These days the avocado has become one of most favourite fruit in the health-conscious population. Hold on, a fruit? Yes, avocado is not a vegetable, and it gets even better. The avocado is actually a berry as it fits all the botanical criteria to be so.
This unique superfood, also known as “alligator pear” or “butter fruits”, is loaded with heart-healthy nutrients. It’s high in healthy fats which lower “bad” cholesterol, and it’s an excellent source of vitamins, potassium (more than bananas!), omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, lutein (eye protector) and folate (crucial during pregnancy and for cells repair).
(Fresh avocados on a street market in Havana, Cuba)
And other than being highly nutritious, avocado increases the absorption of “fat-soluble” nutrients, therefore, the value of other plant foods that you are eating. In fact, some studies results published on SuperFoodRX concluded that the healthy monounsaturated fat in the avocado caused a significant increase in the absorption of the fat-soluble carotenoid phytonutrients in the meal. So by adding half avocado to your salad or your salsa makes sure you get the full benefits of the other vegetables you are having.
Avocados are also excellent for weight loss. In fact, despite being high in healthy fat avocados are very low in sugars and high in fibers which help you feel satisfied and full for longer after a meal.
So make sure to incorporate avocados into your healthy diet plan!
Need some avo-ideas?
- Have it just as it is! Cut it two parts, drizzle with fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and scoop it out! Just make sure it’s soft enough otherwise you won’t be able to dig your spoon in…
- Grilled avocado slices or half shells. Cut, seed, peel and slice the avocado, drizzle with fresh lemon juice and brush with some olive oil. Leave the slices or half shells on the grill or 2-3 minutes and add some salt to taste. Great with a veggie burger.
- Mash some avocados into Guacamole. Roughly mash a few avocados with a fork then sprinkle salt and lime (or lemon) to help delay the salsa from turning brown. Add some chopped onion, cilantro, black pepper, and chilli. Add some chopped ripe tomatoes just before serving to avoid a flavour alteration.
Want to try something different? Get inspired by one of our recipes:
- Rainbow Bruschetta
- Avo-bowl Salad
- Avo & Artichokes Bruschetta
- Moringa Avocado Smoothie jar
TIPS TO CHOOSE, RIPEN AND PRESERVE BETTER
- How to choose an avocado: check the outside colour of the skin of the avocados, usually the darker ones are riper than others. Although the colour does not always indicate ripeness. Gently squeeze the avocado: if it doesn’t yields to firm gentle pressure it’s still “firm” and will be ripe in a couple of days; if it does, it’s ripe and ready-to-eat. If the avocado feels too soft it may be overripe and sometimes not very safe to eat.
- How to ripen an avocado: To speed up the avocado ripening process place it in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana for two to three days. Those fruits emit more ethylene gas that other fruits and the bag is used to trap the ethylene gas, which ripens the avocado.
- How to preserve an avocado from turning brown: the nutrients in avocado can oxidize soon after fleshing it, but if you add lemon or lime juice then that shouldn’t happen as quickly.