Avocados have been my favorite food since I was a kindergartner. In those days mother always made the “big meal” for lunch. Often we would have a half avocado for dinner with Italian dressing or cottage cheese stuffed in the middle.
During my weight watcher’s period (not a happy time), I had to give them up because they contained too much fat. Imagine my pleasure when I found a program that REQUIRES that you eat at least 1/2 avocado per day (plus a half cup nuts and a cup of yogurt – my personal favorite is Kroger’s CarbSmart brand).
Life just got good again.
My friend, Ty Thames, makes a delicious twice baked avocado at his Starkville restaurant, Bin 612. Think stuffed potato. He uses the same process but with the avocado flesh mashed up with cheese and onion. He bakes it off and I am in heaven.
Here’s what you can expect on a half avocado a day:
Avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol, a substance that has been shown to have a positive effect on your blood cholesterol levels. Research has shown that avocados not only lower overall cholesterol levels but also improve the ratio between good and bad cholesterol.
Rich in vitamin E
One of the best sources of vitamin E is avocado. Vitamin E has many functions and benefits and it helps to protect the body against various diseases and ailments.
Eye and vision health
One of the main health benefits of avocado is that it helps protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration, two common eye diseases. This stems from it being very rich in carotenoid lutein.
Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fats (the good fats) and in oleic acid, a substance that may reduce risk of developing a variety of cancers including breast cancer. This is according to research although the amount of protection this gives you is yet to be fully determined.
Rich in folate
Avocados are also good for your heart and may protect you against stroke due to the high amount of folate they contain. Folate has been shown to improve heart health and even reduce risk of strokes.
Avocados also contain the following elements (for 1 cup of avocado):
- 35% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin K.
- 25% of your daily recommended intake of potassium.
- 20% of your daily intake of copper.
- 20% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C.
- And 20% of your daily dose of B6.
As you can see, avocados are rich in a variety of substances that contribute to your health and well being.
The great thing about avocados (apart from their health benefits) is that they’re very tasty and can be used in a variety of dishes. A simple sandwich with avocado and a little lemon juice sprinkled on top can be an awesome snack and keep you feeling full and satisfied for very long. Avocados are also a great addition to any vegetable salad.
Here’s a quick easy treat from the kitchen of Rachel Ray.
Chili lime avocados
- 2 ripe Haas avocados
- 2 limes
- 1 teaspoon sugar – I’ll sub with Splenda
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Chopped chives or cilantro for garnish, optional
- Halve avocados and remove pit. Roll limes or heat in microwave for 10 seconds to get juices flowing. Halve the limes. Rub the avocado halves gently with 1/2 lime to retard the browning. Juice limes into small bowl and mix with sugar, chili powder and salt using a fork or small whisk. Add extra-virgin olive oil in a slow stream while mixing dressing. Pour dressing into the cavities of avocados, distributing it equally and serve. Garnish with chives or cilantro as an optional garnish.