By Izzie Baum
August 03, 2012

Do Olympic-themed Subway commercials have you craving avocado? It's no secret that this light, creamy fruit ups the taste and health factor of all your favorite meals. Avocados are popping up everywhere, and it's time to take full advantage of this summer’s must-have ingredient.

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 Why they’re great: Avocados are rich in essential fatty acids—don’t worry, the healthy kind of fat—that lower the risk of heart attack and keep you feeling full.  Furthermore, avocados are a great source of vitamins A and B complex. Vitamin B is an anti-inflammatory thought to lower the risk of depression, and vitamin A promotes healthy, glowing skin! Avocados also contain fat-burning properties, thanks to a rich vitamin E content, that rev up your metabolism and burn calories.

 How to: Since avocados can be a tad pricy, choosing the right avocado is crucial. Look for plump avocados with a full neck (the top part of the fruit) and no bruises or dark spots. Squeeze your avocado to tell if it’s ripe.  The fruit is slightly soft and tender when ready to eat. Store extra firm avocados in a paper bag at room temperature to ripen.

Although they’re good for you, avocados tend to be high in calories. Portion properly and aim for a quarter to a half of a cup per serving (about 60-120 calories).

Try some of my favorites below!
Power Breakfast: Two slices avocado with a whole-wheat English muffin, 2 fried egg whites and 1 tsp whipped butter (264 calories)

Sweet Sandwich: One-quarter avocado, 4 thin melon slices, 1 TBSP sunflower seeds and 1 tsp of light mayo on 2 slices of cinnamon raisin bread (350 calories)

 You’ll Go Nuts: One-quarter avocado and 1 TBSP almond butter on 2 slices of whole wheat bread (360 calories)

On the run? Try Subway’s Fresh Fit Turkey Breast with Avocado & Spinach 6” Sub on 9-grain wheat bread. It’s 263 calories—a fast, easy, and light option!