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Pasta without the pasta

This may be a little strange to some but have you ever made noodles out of zucchini? Now, don't expect it to taste exactly like pasta because it is not, however you can make a light, satisfying, pasta-like dish with it.

Zucchini is low in calories (one medium-sized zucchini has just 25 calories), and has large amounts of folate, potassium, manganese and vitamin A. By incorporating zucchini into your balanced diet, you will reap many health benefits including protection against colon cancer as well as preventing heart disease and related symptoms such as high cholesterol. When eating zucchini, you should also eat the rind because it contains the nutrient beta-carotene, a vitamin that acts as an antioxidant thus protecting cells against oxidation damage.

Avocado's seem to get shunned due to its high fats content, however science is now studying and revealing numerous avocado health benefits that we all should be embracing by considering the avocado a wise food choice. Today, the avocado is deemed as being one of the healthiest foods in the world and is listed in the top 10 superfoods!

Avocado benefits are diverse considering they are rich in over 20 vitamins (including antioxidants), minerals and phytonutrients, dietary fiber, phytosterols, amino acids, health-promoting monounsaturated fats and more!

Ounce per ounce, the avocado has more beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid, vitamin E, vitamin K and protein than any other fruit. Now, that's impressive.

Corinna Maggy is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. She can be reached by e-mail at corinna@adkbikeranch.com. The information contained within Health Matters is not a substitute for professional medical examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program or beginning any nutritional regimen.

Zucchini Pasta with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Serves 1

1-2 zucchini

1 cup marinara sauce

1/2 avocado

• Peal the zucchini with a vegetable peeler into linguini like strips

• Heat up the marinara sauce

• Transfer the marinara sauce to a blender, add the avocado and blend

• Pour the marinara sauce onto the "pasta" and enjoy!

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