Spotlight on Avocados
While it may seem that every season is avocado season in California, summer is definitely the high point. While continued drought conditions make it harder to grow water-intensive avocados close to home, you can still find California avocados at some grocery stores, farmers markets, small and home growers in summertime.
While avocados are technically a berry, to our bodies they provide ample amounts of fat. Rich in mostly monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid, research has shown that daily avocado intake helps lower cholesterol. While a diet with similar fat intake in the form of oils helped cholesterol, getting the fat specifically from avocados had the greatest impact. This impact was most notable with a harmful type of LDL cholesterol, small-density LDL.
Avocados are also rich in important vitamins and minerals. They are a great source of potassium, folate, and several B vitamins. Some of the antioxidants in avocados, like lutein and zeaxanthin, are beneficial to eye health, and may reduce risk for eye disease like cataracts.
Replacing intake of saturated fat foods, like cheese and butter, with avocado is one great way to get these benefits. Think of adding avocado to toast or a sandwich. Make guacamole for Taco Tuesday, or add some to salad. But sometimes the best way to eat a ripe avocado is on its’ own- cut it in half, remove the pit, squeeze some lemon, and dig in with a spoon.
If you’d like some avocado cutting advice, watch this great how to video from Healthline.