Many people often ask, “Is an avocado a nut?”, a question that’s now breaking the internet. The answer to this question may be surprising, but the truth is that avocados are not nuts. Avocados, found in the same tree family as walnuts and pecans, can be classified as either a fruit or a seed.
Different fruits and vegetables can be referred to as “nuts.” Here we will discuss some facts about an avocado being a fruit or a nut.
What is the middle of an avocado called?
An avocado has three layers. These are the route skin, the edible middle part, and the innermost layer surrounding the seed.
The outermost layer is known as the exocarp. This is the skin of the avocado fruit (berry). It is also called the rind.
The middle of the avocado is referred to as the mesocarp. It is the common edible part of the fruit and makes up the more significant part of the ovary wall.
Lastly, there’s the brownish skin covering the seed. This innermost layer is called the endocarp. The endocarp varies in appearance depending on the avocado variety. Sometimes it’s hard and leathery, while others have a very soft and fleshy endocarp.
Is an avocado a fruit or a nut?
Avocado falls under fruits. This is unlike the expectation that they should be classified as tree nuts since they grow in trees.
To understand this classification, let’s consider that fruits are mainly divided into two groups: dry and fleshy fruits. Avocadoes have a fleshy mesocarp and are thus classified as fleshy fruits.
Fleshy fruits are further subdivided into drupes and berries. The avocado fruit, which is botanically a large berry, falls into the category of berries. Berries refer to those fruits with one or more scattered seeds and fleshy mesocarp and endocarp.
Avocadoes can also be classified as climacteric fruits. These are fruits that mature and ripen in the tree. Banana also fall in this group.
Why is an avocado a nut?
To answer this question, we need to understand that botanically, avocados are berries and not nuts. However, they share many structures and nutrient content characteristics with other tree nuts such as almonds or walnut.
Avocados also grow in trees and grow similar to nuts. This can be a misleading factor for many people who think that avocados should be classified as such because they are produced the same way as other tree nuts.
As to why avocado may be seen as a nut, it’s just a misconception. Avocadoes are fruits–berries, for that matter.
What is considered a tree nut?
Tree nuts are those that grow in trees. They have a hard coating with an interior seed or kernel. Unlike fruits, tree nuts usually have a tough outer skin, which is not edible. Some examples of tree nuts are walnuts, pecans, almonds, and cashews.
Tree nuts also have hard or leathery meat inside, unlike fruits that have a soft and freshly edible part.
Is an avocado a tree nut?
Avocados are not classified as nuts. They grow on trees, but they are fruits and not the kernels of another fruit or seed found inside the shell of other types of tree nuts.
The edible part of avocados can also be eaten raw, unlike most nutmeats that are often roasted or prepared in other ways before being eaten.
Avocados also differ from nuts as they do not have a hard outer shell, which is the case with tree nuts like walnuts and cashews. This means that part of the avocado fruit can be consumed even when it’s still green outside before it ripens.
Is avocado a nut allergy?
Avocados are fruits and therefore consumable by people who have a nut ALLERGY.
However, people with a chestnuts allergy should be cautious before eating avocados.
The protein that triggers an allergic reaction in some individuals upon eating chestnuts is also present in avocadoes. Consuming an avocado may thus trigger an allergic reaction in those with a chestnut allergy.
Health benefits of avocado nut:
Avocado benefits the body as it contains nutrients that are essential for our health, such as antioxidants and vitamins.
The following are the health benefits of eating avocado:
i. Anti-inflammatory benefits
If you suffer from arthritis, the omega-3 fatty acids present in avocadoes can help reduce the pain (in joints). In addition to the omega-3 fatty acids, avocadoes also have campesterol, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol, and phytosterol. All these fats reduce inflammation by lubricating the joints.
ii. Regulates your blood pressure
The potassium in avocadoes is a vasodilator, which means that it helps regulate blood pressure. This regulates heartbeats and generally reduces the risk of having a stroke or cardiac arrest. Also, avocadoes are low in sodium.
iii. Helps you lose weight
Avocado provides you with fiber, making you feel full for extended periods after consumption because it takes longer to digest. This can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).
iv. Prevents macular degeneration
The beta-carotene and vitamin C in avocadoes protect the eyes from developing age-related problems like macular degeneration. Avocadoes also contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These two nutrients are essential for good eyesight (including night vision) and countering the effects of ultraviolet radiation.
v. Boosts your brain function
Avocadoes contain folate, which is essential for cognitive functions like memory and focus. Also present in avocadoes are niacin (vitamin B) and vitamin E. These nutrients help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by protecting nerve cells from damage that can lead to dementia.
vi. Helps with digestion
The dietary fiber in avocadoes is essential for proper digestion. This fiber reduces the chance of constipation and helps in the regular movement of food through your digestive tract.
vii. Prevents skin diseases
The vitamins E & C and beta-carotene present in avocadoes can help prevent certain skin conditions, like psoriasis, eczema, or acne from developing on the skin’s surface. These nutrients also reduce wrinkles by promoting collagen production.
viii. Helps boost your fertility
Avocadoes contain vitamin E, which is essential for uterine health. This vitamin reduces the chances of developing certain uterine conditions like endometriosis, leading to infertility in women. Avocadoes are also high in folate, which enhances higher reproductive hormones concentrations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you eat avocado if you have a nut allergy
Yes, avocadoes are fruits and therefore consumable by people who have a nut allergy. However, if you have a chestnut allergy, it is best to be cautious with avocadoes since the protein that triggers an allergic reaction in chestnuts is also present in avocadoes. So if you have a chestnut allergy and eat an avocado, then it might cause an allergic reaction.
Are avocados hard to digest
The dietary fiber in avocadoes is beneficial for proper digestion. However, if you have an upset stomach, it is best to avoid avocadoes because they may further irritate the stomach lining.
Is avocado skin edible
No, the skin of avocadoes is not edible. The skin of avocadoes is hard and doesn’t taste good.
Farm animals should also not be fed avocado skin as it can be toxic to some.
Nevertheless, there are some avocado varieties whose skins are edible, e.g., topa topa.
The question as to whether an avocado is a nut is now answered. We have also cleared the doubt on nut allergies for people wanting to eat the fruit, as well as the benefits of eating them. If you want to know more about what avocado is, check out more content on this website.