Ah, avocado! Not so long ago, people living outside the Sun Belt knew little about avocados. They might have been available in the grocery stores, but the quality left much to be desired. Many shoppers looked at them and thought, “Ee-ewww!” But that has changed today. Rapid transport and commercial growers have found quicker ways to get them to market and fans have reacted positively to the opportunity to make their own guacamole at home.
Guacamole is almost certainly the most common way to consume this creamy, delicious super-food. About half a cup of avocado chunks, one small fruit or perhaps what you might eat in a feast of chips and guacamole, has a surprising 5 grams of fiber, about 20% of your daily needs. Most creamy foods don’t have nearly that much fiber.
Avocados make the super food list not only because of their rich fiber content, but also because of their treasure trove of monounsaturated fat—the good kind. Avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance shown to significantly lower blood cholesterol levels. This nutrient has the ability to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol (bad fat) and triglycerides, both associated with heart disease, and increase the levels of HDL cholesterol (good fat), which tends to lower the risk of heart disease. The fat doesn’t come cheap, of course. That half-cup of chunks has 120 calories, so don’t go overboard eating them.
Avocados are also a good source of your daily needs of Vitamin C (almost 15%), Vitamin K (20%), and folate (15%), as well as 10% of your potassium needs. Although avocados have just a smidge of protein, it is complete protein, meaning it contains the complete array of all amino acids needed to supply your body. This luscious, buttery fruit has other uses beside guacamole. Try slicing it and adding it to a sandwich instead of mayonnaise or butter—yum! You can even mash it and mix it half-and-half with less healthy salad dressing to top green salads or to add to pasta salads. Just keep in mind that you will have to eat the salad right away to avoid the browning avocado is prone to show.