Sixteen years ago, my palette changed in a way I never knew possible when I started dating, my now husband. Being a South American, and part Chinese decent; he was exposed to many different foods and a few different cultures. His family was not so shy to try new things.
One of the many foods I was exposed to was the Avocado. How wonderful this fruit was when it was mixed in with different dishes and eaten on their own. A classic dish his mom used to creatively make for me, that my own children now enjoy is a fresh, simple avocado salad. The ingredients consisted of avocados (obviously), red onions, cilantro and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Simple yet amazingly delish!
As the years progressed I started researching avocados and the benefits of such a wonderful, tasty wonder.
Avocados are a source lutein, a cartenoid that works as an antioxidant. They help protect your eyes and help get nutrients from other foods you are eating. Although avocados have a lot of fat in them (14 grams for half an avocado) they are good fats, the omega fats you need. Don’t be so afraid of fat, especially when they come from sources such as avocados, they help you stay full throughout the day. The oleic acid in avocados can also help reduce cholesterol levels.They are also chock full of fibre (3.4 grams of soluble and insoluble) which helps you eliminate all the garbage building up in your system. Avocados also help protect your heart, and if you’re pregnant, one cup has a quarter of the recommended folate you need throughout the day.
These days we put avocados in everything, I add it as a spread (instead of heart clogging mayonnaise) in sandwiches, I throw it in my bean salad, we also eat it as it is, cutting one open and popping it in our mouths. My older daughter also invents her own salad, incorporating avocados!
As an avocado picking expert, my tip for you when picking one from your local grocery store, is to ensure the skin isn’t completely black (too ripe) or a bright green (not ripe enough). You want it firm but not rock-hard. If you find one the perfect colour but still too firm, leave them on your kitchen counter in a paper bag for a day or two then put them in your crisper so they last longer.
Enjoy a heart healthy avocado today!
Until next time,
Live From the Inside out,