From the October 2015 Edition
You can spread it like butter, use it in your favorite salad, or make a fresh guacamole. Never feel guilty about using avocado in any dish, because it is packed with healthy fats — and that’s just one of the many avocado nutrition facts.
1. Avocados Contain Monounsaturated Fats
One of the most well-known avocado nutrition facts is that this fruit contains healthy monounsaturated fats. These fatty acids are associated with lessened inflammation, and they may reduce the risk of cancer.
2. Avocados Are Filled with Fiber
Fiber, which is found in fruits and vegetables, among other foods, is linked to a lower risk of many diseases and health problems. Avocados contain soluble fiber, which helps the gut bacteria in the intestine stay healthy.
3. Avocados Help You Absorb Plant Nutrients
In order for nutrients to help your body, your body must have the ability to absorb them. Avocados can increase the nutrient value of certain foods because of their fat content. Many nutrients are fat soluble, which means they have to be combined with other fats in order to be beneficial to the body.
4. Avocados Are High in Antioxidants
Another avocado nutrition fact? This rich-tasting fruit is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are linked to numerous health benefits, such as eye protection. Can’t enough avocado? You can spread it like butter, use it in your favorite salad, or make a fresh guacamole. Never feel guilty about using avocado in any dish, because it is packed with healthy fats — and that’s just one of the many avocado nutrition facts.
5. Avocados Can Lower Cholesterol
Avocados can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are associated with heart disease. Even better, while they lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body, they also raise the levels of good cholesterol.
SHOPPING FOR AVOCADOS
Did you know that Hass Avocados do not ripen on the tree? They ripen or “soften” after they have been harvested. Hass Avocados are unique from some of the other varieties of avocados because they can change from a dark-green color to a deep purplish almost black hue when ripe. Although skin color can help in the initial visual selection of Hass Avocados it is not always the best indicator for ripeness. Ripeness is ultimately determined by pressure, color can sometimes be misleading as avocado “softening” can occur at a varying rate, independent of the color.
Take a look at the chart below.
When comparing a group of Hass Avocados, check the outside color of the skin of the avocados for any that are darker in color than the others. These may be riper than Hass Avocados with lighter skin. Check the outer skin of the avocado for any large indentations as ripe, ready to eat avocados may have a darker color but color can vary so it is best to go by pressure as well as color. Ripe fruit will yield to firm gentle pressure. It will feel lightly soft but it will not feel “mushy” to the touch. Ripe fruit is perfect for that day. Store in the refrigerator if you plan to eat it in a day or two to prevent the fruit from becoming overripe or spoiled.
Step 2 – Place the avocado in the palm of your hand.
Step 3 – Gently squeeze without applying your fingertips as this can cause bruising.
Step 4 – Picking ripe ready-to-eat Hass Avocados. If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure you know it’s ripe and ready-to-eat. If the avocado does not yield to gentle pressure it is considered still “firm” and will be ripe in a couple of days. If the avocado feels mushy or very soft to the touch it may be very ripe to overripe.
Practice makes perfect – if it’s your first time selecting avocados, try choosing a couple of avocados that yield to gentle pressure to see how they differ in taste. Or try purchasing an unripe avocado, checking it every day for 2 – 3 days as it softens. Practice will help you learn what to look for when you’re in the store.
How to Buy Avocados Ahead of Time for an Event
Ripe Hass Avocados that yield to gentle pressure should be eaten within a day or two. For events a couple days out, purchase firm avocados instead. Unripe, firm or green fruit can take four to five days to ripen at room temperature, perfect for celebrations that are a few days out. Just be careful to watch the fruit to make sure the temperature in your kitchen does not cause them to ripen too quickly. If they begin to yield to gentle pressure, place them in the refrigerator to slow the ripening process
partial info from www.avocadocentral.com,
Manzanillo Sun’s eMagazine written by local authors about living in Manzanillo and Mexico, since 2009