Want a smart swap for a healthier dessert? You already know avocados are nutritional powerhouses, thanks to the fiber, B vitamins, folate, and potassium they provide. But did you know you can add the savory fruit, which is packed with healthy fats, to your sweet treats, too? Watch the video to learn how to make rich, fudgy brownies from your favorite superfood.
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Nutritional Benefits of the Avocado
- The avocado is a fruit (not a vegetable) originally found in the Central Mexico region, which ripens after it is picked. There are more than 500 of varieties of avocado and it has been cultivated for more than 10,000 years. It is also known as the alligator pear because of its scaly skin. The outside skin and the pit are inedible, despite millennia of efforts (I mean, they are edible, sort of like gravel is technically edible). Avocados were first introduced to the United States in 1871, when Judge R.B. Ord planted three trees in Santa Barbara, California.
- Creamy Deliciousness & Nutritious!
- While avocados have a high caloric count (one avocado is 320 calories), the various nutrients and “healthy” fats make it a must-eat. Some call the avocado the alphabet fruit because of all the vitamins it contains. One avocado provides your body with vitamins A, C, E, K and B6, along with an enormous amount of potassium and “healthy” fat. Perhaps the biggest health benefit of avocados is that by adding avocado to certain foods, you can improve your absorption of nutrients. This means that when you combine other fat burning foods with avocado, you can improve your nutrient absorption up to 400%! Avocados can also reduce the signs of aging, regulate blood sugar and improve eye health.
- Good for the Heart
- The fat content of an avocado provides protection against heart diseases. Studies have shown that oleic acid improves cardiovascular health. Oleic acid is the primary fatty acid in avocados. Many people now take supplements in order to consume more omega-3 fatty acids to lower their risk of heart disease. Avocados are rich in omega-3, delivering 160 milligrams per cup of alpha-linolenic acid.
- Vegetarians and Vegans Rejoice – Protein!
- Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fiber. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian or vegan seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet.
- Logistics of your Avocado
- Here a couple of choice items to chew over. Once an avocado is picked, it takes between 7 and 10 days to ripen. Keeping it in the refrigerator will slow down the ripening process, while putting it in a paper bag with a ripe apple will speed up the process. Avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit. The first Haas avocado tree is still alive and producing fruit. Brazilians add avocados to their ice cream and Indonesians make avocado shakes (see below).