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February 23 2012 5 23 /02 /February /2012 18:28

Avocado.jpg!

Over the years, my fascination with nutrient dense foods has motivated me to find healthier substitutes for the various condiments we use.  Avocado is by far the best choice as a substitute for butter or mayo.

Also known as alligator pear, the avocado is derived from the Aztec word “ahuacatl”.  It comes in a multitude of varieties, and is the fruit of the Persea Americana, a tall evergreen tree that can grow up to 65 feet in height.

Avocado is not only a great source of healthy fats, recent research has shown that it contains two key carotenoid antioxidants-- lycopene and beta-carotene.We tend to think about carotenoids as mostly concentrated in bright orange or red vegetables like carrots or tomatoes. While these vegetables are indeed excellent sources of carotenoids, avocado—despite its dark green skin and largely greenish inner pulp—is now known to contain a tremendous array of carotenoids. Researchers believe that the avocado's carotenoid diversity is a key factor in its anti-inflammatory properties.

Interestingly enough, fresh avocado when combined with romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots for example, greatly increases the absorption of carotenoids from the other vegetables. The results of this research make perfect sense because carotenoids are fat-soluble and with the addition of avocado, they are provided with the fat they need for absorption.

So think about it… when you use avocado on your sandwich, instead of butter or mayo, you’re super charging everything else it touches.

So go ahead…spread it on!

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