This Is What Causes Brown Spots on Your Avocados

Yes, 'cados seem to go from underripe to overripe in seconds. But what are the brown spots in avocado flesh? Is your avocado is past its prime?

I’m of the opinion that most things taste better with avocado in the recipe. If you’re a fan of the superfood like me, you probably already know just how good the green fruit—yes, fruit—is for your health. From supporting heart function with healthy fats to being high in fiber, potassium and over 20 different vitamins and minerals, the health benefits of avocados are abundant.

The rich, creamy taste is great too, which makes it even more disheartening when unfortunate brown spots in avocado flesh threaten to overturn your entire recipe for guacamole.

Usually, food turning brown indicates it should be tossed. But if you notice brown specks and streaks in the green, creamy part of an avocado, don’t throw it out.

What Are the Brown Spots in an Avocado?

You can attribute the brown spots in your avocado to science in the works, not mold or insects.

Like any other fruit that was once part of a living plant, avocados have an intricate cellular system used to transport and store things like nutrients, water and sugar. When something is out of whack, vascular browning happens, and the invisible transport systems shut down, change color and become visible to the eye.

Usually, the explanation for vascular browning is found in your fridge. Harsh, cold temperatures can weaken the cells in an avocado’s tissue, so even after a few days of ripening at room temp, the airways begin to shut down as the cells in the tissue die.

Vascular airways aside, here are some surprising facts about avocados you probably didn’t know.

Are My Avocados Still Safe to Eat?

Probably. Just be sure to do a taste test before you scoop the whole thing into your bowl of guac.

Though they don’t look appetizing, avocados with slight vascular browning are usually harmless. With time, as the browning gets heavier or turns black, it’s best to toss the fruit, as a rancid taste comes with dying vascular cells.

If your avocados are ready to go, here’s how to keep your fresh guacamole from browning.

How to Eat Avocado with Every Meal
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Hannah Twietmeyer
Hannah is a writer and content creator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a passion for all things food, health, community and lifestyle. She is a journalism graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a previous dining and drink contributor for Madison Magazine.