The avocado is a tree native to Mexico and Central America, which bears a green, pear-shaped fruit. One-fifth of a medium avocado (1 oz.) has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense food choice.

A single 3.5 ounce serving of avocado provides 26% of the Required Daily Amount or RDA for Vit. K, 20% of the Folate RDA, 17% of Vit. C RDA, 14% of Potassium RDA, 14% RDA Vit. B5, 13% RDA Vit. B6, 10% RDA Vit. E. Avocados also contain trace amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vit. A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavon) and B3 (Niacin).

The potassium contained in avocado reduces the effect of salt on blood pressure. One ounce of avocado, (1/5 of a medium avocado) provides 140 grams of potassium, or 14% of the recommended daily value.

Additionally, avocados are a good source of dietary fiber, with 2 gr. of fiber per 1/5 avocado.

They contain “good” fats, being one of the few fruits which contain both mono and polyunsaturated fats. Both mono and polyunsaturated fats, when consumed in moderation, can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. Avocados add good fats to the diet, providing 3 g of mono and 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat per 1-oz. serving.

An avocado makes a quick, nutritious snack. It’s yummy just mashed and spread on whole wheat toast or rye crisp. Sliced or chopped avocado can be added to any salad or sandwich. Try avocado with tuna salad, or on a BLT.

When shopping for avocado, look for a firm avocado, then use it in a day or so after it feels just slightly soft. It’s best to use the avocado as soon as you cut it open, because it will quickly start to turn brown from oxidation as it is exposed to the air. Adding lemon juice to the avocado can help to prevent this if you’re using it for a salad or guacamole.

Super Easy Guacamole

1 avocado

1 half lemon

1/4- 1/2 tsp sea salt

dash of hot sauce

optional: add chopped sweet pepper, onion, or tomato

Cut the avocado in half, then insert the knife tip into the pit and twist to pop the pit out. Gently slide a spoon around the avocado to separate the peel and discard.

Mash the avocado or blend in a food processor with a clove of garlic. Add the juice from half a lemon, salt and hot sauce.

Guacamole is perfect on salads, tacos or sandwiches or as a dip.

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