Avocados

AVOCADOS

The avocado is a rich source of monounsaturated fats for heart health and is packed with important nutrients.

Avocados are very high in fat, but this fat is mostly monounsaturated. The oleic acid contained in monounsaturates can lower the risk of breast cancer, and monounsaturates can help to reduce “bad” blood cholesterol levels. Avocados also have a large range of nutrients, including vitamins C,E, and B6, folate, iron, magnesium , and potassium, and antioxidant plant chemicals beta-sitosterol, which can also help lower blood cholesterol, and glutathione, which protects against cancer.

  • High vitamin E content boosts the immune system, keeps skin healthy, and helps prevent heart disease.

  • Lutein content helps protect against eye cataracts and macular degeneration.

  • High monounsaturated fat content helps lower cholesterol.

  • Good source of magnesium for a healthy heart.

Practical tips:

Choose avocados that have unblemished skins without soft spots, which suggest bruising. They’re ready to eat if the flesh yields slightly when pressed with the thumb. To hasten ripening, put them in a paper bag with a banana. To prepare, cut lengthwise down to the pit and twist to separate the two halves. Pierce the pit with the top of the knife, then pull the pit out. Once cut, use lemon juice, vinegar, or vinaigrette dressing, to avoid discoloration.

Did you know?

Extra virgin avocado oil is now widely available - use it for roasting, drizzling over salads, or serve it as a dip with crusty bread.

Major Nutrients per Average-sized Avocado

Calories: 240

Total fat: 3g

Protein: 22g

Carbohydrate: 12.8g

Fiber: 5g

Vitamin C: 9mg

Potassium: 728mg

Vitamin E: 3mg

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Spicy Avocado Dip

Serves 4

2 large avocados

juice of 1-2 limes

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp mild chili powder, or to taste

salt & pepper

METHOD

  1. Cut the avocados in half. Remove the pits and skin and discard.

  2. Place the avocado fresh in a food processor with the juice of 1 or 2 limes, according to taste. Add the garlic and chili powder and process until smooth.

  3. Transfer to a large serving bowl, season to taste and serve.

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Chris Walker