The avocado is a creamy-textured fruit you can enjoy in countless dishes or all by itself, if you are an avocado purist. It contains nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
The Haas avocado grows year-round and is one of the most common varieties. The Bacon, Zutano and Fuerte varieties are available during the fall and winter months.
A typical serving of avocado is 1 ounce, or one-fifth of a medium avocado--about two to three thin slices.
A serving of avocado contains 50 calories, 4.5 grams of total fat and 0.5 grams of saturated fat. It is free of trans-fats, cholesterol and sodium. It contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, making it healthier than foods high in saturated fat.
One serving contains 4 percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Value of vitamins E and C, fiber and potassium. It provides 8 percent of daily folate needs and 2 percent of recommended iron.
Avocados contain 81 micrograms of lutein, which is a natural antioxidant that may help maintain healthy eyesight. The avocado enables your body to absorb this fat-soluble nutrient.
You can serve avocados alone or in sandwiches, salads, salsas and soups, such as gazpacho. You can also add fresh avocado to hot pasta dishes.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of darwin Bell