Beginners Guide To Heart-Healthy Avocado

The avocado is one healthy fruit. Adding this healthy fruit to you diet can benefit your heart, your “good” cholesterol level, and provide essential nutrients.

Benefits of Avocados

Avocados contain 25 essential nutrients, can help maintain low blood pressure, and help cholesterol levels in the body.

Avocados also contain oleic acid. Oleic acid can help increase HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol. Avocados can also help block LDL (bad) cholesterol.”

Avocados also contain Folic acid, the B-Vitamins and Vitamin E. The high potassium content in an avocado can help maintain low blood pressure. According to Nutshell Nutrition, avocados are one of the healthiest fruits. It is a source of wide variety of nutrients. Also avocados, just like other fruits, can be associated in any food. It can be a good dessert as shake, juice and even ice cream.

Type of Avocados

Popular varieties of avocado are grown in California and Florida. The Hass Avocados is the most readily available commercial avocado. The Hass avocado is dark green with a bumpy skin. The skin of Hass Avocados is relatively thin, similar to the thickness of an apple if it had bumps.

Florida avocados are larger and sometimes called the “smooth” variety. Smooth avocados have a lighter green exterior, and are larger than Hass avocados.

Avocado Selection

A Hass avocado, when it is not ripe is green. It is ripe when it is soft to the touch and the skin is browning. Buy a green Hass avocado for use in a day or two. Buy brown and softer Hass avocados for use today. If the Hass avocado feels mushy, or has many mushy spots, pass it up for a less-ripe one.

A Florida avocado maintains its brilliant green color through its stages of ripeness. The peel is also thicker than on Hass avocados, and it be a little more difficult to determine ripeness.

Preparing Avocados

Prepare an avocado by cutting the avocado in half with a sharp knife that has been rubbed with lemon juice. Use a plastic spoon to remove the large round pit. For dishes that require a decorative avocado slice, gently remove the peel from one half of the avocado. Place the avocado flat-side down. Cut think long or short slices of the avocado.

To make a natural avocado dip, scoop out the avocado from both halves of the split avocado. Use a plastic fork to mash the avocado, leaving some small chunks for added texture. Or, if you prefer, mash the avocado until

smooth. Sprinkle a little bit of garlic powder over the avocado. Add freshly-ground sea salt with one turn of a McCormick Sea Salt Shaker.

Squirt lime juice from a plastic lime juice container two or three times over the avocado. Stir and taste. Re-spice to your taste.

For a quick guacamole, mix the above prepared avocado, or just a plain mashed avocado with your favorite salsa.

Quick Healthy Meals with Avocados

Avocados have a delicate flavor that can be enhanced with lime juice, lemon juice, sea salt and tomato.

Avocados can be sliced and added to sandwiches. Try avocados with turkey, chicken, or even roast beef sandwiches. Use mashed or sliced avocado to take the place of mayonnaise. The avocado slices can also be served on the side of sandwiches.

Or, use avocados in vegetarian or cheese sandwiches. Top your favorite salad with chunks of fresh avocado.

As a side dish, make fresh avocado dip or guacamole and serve along side multi-grain tortillas with melted cheese for a lunch or healthy snack. Avocados can also be served with chicken-tomato dishes, or Tex-Mex flavored foods like tacos.

Plain avocados can also be mashed up and given to baby as is, or mixed with other foods.

Drawbacks of Avocados

Although avocados have a lot of health pluses, that does not mean they should be eaten in excess. The avocado, for all of its caveats, is also rich with calories and fat grams. The best way to incorporate the avocado into a diet is to use it as a fat substitute to meet dietary recommended allowances of fat. Instead of fat-laden salad dressings or mayonnaise, dress salads and sandwiches with nutritious avocados instead.