You’re a devoted fan of creamy guac and trendy avocado toast. Learn why there’s even more to love about avocados.
It seems everyone’s talking about avocados these days. These rich and creamy fruits (surprise, they’re fruit!) have a mild buttery flavor and are easy to mash, dice, and slice for a quick-and-healthy menu addition and an awesome snack. They’re so packed with nutrition you can put avocados right into the superfoods category! If you’re new to avocados, here’s the skinny on why they’re healthy and how you can add them to your day:
- Take It to Heart: Avocados contain a heart-healthy 5 grams of monounsaturated (“good”) fat to help lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. The majority of fats in your diet should come from monounsaturated or polyunsaturated sources and 75% of the fat in avocados are these “good” fats.
- Fill Up with Fiber: Just one serving of avocado offers 11% of the Daily Value for fiber to promote healthy cholesterol levels, improve digestive health, and stabilize blood sugar. With more than 10 grams of fiber, avocados have more fiber than almost every other fruit.
- Get Your Vitamins: An avocado is a vitamin powerhouse! It’s rich in vitamin C to support strong bones and teeth and high in vitamin E to support a healthy immune system, and it supplies vitamin A to promote healthy vision. You’ll find more than 20 vitamins and minerals, all-important for a healthy immune system.
- Pick a Perfect One: 95% of the avocados you’ll find are the California Haas variety with bumpy skin that turns from green to purple-black when ripe. To test for ripeness in the store, place the avocado in your palm and squeeze your entire hand, checking to feel the fruit’s give. If it’s tight, it’s probably not ripe yet. If it yields to pressure and springs back in shape, it’s a good pick. If it yields and doesn’t spring back, it’s probably overripe. Still unsure? Try this foolproof method for picking a ripe avocado for immediate use: Try to pry off the stem. If it comes off easily and you see the beautiful green of the fruit beneath, it’s ready. If the stem is difficult to remove or you see yellow or brown, the avocado isn’t ripe yet.
- Use It Now or Later: For Haas avocados, the darker the fruit, the more ripe it is. The lighter green the fruit is, the less ripe it is. If you need an avocado in a few days, buy it when it’s dark green and heading toward a purple-black color. You can let it ripen right on your countertop. Or buy them early and ripen them yourself. Place avocados in a brown paper bag to speed up ripening or in the refrigerator to slow the process.
- Cut and Eat: Avocados are truly slice and eat. Cut the avocado in half from top to bottom through the peel and around the pit, then twist the halves apart. Place the half with the pit on a cutting board and slip a spoon between the pit and the fruit and gently remove the pit. For slices, use a paring knife to slice the flesh inside the peel; for cubes, cut across the slices, then scoop out with a large spoon. If you need to store an avocado half, drizzle it with lemon juice and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Use firmer avocados for slicing and cubing for salads and sandwiches, and use softer, more-ripe ones for guacamole, smoothies, and other recipes that call for mixing, pureeing, and blending.