By Allison Hammett

Avocados are a wonderful fruit that contain a powerhouse of health. Typically grown in the southern hemisphere, avocados are also grown in California and Florida. The two types of avocados are Haas avocados, which have dark, bumpy skin, and the Fuerte avocado, which is larger and has a smooth green skin. They have a pale, greenish-yellow fruit with a single stone, and a delicious buttery rich taste.

Many have avoided avocados for their high fat and calorie content. Instead of being avoided, they should be eaten at every opportunity!

Avocados contain as many as twenty minerals, vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin C, E, and K, potassium, calcium, and folic acid. The fat found in avocados is monounsaturated fat, which lowers cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats can also increase your metabolic rate resulting in weight loss. These fats contain omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as amino acids.

The vitamins and nutrients in avocados can prevent and heal breast, prostate and oral cancer. They protect the liver from free radical damage, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes, and protect against heart problems. They help to regulate blood pressure and lower cholesterol, and, due to an avocado’s high lutien content, can aid in maintaining proper eye health. There are also studies demonstrating that by eating avocados, your body will be better able to absorb the nutrients from other foods. This fruit has been used to heal skin problems and can often be found in cosmetic ingredients. Avocados have been called the healthiest fruit, and it’s not hard to see why!

All ages can benefit from eating avocados, whether a young child who is growing rapidly, a pregnant or nursing mother, or those in their elderly years who want to maintain a healthy circulatory system and remain free of breast cancer and heart disease. Avocados are often recommended as an ideal food to use when first weaning a baby, due to the high calorie, fat, and vitamin content. They are delicious too!

My family’s favorite way to eat avocados is by making a simple guacamole. We mash the avocado with a little salt, lemon juice and cilantro. My kids love it this way and will fight for the last spoonful! Guacamole is not the only way to enjoy this healthy fruit. Sliced on a sandwich or diced up and tossed in a salad are delicious as well. There are recipes for soup, smoothies and much more!

I encourage you to step out and try a new recipe so that you can enjoy not only this delicious fruit but the benefits as well!


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