Avocados: the Super Fruit

Avocado

Avocados are my favorite food. I am not sure when I started eating them, but I have never looked back. I think it was when I found out I had food allergies and my whole life centered around what I couldn’t eat. I was on a mission to find out what I could eat, and avocado was on the “can” eat list.

Not only are they smooth and creamy and have a taste like nothing else, they are also good for you! I love that avocados come in their own natural packaging. Their hardy skin allows me to take them with me whenever I travel, so if I arrive at a restaurant that doesn’t have a lot of options for me, I can quickly ask for a tossed salad and chop up my avocados, add a little olive oil and lemon juice, and have a quick and healthy snack.

Avocados are great for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—I even make a healthy chocolate avocado pudding for dessert. What other food is so versatile that you can eat it at every meal?

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The Many Health Benefits of Avocados

• They contain soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps to keep your digestive system healthy.

• They’re also filled with monounsaturated fats, which help control triglycerides in the bloodstream, lower blood cholesterol, and control diabetes.

• Another important nutrient, folate, is found in avocados, and it keeps your heart healthy (it’s also great when you are pregnant).

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• Lutein is a carotenoid that protects the eyes against diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. Avocados contain three times as much lutein as found in other common vegetables and fruits.

• Oleic acid is also found in avocados; it is a fat that tells the brain you are full and helps keep cholesterol levels low.

How to Eat an Avocado

• Chop it and add it to salads

• Mash it and add olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt and spread it on crackers or bread

• Cut it in half and fill the hole with tuna fish or salmon salad

• Slice it and put it in a sandwich instead of mayonnaise

• Add it to smoothies

• Make guacamole and have it with cut up vegetables or corn chips

• Avocado makes great smooth puddings – mix with pure cocoa, coconut milk, and a banana for a tasty dessert

Shirley Plant is the author of Finally… Food I Can Eat!, a dietary guide and cookbook for people with food allergies. Shirley also offers dietary consulting and menu planning via her site Delicious Alternatives. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.deliciousalternatives.com