A favorite of the Aztecs, the avocado is native to Central America, with evidence of avocado cultivation in Mexico for thousands of years. Avocados were first cultivated in the United States in the mid-1800s. California produces nearly 90% of the domestic crop. Avocados will not ripen on the tree. This delay in ripening is a boon to growers, who can leave avocados on the tree for up to 7 months if market conditions aren't favorable when the fruit is first ready to harvest.
- cholesterol-lowering food, second only to olives in monounsaturated (good) fat
- contains lots of heart-healthy folate and oleic acid
- rich in E, K, and B vitamins, with more potassium than bananas
- helps guard against high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke