Once consigned to the trees of South Central Mexico and impossibly healthy looking 20 something’s on Instagram the avocado is now a staple in supermarkets across the land and should start to be a mainstay in your food cupboard if you’re serious about taking your nutrition (semi) serious.
Believe it or not the avocado doesn’t grow in the polystyrene box you find it in during your weekly shop – but you already knew that.
The origins of the avocado come from, as we mentioned above, the trees of South Central Mexico. Technically, the alligator pear (as it’s sometimes known) is a fruit though it’s used universally as a vegetable. There are four different types of avocado:
- Hass (pretty much considered the best one) which has a dark knobbly skin
- Ettinger and Fuerte which are pear shaped and have smoother skin
- Nabal – which is a lot more spherical
So you now know what they look like so why on earth should you eat them? We’ve laid out a few reasons why avocado are the king of super foods (lots of avocado’s were eaten, in the name of research, promise).
It’s full of lovely fat, yes that is a good thing!
As we looked at in an earlier blog, ‘low-fat’ isn’t actually the best thing for your body. Avocados contain a heck of a lot of fat, 77% of the calories in a single avocado are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence! Before you panic, the fat contained in avocado is called Oleic acid, which is one of the main components of olive oil. Oleic acid has been known to reduce inflammation and tests have shown that the acid has beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.
It may help relieve symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis is one of the most common ailments in Britain, according to the NHS around 10 million people suffer from it with Osteoarthritis being the most common form. Oils in Avocado called unsaponifiables have been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of Osteoarthritis (arthritis of the bones).
Fats in avocado act as the gateway for other veggies
Nutrients in veg are all well and good but unless we can absorb them it’s pretty pointless! Studies have shown that adding avocado or avocado oil to your lunchtime salad can increase anti oxidant absorption 15 fold. So not only are avocados really nutritious in their own right they make those tomatoes, lettuce and beetroot even healthier than they already are!
Avocados contain potassium… more than Bananas!
Potassium is really important, it a high intake of it dramatically reduces the risk of pretty nasty stuff like heart attacks, kidney failures and strokes. A 100 gram serving of Avocado contains 14% of the recommended daily allowance, compared to bananas which contain only 10%.
Pretty good, yeah? So you’ve bought your avocado and you want to know how to get inside that tough outer skin. Its pretty simple
- Get yourself a cooks knife to cut the avocado in half, roll the avocado around the knife so you cut around the stone that sits in the middle.
- Grab a teaspoon and remove the stone of the avocado.
- Next scoop the flesh of the avocado out.