Love ‘em or hate ‘em, avocados are the new health craze that has taken over the younger generation. Often used in salads, topped on breakfast toasts and loaded on tortilla chips, this versatile fruit is here to stick around, so we might as learn a little more about it.
Americans are consuming over 22 million kilograms of avocados per week and this number will only increase in the coming years. For the guacamole-obsessed population, here are some of the most fascinating facts about their favorite fruit that they probably didn’t know before.
Avocados are Called Alligator Pears
People love avocados. So much so that they even gave it a nickname called ‘Alligator Pears’. Now, this might seem confusing to you at first but if you pay attention to the skin texture of ripe avocado, it actually resembles that of an alligator! Not to mention that this creamy fruit looks like a pear from its shape, hence the crazy nickname. But in all honesty, an alligator fruit or not, we love our avocados!
Avos are Actually Poisonous!
As humans, we can consume a dozen avocados in a sitting and be completely fine, but even a small amount of this fruit can be dangerous for your pets. This is because avos contain a toxic chemical called persin which is poisonous to animals like birds, goats, rabbits and pigs.
Back in the day, avocados were often mixed with cheese as a poison recipe for killing rodents. However, many modern studies have shown that eating avocados only leads to mild stomach issues in some cats and dogs, whereas others are not affected by them at all.
They Make a Great Hair Mask
Avocados are packs with healthy fats and moisture which means that hair needs them too. This might not sound appealing, but mashed avocado makes a really good hair mask. The healthy fats will lock the moisture in your hair and keep it from becoming dry or frizzy.
Avocados are also rich in other vitamins and minerals that help your hair grow faster and healthier. An avocado mask is also great for rehydrating a dry scalp and preventing dandruff which is a leading cause of hair loss. So instead of keeping avocados in the kitchen, keep them in the bathroom.
They Grow in Pairs
If you’ve even planted an avocado tree in your backyard (if you haven’t, now’s the right time for it!), you’re probably familiar with the science behind this fruit’s pollination process. The truth is that avocados don’t pollinate on their own which is why they must be planted next to another avocado tree in order to bear fruit.
As strange as it sounds, avocado trees almost always grow in pairs. Well, all the more reasons to eat this delicious fruit. Avocados come in 500 different varieties but the most abundant one in US supermarkets is the Hass avocado.
Picking Out the Ripe Avocados
In a perfect world, every avocado you cut into is perfectly ripe and creamy, with its flesh peeling right off the skin. But unfortunately, there have been many a time when you slice your expensive avocado in half, only to discover that it’s hard as a rock. To avoid the disappointment of an unripe avo, there are a few ways to check whether the fruit is ready to be eaten.
One of the ways to check this is by picking up the avocado and feeling it in your hand. If it feels heavy and has a rough, dark green skin, it means that it’s ripe and creamy. Even if you buy an unripe avocado, you can simply chuck in a paper bag and leave it out for a few days until it matures. If you want to speed up the ripening process, we recommend putting the avocado next to a banana for at least 24 hours.