Do you like eating those big, oval berries with green flesh hiding a brown nut, round nut inside?
Well, you’ve guessed it right!
We’re talking about avocados.
Enclosed with a lot of nutrition and a delicious taste, avocados are a common kitchen staple worldwide.
Many people consider them a fruit while some eat them as a vegetable.
There is a lot of confusion so let’s keep it simple; avocados are berries belonging to the Lauraceae family of plants.
It is the same family that includes the cinnamon tree.
Scientifically known as Persea Americana, avocados are cultivated in many countries around the world; however, they’re native to Central America and Mexico.
California, USA has over 5000 farms generating 400 million pounds of avocados every year.
Nutritional Content of Avocados
The most popular dishes made with ripe avocados include salads, tacos, guacamole, etc.
Their high demand is not only accredited to their exceptional taste but also their high nutritional content.
A 7-ounce avocado weighing around 201 grams contains the following nutrients;
30 grams of fat
4 grams of protein
17 grams of carbohydrates
14 grams of fiber
Also, avocados can provide you with 22% of the daily value of Vitamin C, 28% for vitamin-E, and 35% of Vitamin K.
Last but not least, avocados are a rich source of riboflavin and folate, making up for 20% and 41% of its daily required value.
What is the Shelf Life of Avocados?
Unlike many other fruits, green avocados don’t begin to ripen until they’re picked from trees.
However, the process is pretty quick and before you know it, that once unripe avocado is ripe. afterward.
Sadly, avocados start to spoil just as quickly as they ripen and you can end up with overripe avocados just two days after they are picked.
Their shelf life is generally a few days.
The shelf life of an avocado should be taken into consideration because if it spoils, it loses most of its nutritive value and can be of greater harm than benefit.
So, whenever you’re buying or eating an avocado, make sure to check if it’s perfectly ripe or overripe.
You can tell whether an avocado has gone bad by smelling, tasting, touching, and looking at it.
How To Tell If Avocado Is Bad – 6 Easy Steps
Here we have listed the 6 easiest ways to tell if an avocado is good or bad and can be eaten or not.
1) Look for the texture of the avocado’s skin
Gently squeeze the avocado using your hand palm while checking for its ripeness.
Avoid using your fingers so that the fruit’s flesh does not get bruised if it’s already ripe.
If it is an unripe avocado, it will stay firm and won’t give an indentation at all. However, if it is ripe, it will give a slight dent which means it is the perfect avocado to eat.
In case of small indentation, the fruit may be a little over-ripen to eat but may work if mashed well.
However, if squeezing leaves a noticeable dent, it most probably is spoiled and the fruit feels mushy or overly soft.
Before applying gentle pressure, we suggest you check for the surface of the fruit first. Rotten avocados will have an already deflated or sunken area.
2) Keep an eye out for distinct skin color changes
There are several types of avocados and a few of them, particularly the Hass variety will show a change in color as they ripen.
Also, Hass avocados are the most common variety and actually account for the majority of avocados eaten worldwide.
When green, avocados have bright green skin color with a bumpy appearance.
As they go through the ripening process, they will begin to turn brown or dark green in color.
In some cases, blackened skin may not indicate spoilage, as some varieties of avocados become dark in color as they ripen while other varieties retain their green color.
3) Inspect the fruit’s flesh and taste
It’s more straightforward to determine if an avocado has gone rotten once it’s been chopped.
The downside to this approach is that you can only cut this once you’ve purchased it.
Perfectly ripe fresh avocados will boast light green flesh and this goes for the entire fruit except for the seed.
Spoiled avocados tend to have brown or black spots going through their flesh indicating widespread spoilage.
However, there may be bruising and if that’s the case, the fruit may have an isolated brown spot.
Dark streaks in the flesh are another indicator of decay.
However, some avocados, even if they aren’t rotting, especially those taken from young trees, may have dark streaks.
It’s fine to consume if the fruit looks excellent and doesn’t taste bad.
Sometimes spoiled avocados may not look, smell, or feel spoiled but once you taste them, you can tell.
