Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Avocado: Mom's Best Friend

Easy and nutritious: drizzled with balsamic vinegar and topped with freshly-ground pink sea salt and pepper.

Avocados are one of those foods that many people try to avoid when they're watching what they eat. "Too many calories!" or "too much fat!" they say. But avocados are actually a great choice for everyone to consume; they are packed with heart-healthy fats, fiber, Vitamin E, and B-vitamins. They even help your body's ability to absorb nutrients from other foods. For instance, adding avocado to your salsa means your body will get a bigger boost of lycopene and beta-carotene.


This fruit - yeah, it's one of those fruits-that-seems-like-a-veggie - is particularly great for pregnant women because it provides potassium and folate. Folate is a vital prenatal nutrient that helps a baby's neural tube develop properly; this helps prevent birth defects of the spine and the skull. And potassium is crucial for both pregnant and breastfeeding women. It helps maintain your fluid and electrolyte balance, stabilizes your blood pressure, and helps reduce swelling. A lack of potassium can cause leg cramps (which are a problem for many pregnant women).
So when you're wondering how to utilize those extra calories you get when you're pregnant or breastfeeding, eat a nutrient-dense avocado. Make some guacamole; top chili with diced avocado; add sliced avocado to a sandwich or salad; make frozen yogurt; or just halve the fruit, drizzle some lemon juice or vinegar on top, and scoop it right out of the skin - it's the perfect serving bowl for the perfect food.


Oh, and everything that makes avocados great for us also makes them great for kids. In fact, avocado was my son's first solid food.
What's your favorite way to eat avocados?

4 comments:

  1. Favorite ways to eat avocados are:
    1) Salad with grilled chicken, tomatoes, avocado, and red onion. Seasoned with salt, pepper and lime juice.

    2) Caprese salad made with tomato, fresh mozzarella, avocado, onion, basil and balsamic vinegar.

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  2. Jennifer, a caprese salad with avocado sounds amazing!

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  3. Pregnant = Avocado smoothie. Sounds crazy? Thank me when your all-consuming hunger bordering on a desire to take down a caribou strikes. I drank one every afternoon during my pregnancy. My total weight gain was 25 lbs. so they hardly did me in.
    Okay, so mine were made with fro-yo and a hefty dose of honey. You could try healthier choices like plain yogurt and a light touch with the sweetener. I also added wheat germ for extra nutrients and density.
    Lazy mom = Cut one up, throw on some balsamic vinegar, sea salt & fresh ground pepper. Enjoy!

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  4. oh! that explains my leg cramps! geez, i got them something awful with both pregnancies. i thought it was because i was magnesium deficient, which i had read was a cause of the condition.

    also, i like to mash avocado onto toasted bread, slap some summertime tomatoes on top and sprinkle it with kosher salt. hits the spot during a heat wave!

    ReplyDelete

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