SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: THE AMAZING AVOCADO
By Stefanie Cassetto
Not all fats were created equal. There are fats that are good for you with superior health benefits — and then there are the fats that you want to stay far away from. This week’s superfood spotlight focuses on a fruit that is almost too good to be true. It is rich and creamy … but oh so good for you. If you are not a fan of the avocado, you should be. The avocado’s buttery taste is not all it’s lending to dips and salads. It is loaded with nutrients and the good kind of fat that our body needs.
Most of the avocados produced in the United States are grown in California. This means that those who live in California have access to this nutritious fruit year round. Avocados are a nutrient-dense food. They are high in insoluble fiber and lead the way among fruits for folate. Potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium content. The avocado also boasts 60 percent more potassium than a banana.
These nutrients make the avocado a great food to add the diet for those trying to regulate blood pressure, prevent heart disease, encourage healthy bones, support cardiovascular health, and stave off migraines.
While almost three-quarters of the avocado’s calories come from fat, most of it is healthy fat. The avocado contains monounsaturated fats are known to reduce the bad kind of cholesterol and are believed to help increase the good kind of cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins (HDL’s). Research is finding that the monounsaturated fat found in avocados can be burned more quickly that saturated fat, making the avocado a “go-to” fruit for snack and mealtime.
Avocado is an extremely versatile fruit. It can be enjoyed raw, cut lengthwise, with a squeeze of lime on the flesh or whipped into milkshakes or smoothies. It is a delicious topping on a burger or diced into salads. It is can be mashed into guacamole and can easily replace mayonnaise as a spread on a sandwich. Avocado is also what makes the California sushi roll a favorite among sushi lovers.
Because avocados are high in calories, they must be eaten in moderation. But don’t let that fact steer you away from adding them into your recipe rotation for the health benefits they contain.
GLUTEN-FREE TOMATO AND AVOCADO SALAD
- 4 tomatoes, parboiled, skinned, and diced
- 4 avocados, peeled and mashed
- 1 red onion, peeled and diced
- 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
- 1 handful fresh mushrooms, diced
- 1-tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp fresh minced garlic
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine tomatoes, avocados, onions and mushrooms until just blended. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Season with garlic, salt and pepper. Serve and Enjoy.