Firstly, a good avocado has a somewhat nutty flavor and smooth texture but if it’s spoiled, it loses that avocado goodness and instead has a sour taste or an abnormal taste.
At times, it also tastes musky.
4) Check for the presence of molds
Avocado mold is usually white or gray and has a fuzzy appearance.
Do not try to sniff it if there are visible signs of mold, as this can trigger breathing problems.
Avocados with mold spores on the outside should be avoided since they can easily spread and contaminate meat and cause deterioration or other foods.
If you cut an avocado open and see mold, toss the whole thing out.
5) Smell the fruit
Avocados have a lovely and slightly sweet aroma when fully ripe. As the fruit ripens, it may acquire an off-putting flavor and odor.
Bacterial spoilage can cause mold, which is generally white and can emit a chemical odor.
At this point, you should not even attempt to eat this avocado since the mold has potentially toxic compounds.
Additionally, as the fruit spoils it develops a sour flavor or smell caused by bacteria.
6) Stem test
Some individuals recommend poking in or plucking the stem to check for ripeness.
The avocado is ripe when the stem slides out easily.
The color of the flesh is exposed once the stalk is removed. When judging softness, this method may be useful, but not when assessing color to odor.
However, this is another way to check for ripe avocados at the grocery store.
Is it Safe to Eat an Overripe Avocado?
The best thing is to avoid eating an avocado that is overripe.
But if you must, then it depends on the type of decay and its degree.
Because ripening begins at the stem end and moves downward, you may be able to salvage some of it if the skin has only begun to brown.
Keep in mind that after an avocado is chopped, the flesh begins to turn brown due to oxygen exposure.
This is a natural event, comparable to how chopped apples become brown.
Scratch off the discolored layer and consume the rest if you find it unappealing.
Benefits of Eating Avocados
With such impeccable nutritional content you must be expecting a lot of health benefits from avocados, right?
Well, here are some potential benefits of eating avocados.
1) Healthy Gut
Having 14 grams of fiber, avocados present a superb treat for your gut.
They provide you with almost half of the daily required fiber, which is very good for the digestive system.
It promotes the growth of healthy bacteria, enriching your gut’s bacterial diversity.
Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, and Alistipes are some bacteria, reported scientifically, to have flourished among people eating avocados considerably.
These bacteria are crucial for producing short-chain fatty acids that promote cells in the colon protecting them against diseases like colorectal cancer and inflammatory diseases.
So, when your doctor asks you to eat foods rich in fiber for your gut-related diseases, don’t miss out on avocados.
2) Healthy Heart
Do you know that this pear-shaped green berry can be GOLD to your heart?
Yes, the vitamins, minerals, and good fats present in ripe avocados keep your heart healthy.
Many scientific studies report that including avocados in your diet may prevent the onset of heart diseases.
They’re likely to elevate the heart-healthy cholesterol and reduce the level of unhealthy cholesterol, which otherwise might trigger plaquing of arteries or atherosclerosis.
Also, minerals like potassium and magnesium aid with a healthy pressure, regular heartbeat, and regulation of blood flow, keeping the unnecessary burden off the heart.
3) Lower Risk of Inflammation
Vitamin C and Vitamin E are the two key antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in avocados.
Furthermore, avocados contain carotenoids like Lutein, α-Carotene, and β-Carotene that exhibit antioxidant effects, which all make ripe avocados, in particular, protective against oxidative damage.
This means eating ripe avocado quite regularly can significantly contribute to hindering the onset and progression of various chronic diseases.
The antioxidants in the avocados also protect your brain.
4) Healthy Body Weight
Avocados are always recommended by nutritionists and healthcare specialists for people wishing to maintain a healthy body weight.
The high nutrient content of avocados promotes a sense of fullness and satiety for its consumers.
It curbs their untimely cravings for food that may impede weight loss and reduce abdominal fat.
Avocado is a delicious fruit that is native to South America and has been adopted globally. It is quite healthy and versatile; however, it becomes spoiled easily.
Consuming spoiled fruit can be harmful, so it is important that you determine its freshness before eating.
To do so, you can smell it, assess its appearance and texture, and more.
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