Avocado has gained popularity due to its stellar nutrient profile and diverse culinary applications.
Rich in fiber, potassium, heart-healthy fats, and powerful antioxidants, this food may also offer various health benefits.
This article settles the debate on whether avocado is a fruit or vegetable.
Fruit or vegetable?
Avocado is a fruit.
More specifically, botanists define it as a large berry with a single seed.
Although it’s not nearly as sweet as many other fruits, it falls under the definition of fruit, which is “the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant that contains seed and can be eaten as food” (1).
Avocados grow on trees in warmer climates and are native to Mexico. They have a creamy, smooth texture and are covered by a bumpy, thick, dark-green or blackish skin.
Half of a small or one-third of a medium avocado (50 grams) is considered one serving. It contains 84 calories, is packed with healthy fats and nutrients, and may offer various health benefits (
The avocado is a fruit. In botanical terms, it’s a single-seeded berry that grows on trees in warmer climates and is native to Mexico.
How to distinguish between fruits and vegetables
Both fruits and vegetables come from plants, and it can be hard to distinguish between them.
While fruits develop from a plant’s flower and often contain seeds, vegetables usually consist of the stalks, flower buds, roots, or leaves.
Though these guidelines are not set in stone, they should be sufficient to distinguish between fruits and vegetables most of the time.
From a culinary perspective, certain fruits are often categorized as vegetables. These include cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
Fruits originate from plant parts that develop from flowers and contain seeds. Vegetables originate from plant stems, leaves, and roots, though certain fruits can also be categorized as vegetables.
Other fruits commonly considered vegetables
Avocados are not the only fruit you may think of as a vegetable.
Some fruits can be considered both. They’re fruits from a botanical perspective but usually categorized as vegetables in cooking or food science.
- butternut squash
A few fruits are generally thought of as vegetables. These include cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes.
How to add avocados to your diet
Avocados have many culinary applications.
They’re most commonly used to make guacamole.
This is done by simply mashing the avocado with lemon juice and adding other optional ingredients, such as onions, cilantro, chili, and tomatoes.
Avocados can also be eaten raw and taste delicious with a little bit of salt and pepper.
Furthermore, their smooth and creamy texture makes them a great choice for puddings or smoothies.
Lastly, avocados can be used as a replacement for butter — either as a spread or in baking.
Avocados can be eaten raw or made into guacamole and puddings. You can also add them to salads, recipes, and smoothies.
The bottom line
Despite often being used like a vegetable and eaten in salads, avocados are botanically a fruit.