Ah, Avocados.  Yup, it's time for another installment of "Food FYI" (insert echo here).  And with this month's heart health in mind, I want to talk about this lovely green food that is wonderful for your heart.

The avocado tree is native to Central America (hello, Guacamole anyone?).  It comes from the same family as cinnamon and has the nickname "Alligator Pear."  The most common avocado used is the Haas.  It produces fruit year round and accounts for 80% of cultivated types around the world.  A ripe avocado yields to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. The flesh is prone to enzymatic browning; it turns brown quickly after exposure to air. To prevent this, lime or lemon juice can be added to avocados after they are peeled.

Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. They allow for the absorption of other carotenoids—especially beta-carotene and lycopene—which are essential for heart health.  Avocados also have have 35% more potassium than bananas.  Yup!  Bananas are not the end all be all of potassium.

And avocados are versatile.  I have them on sandwiches, tacos, curries, fish, meats, salads, soups.  I've even seen them made into smoothies!  So go ahead, go to the store, pick up one of these beauties, and get going!  Yum.  The Amazing Avocado.