“Would you like to add avocado for an extra 99¢?” Lately, this is something we hear all the time, even at fast food restaurants. This option shows us how our society is evolving and consumers are becoming more and more interested in healthy food options. The words “healthy fat” are commonly associated with avocado and many recipes are now incorporating this fruit. That’s right: I said fruit. You would think given its dark green colour and savory taste it would be a vegetable, but I promise you it is in fact technically a fruit. Here’s a collection of 6 interesting facts about this delicious and nutritious food that will make it hard to resist on your next trip to the grocery store.
- It’s easy to make sure you always have ripe avocados that are ready to eat! I have perfected the ripening process and I would love to share some tips with you. First off, if you purchase your avocados when they are firm and light green in colour, they need to sit out on the counter for a few days. Once the avocados start to turn a darker green colour and are slightly squishy they can be moved into the refrigerator where they will stay perfectly ripe for up to a week.
- Most people do not get enough fiber, and avocados are a delectable source. A whole avocado has about 13.5g of dietary fiber. Fiber is an essential part of the everyday diet as it supports digestive health and contributes to healthy waste management.
- Avocados are stuffed with nutritious value. They are a good source of folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin E. Avocados are also high in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. Adding a few slices of avocado to one of your meals each day is a delicious way to increase your overall nutrient intake.
- Avocados are a great source of healthy fat. Increasing your intake of healthy fat can help lower the “bad” type of cholesterol otherwise known as “LDL.” This type of “bad” cholesterol contributes to plaque buildup which can clog arteries and make them less flexible, resulting in atherosclerosis.
- Avocados are popping up in recipes all over the place. They are frequently used in gluten free, dairy free, and vegan options due to their rich and smooth texture. It is quite common to find avocado based recipes for things like vegan chocolate pudding and the ever so popular guacamole.
- Whenever I have a get-together or when I am invited somewhere, my go-to dish is guacamole. I find that the difference between a great guacamole and an extraordinary guacamole is the tenderness of the avocados. If they are not ripe enough, the guacamole can lack a rich and creamy texture. Often enough, time is not on our side and we need our avocados to ripen quicker than nature will allow, so I will let you in on a little secret: placing a ripe banana close to your avocado will cause it to ripen at a faster rate. This is because ripe bananas release a considerable amount of ethylene which triggers the ripening response in fruit.
There you have it - and the list doesn’t stop there. Avocados are a fantastic tasting food that can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even for dessert! Why not try one in your next salad, sandwich, dip, dessert, or spread? See... so many options!
Samantha Briann is a writer, motivational speaker, and student studying holistic nutrition at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Mississauga, ON. She plans to receive her designation as a Certified Nutritional Practitioner in October 2017. Samantha is dedicated to helping people learn to incorporate nutritious and healthy whole foods into their everyday lifestyle to achieve optimal health and internal harmony. She would be delighted to sit down with anyone looking to increase their quality of life.