You might have heard about the millionaire who claimed that millennials can’t afford houses because they buy avocado toast.
That’s not quite the reason why millennials have trouble purchasing homes. But it also unfairly maligns the avocado, which is experiencing unprecedented popularity for good reason. Avocados are a high-fat fruit as well as a superfood with an amazing nutritional profile. Any well-balanced diet will include this nutrient-dense food in some capacity. Read ahead about the benefits of the avocado and you’ll never blame millennials again!
How Healthy is Avocado?
The avocado, also know as the Persea americana, is native to the western hemisphere. If you haven’t cooked with avocados yet, if you like Mexican or Southwestern food you’ve probably tried it in guacamole (one of the simplest and tastiest ways to have this awesome, versatile, and nutrient-dense food).
Avocados are high in monosaturated fat, which can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. They also contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in each serving, including potassium, lutein, folate, and vitamins B, C, and E. In addition, avocados pack quite a lot of fiber, with 13 grams in the average avocado.
They’re also low in sugar. But one thing you should keep in mind is that it’s relatively high in calories. One-fifth of an avocado will contain about 50 calories – so if you have a whole avocado, that will set you back 250 calories. For a fruit or vegetable, that’s a lot. But keep in mind that an avocado is extremely filling and nutritious, so it’s worth making space for avocados instead of eating lots of low-nutrition and high-calorie foods.
Because of its high number of nutrients, the avocado offers a wide range of health benefits. Vitamins B, C, and E are necessary for a healthy active life. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure (when consumed with sodium), lutein is good for eyesight, and folate is super-important to consume during pregnancy and for normal cell repair.
Fiber obviously helps you stay regular, but high-fiber foods also have the added benefit of helping you stay fuller for longer. If you’re interested in losing weight, it’s probably worth finding ways to work avocados into your regular diet.
Finally, avocados have the ability to increase your absorption of certain nutrients, like carotenoids. Studies have shown that carotenoids, which are an orange or red pigment, can help protect against cell damage and diseases associated with cell damage including cancer and Parkinson’s disease. While avocados do contain some carotenoids, their real strength is helping you absorb carotenoids from other sources like sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and carrots.
How to Prepare and Eat Avocados?
So, as I mentioned above, avocados have a whole host of health benefits as well as the ability to help you lose weight (if that’s your goal!). But if you haven’t really cooked a lot or eaten a lot of avocados yet, you might be a bit hesitant to get started. Thankfully, the creamy texture and flavor is unparalleled and totally worth it!
Avocados can take 4-5 days to ripen after you’ve purchased them from your local grocery store. Store them on the countertop if your aim is to ripen them…and if you want to ripen even faster than normal, you can stick your avocados in a paper bag. (Add in a banana or apple for faster ripening.)
Once the skin is dark purple or black, and it yields to gentle pressure, your avocado is ripe. Wash the avocado’s outside before cutting off the skin with a sharp knife. The avocado has a hard, woody, inedible core in the middle, so make sure to cut carefully.
Avocados are super popular (as you know) so go wild searching for recipes! Here are a few of my personal favorite ways to eat avocados:
- Simple and delicious Avocado Toast.
- Guacamole to dip your tortilla chips in.
- In a salad! Here’s an example of a fabulous salad with avocado.
- As a topping for tortilla soup.
- All by itself!
Avocados are healthy, delicious, and easy to prepare. Add them to your diet to help you get nutrients you might be missing, as well as to lose weight if that’s what your goal is!