This is part of our Beauty Food series. Click here to catch up on previous posts.

Nature’s butter: that’s the name I use for the creamy, green, pear-shaped fruit we all know as avocado. They come from a tall evergreen tree called Persea Americana, and are sometimes referred to as Alligator Pear because of their rough skin. Ninety percent of the US supply of avocados are grown in California, where they are in season from March through September. Ripe avocados boast the following nutritional benefits:

Monounsaturated Fat. Decreases risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes through improving blood cholesterol levels and stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Vitamin K. Helps blood clot normally and protects bones from fracture and density loss.

Vitamin E. Prevents cells damage from cancer-causing free radicals. Protects against bladder cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Vitamin C. Helps the body make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels; and repairs and maintains cartilage, bones, and teeth. Acts as an antioxidant to block damage by free radicals, which includes cancer, heart disease and arthritis. Boosts the immune system.

How To Select An Avocado
Color doesn’t necessarily indicate whether an avocado is ripe. An avocado that is ready to eat will yield slightly to pressure when gently squeeze in the palm of your hand. It’s possible to ripen an under-ripe avocado at home by storing in a brown paper bag, but be sure to avoid those with dark blemishes on the skin, sunken spots or cracks.

How To Add Them To Your Daily Life
– Spread half of an avocado on toast with some salt and pepper for a tasty breakfast
– Slice one up and add it to your favorite salad
– Make guacamole: mash up several avocados in a bowl, adding salt, pepper and lime juice to taste. Other add-ins include diced red onions, tomatoes and jalapeños, depending on your preferences.

 

Photo credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/arsheffield/3462013488/sizes/z/in/photostream/