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The Amazing Avocado

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					                                                     The Amazing Avocado: A Nutritional
                                                     Powerhouse

                                             Although most often used as a vegetable,
                                             avocados are actually a fruit. Once quite
                                             expensive outside of California and Florida
                                             where they are grown, avocados are now
                                             available most of the year throughout the
                                             United States at reasonable prices.
                                             Originally from Peru, almost all parts of
                                             the plant are used medicinally by the
                                             indigenous peoples of Central America.
The flesh and oils of the avocado stimulate production of collagen when applied to the
skin so you donʼt have to eat avocados to get its youthful benefits, try an avocado facial
instead!

Avocadoʼs creamy texture and buttery flavor make it a wonderful addition to vegetables,
salads and pasta. Even though avocados offer high nutrition and heart-healthy
monounsaturated fats, their major drawback is that 85% of their calories come from fats
and a 4 oz. serving (roughly 1/2 an medium avocado) is 200 calories! The secret to
enjoying avocados is to enjoy them regularly but in small amounts because they are
one of natureʼs most antioxidant rich foods.

It is important to note that avocados need to always be served raw because they
become bitter when cooked. You can, however, add them to hot food just before serving
- tossed with pasta sauce and noodles or sliced on top of a broiled chicken breast. Of
course, they are also well known as the main ingredient of guacamole. A small amount
of ripe avocado mashed on the top of toast or a corn tortilla with a very light sprinkling of
smoked salt is a perennial breakfast and snack favorite in our household.

When served along with an otherwise low-fat meal or snack, avocados offer an amazing
array of important nutrients. That 4 oz. serving mentioned previously provides 500 mg of
potassium and more than 30% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of folate.
That same amount of avocado also supplies over 10% of the RDA for iron, magnesium
and vitamins A, C, E, and B6, plus the most protein of any fruit, approximately 2 grams
in that 4 oz. serving.

Unlike most fruits, avocados do not ripen on the tree. Avocados can hang on the tree
without ripening for over 6 months. Once they are picked, however, they will ripen in a
few days. Avocados are ready to eat when they give slightly when squeezed. Beware of
soft spots - these can be brown and bitter bruises under the skin.

There are a number of different varieties of avocado in a number of different shapes, as
well as a variety of shades of green and running to yellow and red. The most common
here in California is the Hass avocado, a higher fat avocado that produces nearly year-
round and goes from a dark green to nearly black when ripe. The shiny green with light

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colored flecks pear-shaped avocado is the Fuerte that tends to ripen a bit slower than
the Hass. All types of avocados can ripen on the counter of your kitchen. If you have
more than one ripe avocado, you can keep them ready to eat by placing them in the
refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Once you have determined that an avocado is ripe and ready to eat, take a knife and
cut it lengthwise, starting at the top and go around the seed. Then twist the two halves
apart. If you plan to only use part of the avocado, use the part that did NOT contain the
seed first. Why? Once the avocado flesh is exposed to air, it begins to oxidize and
become bitter. The seed contains an enzyme that slows this process, so saving this
section and wrapping it in saran wrap will give you several more days to eat this other
half. As a matter of fact, if you only plan to use a small amount, you can scoop that
amount out and put the two halves back together and then wrap the whole fruit in saran
wrap. An avocado will stay delicious and ready to serve when kept this way for several
days.

Donʼt let the calories keep you from eating and enjoying this amazing fruit.




More tips for healthy aging at http://www.feelingageless.com | Forward to a friend! | Copyright 2011

				
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Description: Avocados are high in nutrition and the one of the most antioxidant fruits. It's high fat and calorie load, however, means you should enjoy it regularly but in small amounts.