Group Vitamins – Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), Vitamin B6 and Folate (Vitamin B9).

Avocado is a good source of Vitamin C.

It contains a range of Minerals Potassium, Zinc, Phosphorous, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium and Iron, as well as calcium.

Avocado is often used as a substitute for meat in a main course or in mixed salads or on sandwiches. One of the most recognised uses of Avocado is in Guacamole. Guacamole can be used as a dip or as a substitute for butter or margarine on sandwiches. Chicken and Guacamole sandwiches are a common summer snack in many parts of the world, especially the USA.

Typically served as a vegetable, In some countries, Avocado is often used as an addition to sweet dishes, in milkshakes, baked custards and other deserts.

Its High Fat, Carbohydrates and Protein content make it an ideal addition to a vegan or vegetarians diet.

Avocado oil, which is extracted from the fruit flesh rather than the seed or skin as is typical in Oil production, is excellent for repairing wrinkled skin and can rejuvenate and maintain moisture keeping skin feeling soft and smooth.

Small dip bowls can be made with avocado skins and used for individual serves at parties. The flesh can be made into guacamole or similar dip and spooned back into the avocado shells.

Research has shown connections between the use of Avocado and the treatment of prostate and breast cancer. It appears avocado plays a part in killing cancer cells. It may assist in the treatment of or preventative maintenance of digestive related issues and Circulation problems.

Some people have reported allergies to Avocado reporting symptoms such as Itchy throat and Gastrointestinal discomfort and vomiting within an hour of consumption. People allergic to Avocado are often also allergic to other tropical fruits such as bananas and kiwi fruit. Similar symptoms to avocado allergy have been noted and linked to latex allergies. People allergic to Avocado are often also allergic to latex.

Author's Bio: 

Eric J. Smith is an Experienced Horticulturalist with a keen interest in Organic Gardening. Eric's interest in Organics also shows in his interest in Organic Nutrition and Organic Skincare. More information can be found on these by visiting his websites or Subscribe to Eric's FREE Health and Organic Newsletters via these websites.