Avocados: Why They're Considered A Superfood & How To Buy Them
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Written By: Suzanne Kvilhaug
I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it.
And that’s a good thing since people apparently know it. One day the produce manager approached me in the grocery store and said, “the avocados should be better soon, we have had some issues with our suppliers but by next week they will be good. Sorry about that!” He wasn’t answering a question and I had never talked to him before. “Oh, did you notice I buy them every day?” I laughed. “Every time I see you in here, you’re picking up avocados.” He replied. And then there was this time I got to the checkout line and the cashier saw me and said, “Hey it’s the avocado girl! Do you make a lot of guacamole?” Once again I laughed and said, “No, I just eat like one or two avocados a day.”
So there you have it, my love for avocados is obvious enough that even complete strangers have noticed. It reminds me of that saying, “A day without sunshine?” Yeah, I guess for me it’s like a day without avocados.
What makes avocados a superfood
Avocados are a fruit, technically a berry, and there are hundreds of different varieties. When I talk about avocados, I am referring to Hass avocados. Hass avocados are oval-shaped with dark pebbled skin and make up roughly 95 percent of the avocados sold in the United States.
Superfoods are a hot topic in the food world and avocados are considered one because they contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals including vitamin K, C, potassium and magnesium. One medium sized Hass avocado has about 225 calories, 20 grams of fat, 3 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber.
Eating fat doesn’t make you fat
Then there’s the confusing concept that fat doesn’t make you fat. Long story short -there are different kinds of fat, and not all of them are equal (avoid trans fat like the plague!). Healthy fats are essential for optimal functioning in our entire body and support metabolism, increase immunity, regulate hormones and help with absorption of nutrients. Since avocados contain a lot of fat, people may write them off assuming they’ll gain weight if they eat them, but that’s far from the truth. High fat diets can speed up metabolism and help you burn more calories. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, a source of healthy fat that is shown to lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and increase HDL (“good” cholesterol).
And the most versatile fruit award goes to?
Eating avocados in salads is probably the most popular way they are consumed, but there are so many other options. Avocados go great in smoothies, they are the main ingredient of guacamole, they create a dairy-free chocolate avocado pudding and are the star of the trendy avocado toast. Because of their texture and nutritional profile, avocados can be used in your beauty routine to make a moisturizing hand mask and a natural DIY deep conditioning hair mask.
How to buy avocados (practice makes perfect)
Anyone who buys avocados knows shopping for them is anything but easy. Difficulty level? High! It’s a challenge and one that requires endless planning and a foolproof strategy. Especially if you want to eat one a day. I can’t tell you how many times I have desperately wanted one and the selection consisted of either non-edible rock solid avocados or sad looking old mushy avocados that had no hope. You can’t help but feel like you’re in a scene with the “womp womp” noise playing in the background.
When it comes to picking avocados, the color doesn’t tell the whole story, but it does help. If the avocado has a deep purplish almost black hue, it’s likely ripe. Press lightly on the avocado and if it gives a little bit, then chances are it’s good and ready-to-eat. If it’s a vibrant green and hard to the touch, it’s not ready and has about 2-4 days to go.
After a lot of trial and error (blood, sweat and tears at the avocado bin) you eventually learn the art of choosing the right avocado.