Avocados have been very popular for awhile now, and they have a right to be – not only does this pear-shaped Central American fruit possess a creamy texture and subtle buttery flavor, it’s unique from most other fruits. Avocados feature a high level of healthy monounsaturated fats, in addition to other nutrients. There are several benefits of avocados which makes them a very powerful fruit.
Some common avocado varieties include alligator pear, aguacate, and butter pear, which can be found in stores year round. Look for dark green or deep purple avocados that yield to gentle pressure. The interior of an avocado is cream to green, with a buttery consistency and center brown seed. If you can only find hard fruits, don’t worry – avocados will ripen if given some time at room temperature, just like bananas. At home, store in a cool dark place, such as the refrigerator or cupboard.
Health Benefits of Avocados
- High in monounsaturated fat, which is the “heart-healthy” type of fat
- Good source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which aid in cardiovascular and digestive tract health
- Contains tannins, compounds which have antioxidant properties, as well as other antioxidants
- Contains vitamins A, E, and K
- Contains minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, and manganese
To learn more about the benefits of vitamin A in the human diet, check out one of our previous posts linked HERE!
To prepare, cut the fruit lengthwise at its center all the way around the seed, then twist the two halves in opposite directions and pull apart. Remove the seed using a spoon. Gently peel the skin with your fingers starting from the stem end, or scoop out the flesh with a spoon. To prevent browning, you may add a touch of lemon juice.
Avocados are the main ingredient of guacamole and other dips, but there are many other ways to enjoy this delicious, creamy treat – add it cubed, sliced or mashed to vegetable/fruit salads, salsa, sandwiches, and more. Try mashed avocado in place of butter or oil in cooking and baking, or even in shakes and smoothies.
For amazing avocado applications, click this LINK!
- Morgan McManimon-Myers, BS, RDN