Here’s the scoop on avocado

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avocado, avocado cut open and avocado with seed removed

What’s so great about avocado? For starters, it’s good for you, not to mention it’s delicious.

Avocado’s versatile: it can be added to salads, tacos, breakfast sandwiches, salsa, sauces, soups, smoothies and just about anything you can think of. And we know that guacamole lovers swoon over the pear-shaped fruit.

Here are 10 facts about avocados:

  1. Avocados contain 20 vitamins and minerals, including potassium, lutein, folate and vitamins B, C and E. Potassium controls blood pressure. Lutein benefits the eyes. Folate repairs cells and is an important nutrient for pregnant women. Vitamin B is instrumental in fighting disease and infection, and vitamins D and E may help to prevent cancer.

pile of avocados

  1. Avocados contain monounsaturated fat (the good kind of fat). They’re one of the few foods that do. Monounsaturated fat, when consumed in moderation, can help to lower bad cholesterol.

 

  1. The serving size is ⅕ of a medium avocado. There are 50 calories in one serving. Yes, avocados contain a lot of calories , which may come as a surprise considering their nutritional value.

 

  1. Avocados are sodium free and cholesterol free, and their saturated fat content is low, too. They contain fiber, which helps you feel full for a longer period of time. Plus, avocados are one of the first fresh fruits that babies can eat because of the creamy texture.

 

  1. When buying avocados, look for fruit that’s firm and free of soft spots. Ripe avocados will yield to gentle pressure, though.

 

  1. Avocados are technically berries. Basic biology lesson: fruits are the mature ovaries of flowers. The fruit’s pericarp (ovary) has three layers: the exocarp (skin or rind), the mesocarp (the middle and largest part of the pericarp) and the endocarp (either hard and tough or soft and fleshy). The pericarp encases the fruit’s seed(s). See a diagram and read more here.

two whole avocados and one avocado cut open

  1. You can start an avocado tree from seed at home, depending on where you live. Read the details here.

 

  1. Need a substitute for butter in a recipe? Avocado’s your go-to ingredient. One cup of pureed avocado equals one cup of butter. Avocado can also be used in place of mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese.

 

  1. Unripe avocados should be stored at room temperature in paper bags. Ripe avocados will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

 

  1. Avocados offer beauty benefits, too. Avocado can provide nourishment for dry skin and damaged hair.

Sources: WebMD, California Avocado Commission, California Avocados Direct, Fruits and Veggies More Matters, University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources

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Katie Woods grew up in Columbiana, Ohio. Katie likes reading, writing, enjoying the outdoors and DIY projects.

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