Avocado is commonly found in Latin cuisine (the plant originated in Mexico) but has made headway into a variety of food dishes often as a mashed-up spread (replacing mayonnaise) or as a solid, sliced version to top off sandwiches. Aside from it's delicious taste, avocado contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals including:
Courtesy of Avocado.org
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Vitamin B9 (Folate)
- Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
While you don't receive 100% of all these vitamins and minerals, you can think of avocados and mini-multivitamins. Interestingly enough, bananas are known to be high in potassium but if you ate an equal amount of avocado compared to a banana, you'd receive about 35% more potassium per 100 grams (without all the sugar from bananas!). Additionally, avocados contain high amounts of monounsaturated fat and a decent amount of fiber.
Some studies have shown that individuals who consume high amounts of avocado were able to lower cholesterol levels. There was a decrease of 22% in LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels while an 11% increase in HDL cholesterol was experienced1.
There is a downside to avocados and that is the cost. Even with the best sale prices, it is not uncommon to pay $1.00 or more for a single avocado. This can add up quickly considering a major portion of the avocado is the giant pit in the center. Keep your eyes posted on the sale papers and pick up a few avocados next time you see them on sale. They make for an excellent snack anytime during the day or night.
1Avocado Nutritional Value - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avocado