What is it?
Only the best fruit on the planet, obviously. Avocados are clearly top of the list of the healthy food chain and there is definitely valid research as to why. Avocado’s stand out for many reasons (that bright beautiful green), but also unique in that they are one of the only fruits that is not comprised of mostly carbohydrates.
There are many types of avocado that vary in shape and color from green to black to pear shaped to round. The most popular one that you see lining the grocery store aisle is the Haas Avocado. All Haas avocados, no matter where they are grown in the world now, can trace their roots to the OG tree grown back in the 1920’s in La Habra Heights, California. Keepin it close to home.
What are the health benefits?
Avocados are most well known for their ‘healthy’ fat contents. BUT, you’re also getting a great deal of vitamins and minerals packed in that 1 cup of goodness:
Total Fat 22.0g (34% DV)
Saturated Fat 3.2g (16% DV)
Monounsaturated Fat 14.7g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.7g
Total Omega-3 fatty acids 165mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids 2534
Vitamin C 15.0mg (25% DV)
Folate 122mcg (30% DV)
Vitamin K 31.5mcg
The majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid (which is also found in olive oil). This ‘monounsaturated’ fatty acid is believed to be responsible for some of its health benefits like reduced inflammation. It’s also been proven to have beneficial effects on those with cancer related genes. (1)
What makes a fat ‘healthy’, you ask? Here’s the quick and dirty summary.
There are 2 main types: saturated and unsaturated. The main difference is in the chemical structure (double bonds vs no double bonds) and the fact that unsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature and saturated are solid. Foods containing monounsaturated fats reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, while possibly increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Science put aside, monounsaturated fats like avocado can have long term benefits on the health of your cells, your cholesterol levels, and your brain! Want to be smarter? Add some more avocado into your life!
For all you active birds out there who’ve experienced muscle cramps, avocados actually have MORE potassium than bananas. This nutrient is needed to help with fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals.
How many times has your day been ruined because your avocado wasn’t the perfect ripeness to eat? Let’s face it, the perfectly ripe avocado is never n easy task to find. Here are a few extra tips if you’re stuck buying the rock hard green one at the grocery store.
Wrap the uncut fruit in tinfoil, and bake on a baking sheet at 200˚F for 10 minutes. (Disclaimer: If your avocado is too hard, it could take up to an hour for it to soften. Check every five minutes if it’s not ripe in 10.) Leave it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down. If you’ve got time to spare, keep your avocado in a brown paper bag (with holes in it) next to an apple. (1) Give it a little squeeze everyday until it’s the perfect softness.