Avocados are more of a texture than a taste. The creamy healthy fat can enhance everything from smoothies, to brownies, to spices in guacamole, to dressings or salads. The list is never-ending because avocados become a lifestyle and find their way into everything, even our face masks and eye-makeup remover.
Avocados are a stone fruit with a creamy texture that grows in warm climates. Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
In a hurry and want to get to the good stuff? Crazy Amazing Chocolate Pudding – made with avocados!
The avocado (Persea americana), a tree with probable origin in south-central Mexico, is classified as a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. The fruit of the plant, also called an avocado (or avocado pear or alligator pear), is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed.
Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world.
In 2009, Peru joined Chile and Mexico as an exporter of avocados to the US. In the US, avocados are grown in California and Florida, where land, labor, and water are expensive. Avocado trees require frequent, deep watering to bear optimally, particularly in spring, summer, and fall.~ Wikipedia; Avocado
Try growing your own avocado tree. When I had a compost pile in my yard, my avocado seeds would take off growing on their own. It is not so easy to get them into producing trees. Get started and see how you do.
Avocados are naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.
Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Although most of the calories in an avocado come from fat, don’t shy away! Avocados are full of healthy, beneficial fats that help to keep you full and satiated. When you consume fat, your brain receives a signal to turn off your appetite.
USDA National Nutrient Database – avocados
Avocados have a high content of phytochemicals especially antioxidants with potential neuroprotective effect. Aging is the major risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Thus, antioxidants have been used for their effectiveness in reducing these deleterious effects and neuronal death in many in vitro and in vivo studies. The critical review results indicate that compounds in avocado are unique antioxidants, preferentially suppressing radical generation, and thus may be promising as effective neuropreventive agents. The diverse array of bioactive nutrients present in avocado plays a pivotal role in the prevention and cure of various neurodegenerative diseases.~ GreenMedInfo; The critical review results indicate that compounds in avocado are unique antioxidants, and thus may be promising as effective neuropreventive agents.
Health Benefits of Avocados
Since they are one of the most nutrient-dense foods on Earth, it is understandable that they provide a bunch of health benefits.
- Avocados (and especially avocado oil) promote heart health by balancing blood lipids ~ NCBI research
- Fights cancer cell growth ~ NCBI research
- Enhances digestive health – avocados are one of the best sources of healthy fiber
- Supports eye, skin and hair health – topically as well
- Lowers risk of metabolic syndrome ~ NCBI research
- Boosts mood – higher intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) ~ NCBI research
- Arthritis relief – osteoarthritis and avocados ~ NCBI research ~ another NCBI research
- In France, avocado oil has received prescription drug status for its proven ability in reversing arthritis!!!!
Avocados for Weight Loss
The high fiber of avocados is impressive, some say they contain 50% of our daily fiber needs, which is great for weight loss.
Avocados are a high-fat food. But ironically, they help with weight loss because they contain the good kind of fat. Majority of which is in the form of monounsaturated fats.
Just remember, fat does not necessarily equal fat on a body. Healthy fats help maintain proper weight. They do not make us fat – sugar, processed food, chemicals, toxins are what make people fat.
- Eating avocado in the morning will help us feel satiated (full) quickly, reducing our intake and helping us feel satisfied longer, easily making it to lunch.
- Eating avocado at lunchtime will help us feel satiated (full) quickly, reducing our intake and helping us feel satisfied longer, easily making it to dinner or maybe skipping dinner.
- Eating avocado for dinner will help us feel satiated (full) quickly, reducing our intake and helping us feel satisfied so maybe we can skip dessert or late-night binging.
Put a healthy fat (avocado) with a healthy protein and you will feel even more satiated and be able to go longer in between meals. Or just being able to skip snacking with this trick will help your weight and health.
So many in the chronically ill community are UNDER weight. I was for decades until it did the opposite so I know how difficult it is to gain weight during a prolonged illness like Lyme. This same healthy fat & protein trick works for the underweight as well. The idea is that it is giving you what you need to be healthy, your body will take care of the weight issue when it is healthy!!!
Keep Avocados Simple
Buy only what you need for the week (2 weeks maximum). It shouldn’t have any cracks, nicks or sunken areas.
The dark green (almost black) are the ripe ones. The green ones will last longer because they have not yet ripened.
