I can’t think of many better ways to satisfy my taste buds and meet nutrition goals than eating a delicious and healthy avocado. Living in Mexico it’s almost mandatory, and for very good reason. The avocado fruit is packed with nutrition and has enormous health benefits. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could face a life without guacamole!
To get the scoop on these creamy and delicious fruits and what exactly makes the avocado a superstar, check out its incredible nutrition profile, and handy tips on how to pick, use, and start your own avocado tree. There’s even an avocado facial mask your skin will love.
Avocados Nutrient Profile:
Avocados contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including 4% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) for vitamin E, B-vitamins, 4% vitamin C, 8% folate, 4% fiber, 2% iron, 4% potassium, with 81 micrograms of lutein and 19 micrograms of beta-carotene.. One half an avocado contains 145 calories and 14 grams of fat, just over 2 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber.
Avocado Nutritional Benefits
- Avocados contain lutein which is an antioxidant known to be concentrated in the Macula of the eye. It helps to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. In addition they contain many other antioxidants that help fight against free radicals in your body that can cause cancer. These antioxidants are so powerful that they can even reverse the signs of aging.
- Avocados act as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene, in foods that are eaten with the fruit. Eating nutrient dense foods is one of the healthiest ways to eat. Nutrient density is a measure of the amount of nutrients a food contains to the number of calories. Because of their density avocados are filling, like bananas, with easily digestible fats.
- Avocados are cholesterol and sodium-free.
- More than 50 percent of the fruit’s fat content comes from monounsaturated fats that reduce triglyceride levels and increase HDL, the good cholesterol.
How to pick an Avocado
A ripe avocado yields to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. Since they go so quickly from ripeness to over ripeness, you are better off picking one that is slightly hard, and then letting it ripen in a paper bag, or with some bananas. TIP: To ripen any fruit quickly, store in a paper bag with a ripe banana. This works particularly with stone fruits.
Check out this informative video on how to pick, cut, and help preserve the perfect Avocado.
Tips on how to use Avocado
In addition to the traditional guacamole, stuffed with seafood, or added to salads, sandwiches and wraps; think outside of the box. Try these tips and the nutritious avocado will become a staple on your menu. I promise.
- A refreshing smoothie – Combine one avocado, 1 c milk, ½ c yogurt, 3 T honey or agave nectar and ice cubes in a blender and blend until smooth. Delicious on a hot summer day.
- Sliced thin with tomatos and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Grilled avocado and bacon bites – Peel and cut into 1 inch cubes and wrap in bacon. Skewer or use a barbeque basket.
- BBQ with salsa. Cut in half, remove seed and brush with olive oil and lime juice Just pop it on the grill cut side down for 5-6 minutes with medium heat. Remove from grill, sprinkle with salt, a little more lime juice,fill with salsa, and add a dollup of sour cream The grill and the avocado were made for each other. These are smoky, warm, and delicious. Seriously, you have to try these.
- An avocado remoulade with seared fish – Blend avocado, lime juice, and olive oil to desired consistency. Add minced parsley and shallot or green onion, and pulse. Remove, add salt, pepper, and dijon mustard.
- Try coleslaw – Use packaged coleslaw mix, light sour cream, cumin, lots of lime juice, and some chopped onion and red or green pepper. Add the diced avocado, and top with cilantro.
Try this natural avocado and yogurt face mask your skin will love:
Ingredients you will need: ½ ripe avocado, 1 T honey, 1 T yogurt, 2 cucumber slices
- Mash the avocados, to make a creamy pulp.
- Add honey, then yogurt and stir the mixture well.
- Apply to face and neck region, leaving the area around your eyes exposed.
- Place cucumber slices over the eyes, Relax for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
Start your own avocado tree
Just in case you are inspired to start your own avocado tree, click this link. You may have to wait 2-3 years, but it is well worth the wait. It’s a lot of fun, and a real sense of accomplishment.
I hope you are convinced that the avocado should become a household fruit, just like apples and oranges. Your body will thank you!