By Mary Lynne Hixson, MA, RD
Since June Flourish with Food has been focusing on foods associated with slowing the cognitive changes people often experience as they get older. These MIND-emphasized foods complement foods associated with the Mediterranean dietary pattern.
The last two months focused on the MIND categories leafy greens and all other vegetables.
This month’s feature highlights avocados, part of the all other vegetables group. Why highlight?
The Hass Avocado Board has a catchy promotion, Love One Today, that caught my eye. Avocados are undoubtedly easy to promote on healthfulness alone. They are exceptionally nutrient-rich, especially in healthy monounsaturated fat. This is the primary fat also found in olive oil, a component of the Mediterranean diet.
Fun trivia…is the avocado a vegetable or fruit? Botanically, avocados are a fruit because of their fleshly pulp and large seed. However, the USDA classifies avocados as a vegetable based on their common usage. Avocados are a vegetable.
Avocado’s nutrition profile: 1/2 of medium (2.5 oz), 130 calories, 5 g fiber, 5 mg sodium, 1 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, no sugar, and 20 vitamins and minerals. Additionally, avocados are rich in antioxidants and water (72%).
Avocados can help one feel fuller longer due to their high-fat content. The high amount of fat also allows pureed avocado to be a possible alternative to butter or oil in baking.
So, what are the primary barriers to choosing avocados? Cost, turning brown too quickly when using only part of, too perishable, and not ripe enough to use when purchased.
Tips for selecting avocados in the market:
Tips for handling avocados at home:
Simple no-recipe ways to use avocado
For creative recipes using avocados:
About Mary Lynne Hixson, MA, RD:
Mary Lynne, a registered dietitian, helps others enhance their health through the advocacy of nutrient-rich food choices and safe food-handling practices. Her expertise also includes counseling patients who have Type 2 diabetes and advising those who are in medically managed weight loss programs. After her 35+ year career, she retired and became involved with the launch of Harvest of Hope Pantry in 2012 as a Board of Directors member. Mary Lynne is a weekly volunteer with Cultivate’s Carry-Out Caravan program, shopping and delivering groceries to seniors in the Boulder area, and also a frequent volunteer with Harvest of Hope.
Help seniors flourish by reconnecting them—as recipients and contributors—with their surrounding communities.