Avocados have been showing up everywhere the past few years -- on menus, in beauty products, and on the many lists of superfoods you should be eating, like, starting yesterday. But is this bumpy green fruit really deserving of all the hype?
In a word: YES. For starters, they're pretty, but more importantly, they’re extremely good for you. Need more reasons to love avocados? Behold:
They've got the good fat
Let's get it out of the way: Avocados are fatty, but not all fats are created equal. The vast majority of the fat in avocados is monounsaturated, which is a polysyllabic way of saying that it can decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and improve overall heart health.
Nutrient absorption never tasted this good
With avocados, it's all about the smooth, buttery texture and fresh, grassy taste. Nutritional value is just a bonus, which makes the following even more exciting: In addition to offering upwards of 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E (fights free radicals and boosts the immune system) and vitamin K (important for blood clotting and bone health), avocados can help your body better absorb nutrients like beta-carotene from other foods.
They keep you young
It's doubtful that avocados will make you live forever, but studies show that these fabulous fruits (technically, berries) can make your time on Earth a little bit easier. It turns out that the antioxidants found in avocados can protect against the effects of aging, which might explain why people in LA love them so much.
They have their own festival
Most of the avocados we eat here in the United States are Hass avocados grown in California, but there are lots of varieties, including one called Bacon (no relation). If you happen to live in the Golden State, check out the annual California Avocado Festival, which has been around for 30 years and includes musical acts, an avocado auction, and the world’s largest vat of guacamole.
There are countless ways to enjoy them
Guacamole is the gateway appetizing staple that gets most people hooked, but that's just the beginning of the avocado's potential. From simple avocado toast and tasty green smoothies to satisfying salads and sandwiches, the rich, creamy flesh can be incorporated into almost anything, including dessert. People have even proposed using a halved avocado instead of a bun for a burger, and you can wash it all down with avocado beer.
Don't eat the seed (but if you're REALLY into it, you can)
First of all, if you don't know how to remove the seed in the center of the avocado, get on that. Now, a warning: Despite recent claims that we should all be eating avocado seeds, including research showcasing their nutritional value, the California Avocado Commission actually advises against consuming the seed, but mostly because there hasn't been enough research on it.
If you're particularly ambitious, you could use the seed to grow an avocado tree.
Share the love
The best news of all? You can share an avocado with your dog.