May 13, 2010

Friday Favorite: Avocados

Recently I was in Mexico for vacation, one of my favorite things about traveling is enjoying the foods of different cultures. In Mexico, they typically use a lot of fresh fish and local vegetables in their cooking.

One of my favorite meals on the trip was the fresh fish ceviche made with grouper, raw vegetables and avocados in lime juice. My other favorite meal was guacamole made with local avocados mixed with peppers, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and lime.

Both of these meals are a way to eat raw vegetables and a variety of other nutrients – especially monounsatured fat. There are types of healthy fats, monounsaturated fat for example, found in coconut oil, raw nuts, avocados and other foods can actually help reduce cholesterol levels. The lutein in avocados, a member of the carotenoid family, is found to be a natural anti-oxidant and great for maintaining eye and skin health.

As most Americans lack fiber in their diet, avocados are a great source ranging from 11 to 17 grams of fiber per avocado depending on the type.

Take a tip from the Mexican culture and try making guacamole with fresh avocados, using them on salads or even just peeling and eating raw avocados for a great heart healthy snack!

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