Originating in Central America, South America and Mexico, avocados are now grown around the world almost anywhere there is a Mediterranean or tropical climate to help them thrive. This popular fruit is most often treated as a vegetable in the kitchens of the Western world and can be found in guacamole, on top of burgers, in salads and even in some desserts. There are more than 80 varieties of avocados in the world, and nearly all of the avocados grown in the U.S. are grown in California (Florida comes in second in U.S. avocado production). Most importantly, they offer an array of health benefits that are supported by research and make them one of the healthiest whole foods on the planet.
Here are just five of the many reasons you should consider adding more avocado to your diet.
1. You don’t have to purchase organic avocados.
Buying organic produce is always a better choice for your overall health, but sometimes organic options are outside of our budgets or difficult to find. The thick skin on avocados does a pretty good job of protecting the inner fruit from pesticides. In fact, it does such a good job that avocados are considered one of the safest conventional produce items to purchase.
2. An avocado provides more potassium than a banana.
If you pay particular attention to your potassium intake and are getting a little tired of eating bananas every day, you can switch some of those bananas out for avocados and reap the healthy benefits of this potassium-packed fruit.
3. Avocados are full of good fat.
Not all fat is bad, and avocados are a great source of the heart-healthy, unsaturated fat your body needs to function properly.
4. Avocados also provide all sorts of other necessary vitamins and minerals.
Avocados are considered a superfood for several reasons, including the fact that they are packed with vitamins and minerals. Aside from potassium, avocados are also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and folate. They are also a good source of fiber.
5. They taste great and satisfy cravings.
The rich, creamy texture of avocados makes this filling fruit a great choice when it comes to improving your diet and avoiding caving in to cravings. The fat and fiber helps you feel satisfied, and the creamy texture and light taste make it possible to transform even your sweetest dessert recipes into healthier options by adding avocado. In fact, it is so easy to prepare desserts with avocados that there are entire cookbooks dedicated to healthy, avocado-based recipes.