Top 5 Healthy Foods series second article – Benefits of Avocado. Check back for future posts to read more about my top 5 healthy foods.
Avocados use to be known as high in fat but they are making a healthy comeback. The heart healthy monounsaturated fats in avocados are known to be important for normal growth and development of the central nervous system and brain.
Avocados are sodium and cholesterol free and a great source of fiber, potassium, copper and folate. In addition they contain lutein an antioxidant for healthy eyes and skin. Lutein has been shown to be concentrated in the macula of the eye, and research shows it may help maintain healthy eyesight as we age.
This fruit contains 20 vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and beta-sitosterol. Phytonutrients are thought to help prevent many chronic diseases. Beta-sitosterol a natural plant sterol may help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of cancer and diabetes.
When on a weight loss and maintenance program, avocados can be consumed in place of other saturated fats. Use the recommended serving size to stick to your calorie-controlled diet.
Tip: Recommended serving size is 2 tablespoons per day and contains 5 grams fat and 55 calories.
Serving ideas for avocados include; add a fresh slice on a sandwich, use as substitute for mayo, cream cheese or butter on your bagel or toast to reduce fat and calories, and add slices to salads, soups and salsa.
Most avocados are hard and not ready for use when purchased. So place them in a paper sack for a day or two until they ripen, then use right away. If you need to speed up the ripening process to make guacamole, include a banana in the bag. To prevent the fruit from turning brown after cutting, sprinkle with lemon juice and refrigerate.
Tip: Even though avocados are a great substitute for foods rich in saturated fat, they are high in calories and should be eaten in moderation.
List of resources, all worth checking out.
8 Healthy Facts About Avocados from WebMD.com
Easy Guacamole from CookingLight.com
8 Avocado Recipes (Besides Guacamole) from Health.Com
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Cheers to a Healthy Day!
Lou Ann Donovan