I have mentioned before that I love avocados. I eat them in a lot of different ways, even as a dessert. That’s why I wanted to learn more about their nutritional properties and I was surprised with the information I found.
According to this World’s Healthiest Food article avocados promote heart health because they contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help to lower cholesterol. They are also a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure, and folate, a nutrient important for heart health.
Furthermore, they promote optimal health because they are a concentrated dietary source of the carotenoid lutein. It also contains measurable amounts of related carotenoids (zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene) plus significant quantities of tocopherols (vitamin E). Avocados also increase your absorption of carotenoids from vegetables and recent studies show that they help to combat oral cancer, a form of cancer more deadly than breast, skin and cervical cancer.
If those are not enough reasons to start consuming avocado, here is another one: they are delicious. Their buttery texture and flavor makes them what my dad calls nature’s butter. They are the main ingredient for the popular guacamole, but their uses don’t end there. I always find my way to this site to look for new avocado recipes. However, one of my favorite ways to eat it is in a tuna salad that is healthy and easy to make.
Just cut one avocado in half and dice it. Mix one can of tuna, one can of mixed vegetables, one TBSP of low fat mayonnaise and the avocado and serve. Easy enough for a quick lunch. The following video shows how to cut and diced avocado easily:
If you have never bought avocados before you might want to keep in mind these simple tips:
- A ripe and ready to eat avocado should be soft when you squeeze it, but it should not have dark sunken spots or cracks.
- If you are not planning to eat avocados right away select the ones that are harder when you squeeze them. Avocados ripen in a few days outside the refrigerator, but if you are not planning to eat a ripe avocado, put it in the fridge and that will slow the ripening process.
- The flesh of the avocado starts turning black the moment it comes in contact with air. Lime juice slows this process and if you are storing an open avocado, wrap it in plastic to prevent contact with air.
I hope you find this information helpful and if you have any recipes using avocados, I’ll be happy to hear them.