Why Avocados?

Why Avocados?

It seems like you can not turn around without seeing Avocados in a recipe. Why so much Avocado love these days?

Well, for starters, Avocados are out and out superfoods. The number of health benefits, including helping you diet, Avocados bring to your plate is impressive.

From this article, 8 Reasons Avocado Is a Perfect Weight-Loss Food, reason number number six touts this study. (It’s a great article with links to all their source documents.)

The survey results, published in Nutrition Journal, found that eating half a medium-sized avocado on a daily basis was highly correlated with improved overall diet quality and a 50 percent reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. Not only did the avocado eaters report a lower body mass index and smaller waist circumference, they also consumed significantly more fruits and vegetables, and fiber and vitamin K — nutrients associated with weight loss. Avocado: the gateway drug to a healthier, leaner lifestyle.

As WebMD explains:

Avocados offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving, including potassium (which helps control blood pressure), lutein (which is good for your eyes), and folate (which is crucial for cell repair and during pregnancy).

Avocados are a good source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection. They also give you vitamins C and E, plus natural plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer.

Avocados are low in sugar. And they contain fiber, which helps you feel full longer. In one study, people who added a fresh avocado half to their lunch were less interested in eating during the next three hours.

Others give Avocado even more health benefit credit. This article offers 12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado. They may have over extended themselves slightly but the article is decently sourced and offers a clear list of Avocado’s nutrients:

Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals.

Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving (3):

  • Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 20% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.
  • Then it contains small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).

This is coming with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber so there are only 2 “net” carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food.

Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium, and are low in saturated fat. I personally don’t think that matters, but this is one of the reasons they are favored by many “old school” experts who still believe these things are inherently harmful.

Now that you know why everyone is raving about the health benefits of adding Avocados to your diet, what next?

Eating them, of course. But opening up an Avocado can be intimidating. This article (which also has some good nutritional information) offers a nice step-by-step description:

  • The method you use to peel an avocado might make a difference to your health. Research on avocado shows that the greatest phytonutrient concentrations occur in portions of the food that we do not typically eat, namely, the peel and the seed (or “pit.”) The pulp of the avocado is actually much lower in phytonutrients than these other portions of the food. However, while lower in their overall phytonutrient richness, all portions of the pulp are not identical in their phytonutrient concentrations and the areas of the pulp that are closest to the peel are higher in certain phytonutrients than more interior portions of the pulp. For this reason, you don’t want to slice into that outermost, dark green portion of the pulp any more than necessary when you are peeling an avocado. Accordingly, the best method is what the California Avocado Commission has called the “nick and peel” method. In this method, you actually end up peeling the avocado with your hands in the same way that you would peel a banana. The first step in the nick-and-peel method is to cut into the avocado lengthwise, producing two long avocado halves that are still connected in the middle by the seed. Next you take hold of both halves and twist them in opposite directions until they naturally separate. At this point, remove the seed and cut each of the halves lengthwise to produce long quartered sections of the avocado. You can use your thumb and index finger to grip the edge of the skin on each quarter and peel it off, just as you would do with a banana skin. The final result is a peeled avocado that contains most of that dark green outermost flesh, which provides you with the best possible phytonutrient richness from the pulp portion of the avocado.

So next time you’re at the grocery store, invest in your health with a couple of Avocados. Just remember like bananas and potatoes, Avocados turn brown when exposed to air. Wrap any exposed cut Avocado tightly with the plastic wrap pressed against the Avocado flesh. You can also put a little lemon or lime juice on the Avocado before wrapping it as anti-browning insurance. It doesn’t mean the Avocado is bad, by the way, it just doesn’t look pretty.

And now you know why everyone is going nuts for Avocados.  how to tell if avocado is ripe

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