Although most social trends rarely make it past the one-year mark before they are replaced with the newest fad, Avocados seem to be here to stay, and for good reason. Not only are they excellent on toast, as guacamole, and in tacos, but they are also considered a superfruit and have earned their very own national day of commemoration. National Avocado Day is celebrated on July 31st and, in honor of the occasion, we have compiled a list of the health benefits of avocados and how you can include them in your daily meals!
What’s So Super About This Superfruit
Avocados are rich in nutrients and according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a single avocado provides 11.6 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of sugar, 19.9 grams of fat and over 9 grams of fiber! Avocados are also touted as a good source of vitamins. Among these vitamins are iron, calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Despite many thoughts about restricting fats, avocados are a good source of fats and can be beneficial for cardiovascular health. These stone fruits help to control cholesterol and blood glucose levels. The fats found in avocados also support healthy skin and may help to boost the immune system.
Avocados have been shown to reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, osteoporosis, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
Ways to Add Avocados to Your Diet
Whether you’re looking to master a new recipe or simply looking for a new topping/condiment, avocados are the way to go! From sweet desserts to spicy dinners, these multi-use fruits are diverse enough for most dishes and cuisines!
1) Swap butter with avocado for delicious, healthy brownies!
2) Add avocados to your next batch of cupcakes for a special touch!
Total time: 1 hr 30 mins.
Yields: 12 cupcakes
3) Top a spicy burger with slices of avocado to help balance those flavors!
4) Dress your salad with a creamy avocado cilantro lime dressing!
5) Use an avocado for an exceptionally decadent gelato!
6) Fry-addicts beware! Swap your favorite burger joint’s fries for these spicy avocado fries!
Total time: 2 hrs. 20 mins.
Yields: 4 servings (16 wedges)
7) Avocado Shrimp Ceviche calls for gathering with loved ones and enjoying the great outdoors!
Fun Facts About Your New Favorite Fruit
1) First, yes, the avocado is technically a fruit! For a long time, avocados have been likened with tomatoes in that they are seen more on the vegetable spectrum. However, avocados are stone fruits and fit all the criteria of a berry due to its soft pulp and large seed inside the shell. We wouldn’t start adding it to a morning berry oatmeal anytime soon but the avocado pairs very well with other berries in smoothies!
2) Avocado’s offer more potassium than a banana! A single avocado has 975 milligrams while a banana contains roughly 487 milligrams; that’s nearly double the amount!
3) There is a special way to speed up the ripening process of an avocado. Place the avocado in a brown paper bag with a banana or two (depending on how quickly you would like to complete the process). Bananas release ethylene gas which is a natural plant hormone that is known to ripen fruit.
4) Storing un-cut avocados in the fridge will help them last much longer and help them to remain fresh for when you do need to cut into one.
5) Contrary to popular belief, avocados do not necessarily turn brown once they are exposed to air. Avocados turn brown and begin to dull when the seed is removed. To avoid this dilemma when making guacamole, you can leave the seeds in the container with the fully prepared guacamole until it is ready to be consumed!
6) Most avocados come from Mexico. While some are grown in California and Florida, most of the avocados in grocery stores come from south-central Mexico because of the region’s constant climate which has the perfect conditions for avocados. The avocado is believed to have first originated as far back as 10,000 B.C. in the state of Puebla, Mexico!
The nutritional (and tasty!) benefits of avocados are undeniable. If these fun facts and recipes do not inspire you to grab a few avocados on your next grocery store trip, we don’t know what will! To keep up with the latest in health and wellness, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook.