Well, where do you start with something as amazing as the avocado? They look exotic, have a totally unique taste and texture and are incredibly good for you too! Yes, I know they are high in calories but, if you are sensible and don’t gorge on them, they are packed full of good things that far outweigh their ‘bad’ reputation.
Glance at the fruit bowl on my kitchen table any day of the year and you’ll see avocados in among the apples and bananas as I absolutely adore them. I use them in vegetable smoothies, slice them in a salad and, if you follow some of my beauty blogs, will know I sometimes even slap them on my face as they make a terrific moisturising mask!
It’s one of those foodstuffs – rather like the butternut squash – that I can’t imagine how we ever managed without it. Avocados first arrived in the UK in the 1960s and I can well remember them being regarded as highly exotic, rather decadent and ever so slightly odd! How could it be a pear and yet not be sweet?
Avocados have a much higher fat content than most other fruit, and it’s mostly monounsaturated fat… which means it’s fatty but in a really good way! This makes them really popular with vegetarians who can sometimes struggle to get enough good fats in their diet.
Generally, avocado is served raw but you can cook with it. I used to serve a dinner party dish where the flesh had been scooped out and mixed with prawns and cheese and then put back in the avocado shell and grilled but, to be quite honest, it’s a rather rich dish and, as avocado so lovely on its own, why bother?
And, of course, they are terribly good for you too. Not wishing to bore you with too many statistics, but here are a few of the more impressive ones:
- About 75% of an avocado’s energy comes from fat, most of which is monounsaturated fat
- On a weight basis, avocados have 35% more potassium than bananas.
- They are rich in folic acid and vitamin K, and are good dietary sources of vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin E
- Avocados have a high fibre content of 75% insoluble and 25% soluble fibre.
- High avocado intake has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels.
- Extracts of avocado have been studied to assess potential for lowering risk of diabetes
- The avocado is also being researched for potential anti-cancer activity
- The ability of avocado to help prevent unwanted inflammation is widely accepted and many arthritis sufferers swear by it.
And if that weren’t enough… it’s also great fun to grown an avocado plant from the stone, or pit. It won’t fruit but it does grow into an attractive houseplant!
What more could you possibly want from one fruit? If you want to find out more, there’s lots of information online… but do be wary of crank sites!