I personally feel them when I get home. I pull out the ripest/softest two – one for that day and one for the next day, leaving them on the counter. I put the rest in the refrigerator.
Then every single day, I pull the next ripest one out and put it on the counter for the next day. That usually gives them enough time to ripen.
Keep it simple and making it a daily habit makes them ripe and ready for easy use.
- Cut in half with large knife
- Twist both sides in hands so they separate
- Remove seed
- Scoop out the flesh with spoon
- Smash the avocado meat in a bowl with a fork
Easy uses of smashed avocado…
- Spread avocado on gluten-free toast in the morning instead of butter
- Use avocado instead of mayonnaise in potato/chicken/egg salad
- Add avocado to any homemade dressing to make it creamy
- Baby in the house, he soft and creamy texture of an avocado and its mild taste make it a perfect first baby food
Storing Open Avocado
Once you have cut into an avocado, they spoil quickly.
Wive’s tale — leave pit in with the flesh. Nope, no science behind that one. I have tried it a bajillion times and that does not keep it from turning brown.
Instead, use lemon or lime juice. It slows the oxidation (the brown color). That is why guacamole is so intelligent, it already has the lime juice in it so it lasts longer.
Only using half of an avocado and don’t want to waste the other half? Place unused half (still in skin), flesh side down, into a glass refrigerator dish. Put the lid on it and refrigerate until the next day and it will be fine. I do not use plastic wrap or baggies because they have chemicals in them and we don’t want them in our food.
Avocado oil is a healthy oil. It can be used for so many things. While you are cooking with it, rub some on your face!!! Seriously, it is good for the skin inside and out.
Replace the common cooking oil with something that is actually healthy for you. The common ones (canola, soybean, safflower) are usually GMO and rancid, causing health problems. Avocado oil nutrition includes a high level of monounsaturated fat, which makes it a heart-nourishing replacement for these hazardous yet commonly consumed oils.
Benefits to avocado oil…
- Liver health ~ NCBI research
- Arthritis help ~ In France, avocado oil has received prescription drug status for its proven ability in reversing arthritis!!!!
- One of the few oils not derived from seeds (made from avocado flesh)
- It can be used in uncooked dishes like salads, dips and smoothies
- This is one oil you CAN use for cooking – great for high heat
Buying and storing avocado oil…
- Always purchase organic
- Best if it is also extra-virgin, unrefined, cold-pressed
- Use within 6 months of purchase
- Store in cool dry place away from light and heat
Purchasing avocado oil…
Eat & Enjoy
There are so many ways to include avocado daily in every kind of food you can imagine.
Start your morning with an avocado smoothie. Add a green apple, banana, and spinach if you have them on hand. Fresh mint leaves are a fun twist to add.
For lunch or dinner make a hearty salad with avocado, quinoa, sweet potato, beans, herbs and any kind of greens you have on hand.
Include avocado in your homemade salad dressings to make them creamy.
Seriously, brownies with avocado. Even I was a little leary on this one. Claims to be gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free. Well, I gave it a shot and WOW, these brownies were really good. Even had a healthy sweet potato and applesauce in it for sweetness.
I doubled the amount of cacao powder to hide the orange color from sweet potato.
I also made my own fresh applesauce with NO sugar. Just peeled and cored an apple, cut it up and cooked it in 1/2 cup water until a fork could smash it up into applesauce.
Purchase baking staples…
- vanilla extract Simply Organic – organic
- vanilla extract Flavorganics – organic
- vanilla bean powder – raw – organic
- coconut flour Viva Naturals – organic
- coconut flour Terrasoul – organic
- arrowroot powder 1 pound – organic
- arrowroot powder 4 pounds – organic
- cacao powder 1 pound Navitas – organic
- cacao powder 3 pounds Terrasoul – organic
- Himalayan fine salt
- baking soda – aluminum-free
More is NOT Always Better
There are some cautions with avocados, basically, more is NOT always better. As with anything in life, balance is the key. As you learn about the specific needs of your body you will tune into how much is good for you and your wellness journey.
Caution about kidneys — those with kidney problems are often advised to follow a low-potassium diet. Avocados are high in potassium.
Produce Geek – Videos
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AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may receive monetary compensation for links to products from this post. However, I only recommend products that I personally love and use myself. If it is not good enough for me, it certainly is not good enough for you!!