Avocados have been called the perfect food by some, and this title doesn’t come simply from its role as the primary ingredient in guacamole. They are one of the sexiest vegetables out there. Correction, they are one of the sexiest fruits. Actually, avocados are a bit of everything; they are actually berries in disguise. But no matter how you label the…food, avocados still offer a wealth of benefits.
The health benefits of avocados are many. One recent study published in Nutrition Journal found that people who eat avocados are more likely to have lower body weight, lower waist circumference, and lower BMI than their avocado-abstaining counterparts. Researchers also found that those who eat avocados have higher good cholesterol levels, a lower intake of sugars, and a better diet overall. Overall, the study concluded that avocado-eaters are especially healthy.
So, what else could these little berries be hiding from us? Here are 4 healthy secrets of avocados.
- 1. They are loaded with protein – Avocados are one of few high protein fruits, with one avocado containing about 4g of protein. They have all 18 important amino acids, and all of those are highly bioavailable. This makes avocados a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans and even for meat eaters alike, as some of the amino acids in animal products are not readily available for your body’s use.
- 2. More potassium than a banana – We usually think of bananas as the potassium champs, while there are numerous fruits and vegetables with more. Avocados are one of them, with an average of 975 milligrams. Potassium is important in maintaining kidney health, blood pressure, and muscle health.
- 3. They can be softened with the help of an apple - Avocados are often rock-hard when you go to purchase them at grocery stores. They can be easily ripened at home, however, by sticking them in a brown paper bag with an apple. Apples release ethylene gas, a naturally occurring plant hormone that will help soften your avocados in a few days.
- 4. Avocados are one of the “Clean 15” - If you’re concerned about pesticide exposure (and if not, you should be), avocados are one of the “cleanest” of all produce. Their tough exterior helps protect them from contamination. So, if you can’t afford to buy all organic, this is one piece of produce you could purchase conventional.
Loaded with healthy fats and mild flavor, avocados are great on sandwiches, salads, and more. You can even use them as a butter substitute in some recipes.