Health Secrets of the Mediterranean Diet

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Native to the Americas, this luscious fruit reached the Mediterranean by way of the Spanish conquistadors. Like almonds, avocados are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and they also contain beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol that helps lower cholesterol levels. Avocados are good sources of potassium, folic acid, and vitamins B-6, C, and K. Plus, research shows that adding avocado to salads or salsas increases your absorption of beta-carotene, lycopene, and other carotenoid compounds in those foods.

To use: Besides salads and salsas, avocado goes great in sandwiches, either sliced into wedges or mashed and spread instead of mayonnaise. Some commercial guacamoles don’t actually contain much avocado, so make your own or shop for one that lists avocado as the first ingredient.

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