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Avocados are the ‘trendy’ produce right now. It seems like everywhere you turn they show up in dips (guacamole), salads, smoothies, and even main dishes. You can eat avocado as is or mix it with your favorite foods.
What’s the hype about, though? Are avocados really the superfood they claim they are? Keep reading to find out.
What Nutrients Do Avocados Provide?
We tend to think avocados earned their title as a ‘superfood’ as they contain more than 20 vitamins. How many foods can you list that pack that many nutrients into one vegetable?
Just 1/3 of an avocado provides 80 calories and folate, Vitamin K, riboflavin, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, omega-3, magnesium, and iron among other nutrients.
Is The Fat In Avocados Good Or Bad?
The fat in avocados is monounsaturated fat, which is the only fat we can call good! How’s that for exciting, right? You can eat fat and know you’re doing something good for your body.
According to California Avocados, more than ¾ of the fat in avocados is the unsaturated ‘good fat.’ Just be careful, though, because there is such a thing as too much good fat.
While the good fat helps lower your ‘bad cholesterol,’ too much of anything isn’t good.
Avocados have calories and if you consume too much, you use up your daily allowance of calories on one food.
The Benefits Of Eating Avocado
Aside from the many nutrients in avocados, what other benefits do they offer?
- Lowers blood pressure and reduces stroke risk – Avocados contain more potassium than bananas, which is great for lowering blood pressure and the risk of a stroke.
- Helps menstrual cramps – The omega-3 content in avocados helps relax your muscles, which reduces cramping during your period.
- Good for diabetics – Many fiber-rich foods cause blood sugar to spike, but avocados are low in carbs, making them naturally good food for diabetics. As a bonus, avocados help lower blood sugar too.
- Helps skin cell regeneration – Vitamins A and E both help regenerate skin cells, which helps with fine lines, wrinkles, and environmental damage.
- Helps fight the risk of osteoporosis – Vitamin K helps build strong bones, which helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Half of the avocado offers as much as 25 percent of the necessary Vitamin K.
- Helps improve vision – Vitamin A and E content, as well as the lutein and zeaxanthin help, promote good eye health, reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related vision loss.
- Helps with weight loss – Avocados fill you up thanks to the fat and fiber, which makes you less likely to eat mindlessly, which can lead to weight loss.
- Supports bowel health – Because avocados have high fiber content, it helps regulate your digestive system, which means more regular bowel movements and it may even help prevent certain digestive diseases such as diverticulitis.
- Helps reduce inflammation – The antioxidants in avocados help your body fight inflammation, which may help chronic pain and illness.
- Helps reduce the risk of depression – The omega-3 content along with tryptophan and folate help fight inflammation in the brain, which leads to depression.
Other Ways To Use Avocados
If you don’t love the taste of avocados but want the benefits, using it topically may benefit you in any of the following ways:
- Moisturize the skin – Avocados’ fatty acids help repair your skin while leaving it smooth, and it may even help prevent wrinkles.
- Smooth damaged hair – Avoid harmful chemicals and restore your hair to its natural health with avocados.
- Cure bad breath – Avocado oil may help eliminate bad bacteria in your gut, which helps eliminate bad breath.
How To Find Good Avocados
Picking an avocado may seem difficult because of its darker skin color, but there are a few tried and true tricks to help you pick a good one:
Hold the avocado in your hand. You should be able to squeeze it slightly, while still feeling the fruit’s firmness. If it squeezes too easily, it’s too ripe.
Most avocados’ skin turns darker than normal when they are ripe.
Avoid avocados with extremely dark skin or that look bruised.
A Hack For Ripening Avocados
Want a faster way to ripen avocados that aren’t quite ready to eat? Wrap them in a sealed paper bag with a banana.
Make sure the bag has no holes and is sealed shut. Leave it for a day or two and the ethylene gas released by the avocado will remain in the bag, helping it to ripen faster.
Ways To Eat Avocados
So how should you enjoy this health-enriching food? The sky is the limit! Have fun with it, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Eat it whole – Just sprinkle an avocado with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.
- Spread it on toast – Avocado toast is a great way to start the day. Choose whole-grain toast and sprinkle your avocado with salt and pepper to taste.
- Use as a substitute for mayo – You’ll get the same creamy texture but many more health benefits and a delicious taste subbing avocado for mayo.
- In your salads – Dice up avocado and add it to any salad.
- On sandwiches or burgers – Skip the ketchup and mustard and use avocado instead.
- Make guacamole – Everyone loves guacamole; enjoy it with tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos if you want to spice things up.
If you aren’t including avocados in your diet, now’s a great time to start. This fruit with many health benefits tastes great and benefits your body in so many ways.
Try it in small amounts and you’re sure to become addicted like most of the world already is – improving their health one step at a time.