Samantha is a Health Communication Intern at the Department of Public Health
There always seems to be a trendy new fruit or vegetable being advertised as the best thing next to
sliced bread. But really, the avocado explosion is one healthy trend I’ve been excitedly following over the years. In fact, I’ve yet to meet one person who didn’t like this alligator pear (the less common name for this popular fruit). But why are these green, fleshy fruits so good for us – you may ask? Is all the hype just a bowl of guacamole, or are they truly as nutritious as they are delicious?
Well, it seems the popularity is well deserved. Avocados are full of fiber, vitamins C, K, folate, and B6, and potassium! In fact, a single avocado contains over one-third the day’s recommendation for vitamin C and over half the day’s recommendation for vitamin K. Half an avocado has 160 calories and 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Research has actually shown the healthy unsaturated fat in avocados helps our bodies to absorb more of the important antioxidants it contains! Plus, avocados are easy to prepare and can spiff up many a meal.
How to cut and prepare an avocado:
• Rinse and dry the avocado thoroughly.
• Place the avocado long ways on a flat surface (over a cutting board or a clean dishtowel).
• Hold the top of the avocado down firmly with the fingertips of one hand.
• Starting at the narrow end, slice slowly along the center long ways around the large seed in the center.
• Take the avocado in the palm of your hand and use the other hand to twist the two halves apart. Use a spoon to scoop out the seed in the center.
• Peel the fruit by pulling away the outer dark green flesh from the yellow to green inner layer. If some dark sections remain, cut them off. You might want to try slicing the avocado into wedges before peeling. If it is difficult to peel away the skin, the avocado is not fully ripe.
• If saving for later, avoid browning by sprinkling some lemon juice on the green area and storing in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Ways to enjoy avocados:
• Guacamole – chances are you’ve indulged in this delicious dip! Try it with whole wheat pita or light tortilla chips or use it as spread for a wrap with lean meat.
• Cut into wedges and throw on a salad – the creamy texture is great against anything crispy.
• Add a slice to a sandwich instead of mayo – achieve that whipped flavor with a small fraction of the fat and a whole lot of nutrients!
• Add to tacos or tortilla soup – the flavor goes great with anything spicy.
• After scooping out the seed, fill half an avocado with black beans and salsa (or anything) and eat with a spoon for a convenient vegetarian snack.
• Feeling adventurous? Make your own avocado sushi rolls. Try brown rice instead of white sticky rice.
• Most importantly, don’t forget to avo-good time experimenting!
More great avocado recipes can be found here: http://www.cookinglight.com/food/quick-healthy/avocado-recipes-00412000071491/page17.html
Keep up with our blog for more “Spotlight On” features of fruit and veggie trends. Comment below and let us know what you want to read about!
A Taste of India for Special Occasions! posted on Mar 27
At WIC, we are very fortunate to have so many staff members from different countries and cultures. In this week’s blog, Kinnari Chitalia, RD, LDN, CLC, Nutritionist at the Dorchester North WIC Program, shares a favorite recipe that can be made at any time, but …Continue Reading A Taste of India for Special Occasions!
Working to Eliminate Health Disparities Among LGBT People posted on Mar 27
This week marks the commemoration of National LGBT Health Awareness Week. At DPH this is not only an occasion to celebrate the strides that we as a Commonwealth have made in reducing disparities in health care and health outcomes among people who identify as lesbian, …Continue Reading Working to Eliminate Health Disparities Among LGBT People
Weekly Flu Report, March 27, 2015 posted on Mar 27
The latest weekly flu report shows a slight decrease in rates of flu-like illness in the Commonwealth over the past seven days, which is consistent with what we would expect to see at this point of flu season. Flu does however continue to be present …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, March 27, 2015