July 16th, 2019

To Your Health: Packed with nutrients, avocados add to many meals

By Gillian Slade on February 4, 2019.

Finding fresh, nutritious, quality produce at an affordable price can be challenging at this time of year. That’s why I want to share my passion for avocados with you.

They are packed with mono-unsaturated fatty acids, are a good source of vitamin B6, which is great for your central nervous system, and vitamins A, C and E antioxidants to address free radicals. They are also a source of magnesium that is good for your muscles and gives you energy.

On a personal note, magnesium has been helpful in addressing poor quality of sleep too.

Avocados are also a high source of fibre.

Most of us are comfortable using avocados in salads but at this time of year we tend to want more comforting foods. Avocados though are not only for salads

It is perhaps appropriate here to note the high number of cuts to hands and fingers being reported from incorrectly cutting an avocado open. This does not need to be a dangerous process.

This is what I do. Let the avocado rest in the palm of your hand. Use a knife to cut through the skin and flesh “parallel” to your hand. The knife should cut through to the pip/stone and then you rotate the avocado to continue cutting all the way around. Put the knife down and simply lift one half off the other. If the stone does not fall out with a slight squeeze, just use a teaspoon to lift it out. You can continue to remove the flesh from each half with that teaspoon and then add seasoning. In fact for a great snack add seasoning and simply eat the avocado flesh from one of the halves.

If you like the avocado in neat slices, then after removing the stone put each half of the avocado down flat on your cutting board. With a knife you cut through the skin to the board creating four pieces. Put the knife down and peel the skin back with your fingers.

Avocado on whole-wheat toast (even better if it is homemade bread) with a sprinkling of salt and pepper is a quick and easy meal. You can make a fabulous meal by topping this with a poached egg. Add a small bowl of hot soup and you have a wonderful, quick, easy, nutritious and economical supper on a winter’s night.

When you are buying a number of avocados at a time it is a good idea to try and stagger when they are ripe. Those with a darker-brownish-coloured skin, that are slightly soft when you put pressure on the skin, are ready to eat.

The bright green ones that are hard need to ripen. You can hasten the ripening process by wrapping them individually in newspaper or aluminum foil. Another method is to place them in a brown paper bag with a tomato or banana. The gases released from the other fruit will also hasten the ripening process.

Here’s to avocados and here’s To Your health.

To Your Health is a weekly column by Gillian Slade, health reporter for the News, bringing you news on health issues and research from around the world. You can reach her at gslade@medicinehatnews.com or 403-528-8635.

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