(Health Secrets) Many health experts consider avocados to be among the healthiest foods in the world, and studies have shown that avocado eaters tend to be healthier than those who do not eat them. Though often referred to as vegetables, avocados are actually fruits. And, though they have a few extra calories, the calories are the good nutrient-dense kind.
In addition to being good sources of fiber, protein and healthy monounsaturated and omega-3 fats, this wonderful fruit contain over 25 essential nutrients including B vitamins, such as folic acid and folate, and vitamins A, C, E and K. Minerals include copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.
Avocado fights illness and disease
Avocados contain phytochemicals noted for their ability to protect against and fight disease and illness, including beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein.
Among its many health benefits are:
- Brain health
- Healthier hearts
- Healthier arteries
- Lower LDL cholesterol
- Blood sugar regulation
- Healthier blood pressure
- Eye health
- Healthier pregnancies
- Skin health
- Better digestion
How to select and ripen avocados
Avocados are easy to ripen at home, something many people are sadly unaware of. In fact, unless you plan to consume an the fruit immediately after purchasing, it is best to pick firm green avocados and ripen them yourself. Whether in the store or at home, the way to tell when an avocado is ripe remains the same: the skin will turn from green to a darker brown-green and will give slightly without dark sunken spots or cracks.
To ripen an avocado at home, simply place it in a brown paper bag. In this manner, a firm one will ripen in about three to six days. You can speed the ripening time up to one to three days if you place a tomato, banana or apple in the bag. Thus you can control the time you want to consume your avocados by storing them in a cool, dark place until a few days prior to when you want them to be ripe. But never store avocados in the refrigerator, as they will not properly ripen.
Easy and unusual avocado recipe
Avocados are most often consumed either by themselves, in guacamole or other salsas, in salads or perhaps in soups. However, avocados are quite versatile and can also be consumed in other kinds of dishes as well, including this one, courtesy of the California Avocado Commission:
Avocado Deviled Eggs
If you love avocados and deviled eggs, it just doesn’t get any better than this!
12 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled (preferably cage-free organic)
1 ripe, fresh California Hass avocado, seeded and peeled
1/4 cup organic mayonnaise
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 lime, juiced and zested
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1. Cut the eggs lengthwise into halves. Slip out the yolks and mash yolks with a fork.
2. Add the avocado and mash with a fork.
3. Mix the mashed yolks and avocado with the mayonnaise, cumin, capers, mustard, lime juice and zest, salt and jalapeno.
4. With large pastry bag, using a large star tip, fill the egg whites with the egg yolk mixture (about one tablespoon in each half).
5. Sprinkle with chili powder and garnish with the cilantro.
Be sure to use organic mayonnaise, as convention mayonnaise contains genetically modified soybean or canola oil.
As always, for the healthiest recipe, choose organic and fresh content as much as possible. Likewise, as with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting.
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