Add Avocado … for your health

In honor of Cinco de Mayo and my favorite Mexican dish, guacamole, let me tell you why you should and how you can increase your family’s intake of avocados.

1. Avocados are rich in “good fat” which can lower your cholesterol and decrease your risk of stroke and heart disease.

2. There is evidence the phytochemicals in avocados may reduce the risk of some cancers.

3. One medium avocado can give you almost half your daily recommended fiber intake.

4. An avocado is a great way to get in another serving of fruit. As a bonus, it has less sugar and more protein than most other fruits.

5. Avocados are extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, contributing not only to overall good health, but to better skin, stronger nails and healthier hair.

Tips for Adding Avocado to your family’s diet:

1. If you have infants who are just starting solid foods, carry a ripe avocado, a butter knife and a baby spoon for a great, delicious, nutritious meal on the go. They don’t have to be refrigerated, you can share and you’ll look very Californian feeding your child right out of the skin. (Looking more Californian is an ongoing goal of mine.)

2. Older kids will love avocado on their grilled cheese sandwiches, in a bowl with some honey mustard and on top of turkey tacos.

3. Try refried beans, avocado, tomato and mustard in a whole wheat wrap for a quick snack you can feel good about.

4. Offer guacamole as a dip for chicken nuggets, raw veggies and pita bread. It isn’t just for greasy nachos.

5. Add avocado, corn and beans to your salads. The combination is not only really tasty, it will give your greens some variety and the additional fiber will make the dish healthier and more filling.

Remember, when purchasing avocado, buy some that are ripe now for immediate use, and a few that are very firm to the touch for consumption in a few days.

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