Here at Southshore, we’re all about celebrating deliciously healthy food choices. And Monday, July 31 is no exception. Happy National Avocado Day, everyone! Today we commemorate the flavorful fruit (yes, I said fruit) also known as the alligator pear because of its coarse texture and dark green color. Used in everything from appetizers and smoothies to desserts and even hair or face masks, avocados are chock full of vitamins and nutrients including folate, copper, vitamins K and B5, potassium and fiber. And don’t forget about their monosaturated “good fats” that help lower bad cholesterol. The health benefits of this versatile superfood are off the charts.
Vision and cognitive health. Avocados are high in lutein and zeaxanthin that can enhance brain function and protect against damage caused by UV light. Their healthy fat content also helps with the absorption of beta carotene to prevent age-related macular degeneration.
Chronic diseases. The healthy fat in avocados can protect against heart disease and the fiber can protect against colon cancer, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and certain gastrointestinal diseases.
Bone health. Avocados are rich in vitamin K which aids in calcium absorption and vitamin C which is important in the production of collagen to maintain healthy bones and cartilage.
Mental health. The high concentration of folate can assist in warding off depression by preventing an accumulation of homocysteine which has been linked to decreased levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which regulate mood, sleep and appetite.
Fetal health. Both folate and fatty acids found in avocados are critical to pregnancy and fetal development in that they can prevent miscarriage and defects in the baby’s brain and spinal development.
Seriously, have we sold you on avocados yet? Here’s a few recipes to get you started.
In the right recipe, avocado is the perfect substitute for butter. Even better … the cooking time and quantities used are the same for avocados as they are for the fattier alternative.
- ½ c. flour
- 1 c. sugar
- ½ c. puréed, ripe avocado
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Grease small baking pan to prevent sticking.
- Blend all ingredients thoroughly in large bowl. (This might take some doing, so bonus … it’s a shoulder, arm and wrist workout!)
- Pour into pan and bake 25 minutes.
- Cool and serve in small squares.
The perfect way to start … or end … the day.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
- 2 c. unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 tbsp. honey
- Scoop of protein powder (optional)
Blend all ingredients with ice until it reaches the desired consistency.
Happy National Avocado Day! Guac your socks off!
Michele Robert Poche