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Wait ... Is an Avocado a Fruit or a Vegetable?

Good Housekeeping logo Good Housekeeping 7/11/2018 Amina Lake Abdelrahman
a bowl of fruit: It’s a common misconception that avocados are vegetables, but they're really fruits because they're the edible reproductive body of a plant. What's more, avocados technically count as berries because they contain seeds. © locknloadlabrador - Getty Images It’s a common misconception that avocados are vegetables, but they're really fruits because they're the edible reproductive body of a plant. What's more, avocados technically count as berries because they contain seeds.

There are a few things we know for sure about avocados: They’re full of healthy fats, they're the main ingredient in guacamole, and they’re fruits. If that last one tripped you up, don't worry - it’s a common misconception that avocados fall in the vegetable category.

Like pumpkins and tomatoes (also fruits), they don't taste sweet. But the sweet versus savory distinction doesn’t check out when it comes to the actual deciding factors between fruits and vegetables.

Avocados are the fruit of a tree native to Central America, and they're part of the Lauraceae family, which is comprised of about 2,850 different species of plants.

According to Merriam-Webster, a fruit is "the usually edible reproductive body of a seed plant; especially: one having a sweet pulp." In this case, since you can eat avocados and grow new ones from the pits, they're categorized as a fruit.

Even though this definition adds that fruits often taste sweet, it's definitely not a requirement. For comparison, potatoes are a vegetable because they're exclusively an edible part of the plant, but not a reproductive part.

So if you ever wanted to grow your own avocados, you can save the pits and plant them. But you'll have to have patience with trying this method instead of planting a tree that you purchased. The California Avocado Commission says it can take anywhere from five to 13 (!) years from planting a seed for the tree to actually bear fruit.

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And in case the fact that they're fruits isn't crazy enough, avocados also technically qualify as a type of berry in the field of botany. Merriam-Webster explains that "a true berry has its seeds inside the pulpy flesh." (Yes, that means that strawberries don't fit the technical definition for berries.)

To add more avocado into your diet, try them in salads, as an edible bowl, or with soup. Good Housekeeping's Nutrition Director Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, says they're healthy enough to eat every day when you use half of an avocado as a serving size.

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