Care of Laura Wright
This fruit in a sneaky vegetable-ish disguise is easily one of my favourite foods. Period. It hails from tropical climates and grows in over 900 different varieties. The texture is smooth, creamy and luxurious. It tastes good with almost everything savoury. It can be slipped and whipped into luscious desserts with surprising ease. It’s also incredibly healthy for a variety of reasons. Today, I’ll talk about some health benefits and guidelines for avocado selection.
On fat, folate + all the other goodies: The energy from avocados is primarily sourced from their fat content. This may seem like a health concern at first glance. It’s worthy of note that the fat contained in this fruit is monounsaturated, which is heart healthy and won’t raise cholesterol. In fact, the good fat in avocados has been proven to reduce cholesterol and increase the ratio of HDL (“good”) cholesterol to LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Their creamy flesh is also incredibly rich in fiber, antioxidants, folate, and more potassium than bananas to boot. Do keep in mind that avocados are rather high in calories, about 300 per whole fruit.
For your everyday health: If you love avocados and make a habit of frequently consuming them, you stand to be in an overall better state of health. According to a recent issue of Nutrition Journal, it was found that people who eat avocados have better diet quality and nutrient intake in a general sense. Avocado eaters also had lower body weight, lower BMI (body mass index), lower intake of added sugars, and higher levels of HDL (good cholesterol) in the blood.
Buying, storing + keeping the brown bits at bay: Avocados can be tricky in terms of buying and bringing to a state of ripeness at home, so I’ll offer a few notes on that. Generally once you buy the avocados at the store, you’ll have to wait at least a day for them to be at a desirable point of ripeness. When selecting, aim for firm fruits without blemishes or bruising, and dark green skin. The avocado is ripe when the skin is very dark green and the fruit gives a bit when you push on the exterior with your finger. When you pull the little top stem piece out, there should be a pale, almost white indentation left behind. Once you cut the avocado, it will begin to oxidize and turn brown somewhat quickly. If you need to reserve half of one for a later use, simply rub a bit of lemon juice on the exposed flesh and press it face down onto a plate. Store this setup in the fridge until you’re ready for it. There will be a couple little brown spots that you can simply cut away with a knife.