health benefits of avocado

Avocados: Why You Should Love One Today and Everyday

avocado health benefits

Disclosure: Although I did receive financial compensation for writing this post, all views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely and entirely my own and based on my own unique experiences. For nutrition information on avocados and great meal ideas on how to incorporate avocados into your daily eating plan, please be sure to visit the LoveOneToday.com website.

The Perfect Avocado is ?

There is something dreamy about eating the perfect avocado. Do you know what I mean? That avocado which screams “this is gonna make the most delish guacamole” when you slice it open. That ‘just ripe’ avocado that shows a pale green uniform color under its unique alligator pear skin. (I like Hass avocados because they seem to have the best creamy taste and mouth feel)

But what really makes the perfect avocado? The ripeness? The smooth taste? Maybe what makes all avocados perfect is the power packed nutrition that is in each avocado you eat. (More on this below)

That Perfect Avocado Makes That Perfect Guacamole

Before I go into the perfect nutrition from this fruit (yes, avocados are fruits) I have to share my two cents on the perfect guacamole. We eat a lot of guacamole (or as we call it ‘guac.’and what makes the perfect guacamole is the timing on when to use the avocados (see the picture below on when an avocado is just ripe) and the simplicity of a guac made with just a few ingredients. (While I also love the taste of fancy guacamole, there is also something sacred about a guac made with three ingredients: avocado, lemon juice and sea salt).

The perfect guacamole has a bit of texture while keeping the smoothness of a spread. The perfect guacamole has the rich taste of avocado while balancing with the ping of fresh lemon juice and sea salt. Personally, I think Hass avocados make the best guacamole because they seem to have the smoothest more uniform avocado meat (fruit).

So grab an ‘unflavored’ tortilla chip and splurge into your guacamole. There is no guilt with guac, because with my simple recipe you are enjoying avocados, one of my favorite nutrition superfoods. (Oops! Do you want a recipe?)

My Recipe for The Perfect Guacamole

Ingredients: 2 ripe avocados, preferably Hass brand. Juice from one lemon. Sprinkle of sea salt to taste.

In a bowl, cut avocados in half lengthwise, remove the pit and scoop out the avocado meat into the bowl. Smash them well with a fork. Add lemon juice and mix thoroughly again until smooth. Add small sprinkle of sea salt. Mix and taste. Add more salt if needed but don’t overdo it, because you may serve your guacamole with tortilla chips, which contain salt too.

That is all you need to make the perfect guacamole from the perfect avocado.

Why Avocado is on my short list of superfoods

“For the small size of an avocado, you get a nutrient-dense fruit”

Avocado Benefits

  • Contains naturally good fats: has monounsaturated fats and is low in saturated fats.
  • High in oleic acids: the same primary fat found in olive oil
  • Can be used as a fat substitute for other fats in cooking (see below in “Ways To Use Avocados”)
  • Is practically a sugar-free fruit (less than 1 gram of sugar per 1 oz. serving)
  • Cholesterol and sodium (salt) free.
  • When eaten with foods high in fat soluble vitamins (such as vitamin A, E, D and K) avocado helps the body better absorb these nutrients in these foods.
  • Offers 81 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin per 1 oz. serving, two carotenoids which are key nutrients for eye health as we age.
  • Has the highest protein content of any fruit with the full 18 amino acids that the body needs. (Great for vegetarians who need sufficient protein from their diet).
  • Full of vitamins: avocado is called the alphabet fruit because of all the vitamins it contains: A, C, E, K, B6 plus potassium.

Ways to use avocados:

  • sliced or cubed on salads
  • to make guacamole
  • as a main ingredient in hot or cold soups
  • sliced ‘just alone’ on a plate topped with lemon juice and olive oil
  • as a first course for a fancier meal (see shrimp salad topped avocado recipe below)
  • as a taste softener for a spicy dish
  • to add as a topping to dishes
  • on a sandwich instead of meat
  • spread on toast instead of butter for breakfast
  • as part of ice cream (a Brazilian’s favorite)
  • as part of a smoothie
  • (and lastly!) as a part of a facial or hair strengthener
avocado for facial

We use the leftover avocado from inside skins for a quick home facial

Want more ideas? Go to Love One Today website, hosted by Hass avocado to get more nutrition information and recipe ideas.

Avocados are best eaten when just ripe

There is a window of opportunity for when avocados taste best. There is two ways to know when they are ripe to eat. One is by practice, squeezing slightly the avocado to test firmness or the second is by looking at the stems.

image

The middle avocado is just right to use. And this was the case because I opened it up and made a special first course for dinner using fresh avocado halves topped with shrimp salad. My son ate three of them! Here is the recipe for Shrimp Salad Topped Avocados.

Shrimp Salad Topped Avocado Recipe

Serves 6
Prep time 10 minutes
Allergy Shellfish
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
This shrimp salad topped avocado halves are a tasty combination of shrimp and creamy avocado. Using greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise makes the dish lighter and healthier. These avocados are ideally served as a first course starter or as part of a light lunch.

Ingredients

  • 3 Avocados
  • 6 or 8oz canned shrimp (can substitute with fresh cooked shrimp)
  • 1/2 juice lemon
  • 2 tablespoons greek yogurt (can use creme fraiche or mayonaisse)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Herbes de Provence (can use chopped fresh herbs such as parsley)

Note

This recipe is very simple to make because it uses canned shrimp and dried herbs. For a more gourmet version, you can substitute cooked fresh shrimp and fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro.

Directions

Step 1
Cut avocados lengthwise and remove pit.
Step 2
Put avocados on a serving dish.
Step 3
Open canned shrimp and drain liquid.
Step 4
Chop shrimp and put in a mixing bowl.
Step 5
Add rest of ingredients to shrimp: yogurt, lemon juice and herbs.
Step 6
Mix well and adjust for seasonings.
Step 7
Top each avocado half with small amount of shrimp salad and serve immediately.

What are your favorite ways to enjoy avocado? Are you ready to dip into eating more avocados now that you know they are packed full of nutrition?

You get a lot for your dollar with an avocado, so why not eat them every day, the more the merrier!

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  1. Learn About Avocados with a few of our Favorite Dietitians - December 21, 2013

    […] Avocados: Why You Should Love One Today and Everyday – Mary Brighton, MS, RD from Brighton Your Health […]

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