National Avocado Day
The history of avocados is quite interesting. While we usually think of avocados coming from Mexico, scientists believe they had origins in Africa before traveling to North America and eventually making their way to Central America. Indigenous people utilized avocados in a variety of ways, from a form of currency for transactions, to medicinal remedies, tribute offerings to their rulers, and many other ways.
Avocados were highly regarded in many indigenous cultures, and their favor lives on in modern society. California has grown avocados since the 1850s and is the number one producer of Avocados in the United States today. Hass avocados are the most popular variety and are likely what you’ll find in the grocery store. Florida also grows its own variety of avocados which are larger in size and lower in fat than the typical Hass avocado. Try out both varieties and see which one you prefer!
Avocados are known for their healthy fats, though you may not know some of the other nutritional benefits of this fan-favorite fruit (yes, avocados are fruits!).
Let’s explore some of the wonderful nutritional benefits of avocados:
The avocado’s claim to fame is healthy fats! Avocados contain primarily monounsaturated fats, which can help balance cholesterol levels and promote healthy cellular functioning.
One medium avocado has about 10 grams of fiber. That’s nearly 1/3 of the daily intake recommendation! Fiber is excellent for digestive health, heart health, and blood sugar control, so this is your reminder to eat your fiber!
Did you know avocados contain more potassium than bananas? Potassium is an electrolyte and regulates a variety of essential body functions, including maintaining a healthy blood pressure, digestion, and heart rhythm.
Avocados contain several B vitamins, which aid in metabolism and energy production and support healthy skin, brain, and body tissues. 1/3 of an avocado can contain up to 10% of your daily value of B vitamins including folate (B9), riboflavin (B2) and vitamin B6.
Check out these recipes below!
Now you know some of the history and benefits of avocados, and you can enjoy celebrating this fabulous fruit on National Avocado Day!
– Anita Diaz, Dietetic Intern
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