Enjoy health benefits of avocados on National Guacamole Day

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Sean Dreilinger
Sean Dreilinger

Melissa Bess, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Camden County, University of Missouri Extension

September 16 is known as National Guacamole Day. Guacamole can be healthy, depending on how you make it. Avocados are the main ingredient in this tasty side dish or appetizer.

California avocados are in season from spring to fall. This is the time of year that you will find the best quality and best prices on avocados. Avocados are one of the produce items with the least amount of pesticides, so there is no reason or benefit to buying organic avocados.

Avocados are considered a fruit. They are one of the few fruits or vegetables that contain fat. The fat in avocados is unsaturated and is heart healthy.

Did you know that avocados have more potassium than bananas? Avocados contain 60 percent more potassium per ounce than bananas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), avocados are loaded with nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and folate. They’re also cholesterol and sodium free. Two tablespoons of mashed avocado or 1/5 (about 1 ounce) of a medium avocado provides about 55 calories.

Mashed avocado can be used instead of mayonnaise on a sandwich or wrap. You can mix avocado with your choice of whole grains and other vegetables for a tasty whole grain salad. Avocados can also be mixed with tomatoes, diced onions, lime or lemon juice and your choice of seasonings for a refreshing dip.

For more information on choosing, preparing and storing avocados, including a healthy guacamole recipe, check out the full version of this article at http://missourifamilies.org/features/nutritionarticles/nut470.htm

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