Food Health & Fitness

The Health Benefits of Avocado

While you’re mashing avocado together with tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos for guacamole, your mind is probably more on the dip than the healthy aspects of the meal. But avocados are off-the-charts good for you, so it’s worth it to try to add them into your diet in other ways.

First, the bad news, though: Avocados are some of the most fat-filled plants in existence.

Now, the good news. They’re loaded with monounsaturated fatty acid, which is similar to olive oil in its benefits. And studies have shown that the more vegetables a person consumes along with avocado, the more antioxidants a person takes in.

Avocados are loaded with vitamin K, fol-ate, vitamin C, and potassium. In fact, avocados have more potassium than bananas.

Hello, superfood!

That’s not even including the smaller amounts of manganese, magnesium, copper and zinc they also have, to help round out their nutritional profile.

So, now that you’re all aboard the avocado train, here are some answers to commonly asked questions.

If you buy avocados and they’re under ripe, store them in a paper bag along with an apple. Apples and avocados contain natural ethylene gas. Ethylene is what commercial food growers use to naturally ripen bananas. So, when you store avocados in a contained place with apples – like in a paper bag – it builds up ethylene to boost the ripening process. Why wait days for a creamy avocado, when you don’t need to?

Now comes the conundrum, though. The avocado is perfectly ripe, but once it’s cut – it immediately browns. How do you keep that from happening? There are several simple methods, and not one involves purchasing a gadget.

One method is to keep the pit in the half of the avocado you’re not going to use right away. Just wrap it tightly with plastic wrap.

Another, is to sprinkle it with acid, like lemon juice or vinegar and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. However, that can make the texture mushy instead of creamy.

Finally, the avocado can be stored in a sealed container along with a cut red or white onion. The sulfur in the onion negates the oxidation in the avocado.

While you try to incorporate more avocado into your diet for health and taste, do keep in mind that they are fatty. (A wonderfully good fat, but still.) So think of things that you can swap out. For instance, try 3 slices of avocado on a turkey sandwich instead of cheese.

Speaking of sandwiches, try swapping out mayonnaise for avocado thinly spread on bread.

And finally, avocado makes a lovely and healthful garnish for black bean soups and chili.

Avocados are nature’s little superfood. Enjoy them for deliciousness and health.

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