What are Avocados?
Avocados originated from Mexico, and they're cultivated in areas that are tropical and have Mediterranean climates. Avocados have green, brown, or blackish skin when ripe; and the shape can be either pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. In commercial-scale production, avocados are usually picked when immature so that they can ripen on the shelf after harvesting.
What Do Avocados Taste Like?
The buttery, rich flavor is what drives avocado as one of the most popular fruits. It's also one of the most utilized fruit due to its versatility in both savory and sweet dishes. You can find avocados in sushi, tacos, or even avocado pudding and cakes. The possibility is endless!
Avocado Health Benefits
Here are some of the health benefits you can get when you consume avocados, and reasons why you should add more avocado to your diet
1. Supports heart health
An essential aspect of avocado is that it helps protect your heart health. Because of their rich nutritional content, avocados can lower risks of cardiovascular diseases. A study done on avocado consumption showed that by consuming one avocado a day, you can significantly reduce your risks of getting heart disease!
2. Lowers cholesterol
Avocado consumption can also help lower bad cholesterol levels in your body. The healthy monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados allow them to fight against "bad" LDL cholesterol levels. That's why avocados are recommended as one of the top foods to improve/lower your cholesterol level.
3. Regulates appetite
One of the facts that are sometimes forgotten is that avocados are very rich in fiber. So even though avocados are high in fats, they’re also able to suppress your appetite since fiber expands and regulates your appetite when consumed. According to a source, meals using avocados were able to reduce hunger compared to meals without them. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, sneaking in some avocados into your diet is the perfect way to help you on your way.
4. Maintains eye health
A more exciting benefit of consuming avocados is that they also maintain eye health and help protect against degenerative eye diseases. This is because they're high in a nutrient called lutein that supports eye health, specifically your retina, as you age. Say goodbye to your glasses, and hello avocado toasts!
5. Helps relieve arthritis symptoms.
What’s unique about avocados is that they’re rich in vitamin E, something that is rarely found in other fruits. This micronutrient has anti-inflammatory effects, which decrease the risk of joint damage and relieve arthritis symptoms. Other ways avocado can help is by regulating weight, alleviating pressure on your joints
How to Choose your Avocado
Avocados are often harvested before they're ripe, so they stay fresh and ripen on the shelf. So how do we know which avocados are ready to consume and which are not?
For one, you can pick some younger avocados so that you have some avocados in your inventory. Those green, hard avocados have a shelf life of 4 to 5 days to ripen. You can store them inside your pantry and wait.
Another class of ripeness is breaking/almost ripe. These are avocados you can keep about 1 to 2 days before consuming. According to the resource, you can’t use color to determine the breaking avocados but instead, use your feel. It will have a softer feel, but still quite firm when pressed.
When you're ready and need to consume those avocados now, go and look for avocados that are dark in color, feel lightly soft but not mushy when touched. You can still store it inside a fridge if you want to save it for the next day.
Lastly, avoid buying avocados that have deep indentations and colors that are darker yellow or brownish. These are overripe avocados that are no longer suitable to be consumed. You can also detect them by smelling - they smell a little like pumpkin or squash-like rancid smell.
How many calories are avocados?
There are 160 calories in a 100g serving of avocado according to the USDA database. 1 whole avocado (from Florida or California) has 322 calories.
Can an Avocado be Frozen?
Yes! Avocados removed from the skin and seed removed can be frozen for later use. While the texture of the once frozen avocados won't be the same as fresh avocados, they are excellent add ins for smoothies, and baked goods. While you can also use them to make guacamole but will not have the same fresh texture. To preserve its green color, make sure to splash them with some lemon juice before you freeze the avocados!
Delicious Avocado Recipes You'll Love
Now that you know avocado’s benefits for your health, you must be running to the store to buy them in bulk. Here are some gluten-free recipes and avocado friendly for you to try: