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The Top 5 Mediterranean Fruits

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Avocados can be cultivated only in tropical or Mediterranean climates and sometimes in more temperate climates like California.

Avocados aren’t your typical fruit. Their flavor isn’t sweet or their texture crisp. Instead, avocados have a smooth, creamy, and rich texture due to the presence of fat — which is also absent from most fruit varieties. Because of this, avocados have a unique place in your diet.

They’re often added in lieu of meat for vegetarian dishes. They’re a rare source of both heart-healthy fat and fiber. (Nuts and seeds do the same, so if you are allergic to those, avocados can be an excellent substitute for you.)

Most of the calories you consume with avocados come from the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid, the same fat found in olive oil) within. These fatty acids act to lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and raise “good” (HDL) cholesterol. The remaining calories in avocados come from heart-healthy and cancer-fighting fiber.

Because they are rich in fat, they are calorie- and nutrient-dense. Just 1 ounce (or about one-fifth of a medium avocado) gives you about 50 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, and dozens of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients like potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and lutein, an antioxidant that protects eye health and prevents macular degeneration.

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