It’s no secret that avocados are one of the superfoods rocking the 21st century, but did you know that they’re actually one of the healthiest foods on the planet? A single avocado possesses several nutritional elements, each holding multiple health properties and contributing to an overall improvement in wellbeing.
One of the best things about avocados is that they’re extremely versatile, making it really easy to reap their health benefits. Avocados aren’t just for salads, try it on toast or in a smoothie. Make avocado mousse or use them to bake sweets. Try your hand at making avocado ice-cream or turn them into brownies. Swap it for mayo in your sandwiches or revolutionise your BLT to a BALT. Create a creamy salad dressing or a pasta sauce. Make avocado baked eggs or avocado fries. Or go with a classic that never disappoints and make a big bowl of guacamole and corn chips.
Did you know that avocados are part of the fruit family?
That’s right, everyone’s favourite vegetable is not a vegetable at all. But rather part of the berry family due to its inner seed.
AVA Go At These Substitutes
Thanks to its creamy texture and healthy fats, avocados make a great substitute for butter. Next time you’re making a sandwich, ditch the high calorie, chemical filled margarine for a tablespoon of avocado. Or when you’re baking next, opt for avocado over butter. But don’t worry, it won’t give your baked goods a green hue, the difference is practically undetectable. Have a look online for avocado recipes, and you’ll find an endless list of things to try and make, including brownies, cookies and even pasta sauces where avocado has been used instead of cream. Yum!
AVOCADOS ARE HIGH IN FAT. BUT DON’T WORRY, THEY’RE HEALTHY, HEART HAPPY FATS
Although avocados are a nutrient all-star, they should be consumed in moderation due to its high fat content. Although its monounsaturated fat, which is considered a “good” fat due to its ability to help lower bad cholesterol and fight against heart disease, avocados are high in calories and shouldn’t be consumed like other fruits and vegetables. However, when consumed in moderation, avocados can actually aid in weight loss as they work to keep the digestive system functioning and talk to the part of the brain that makes you feel full (meaning less chance of overeating or reaching for that 2pm chocolate bar).
In case you needed more reasons to eat avocados, here are some of the health benefits this bountiful fruit gives when eaten.
Health Benefits of Avocados
- One avocado has over 20 different vitamins and minerals.
- An avocado has more potassium than a banana.
- They’re loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
- Eating avocados can help to lower cholesterol.
- Avocados are a good source of B vitamins, which protect against disease and infection.
- They’re low in sugar.
- One avocado packs four grams of protein, making it one of the highest protein fruits.
- They’re high in fiber. A 100-gram serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount.
- Studies have suggested that people who eat avocados tend to be healthier and have better results with weight loss.
- Avocado fats help to absorb nutrients and antioxidants from other plant foods eaten i.e. you’ll absorb the nutrients spinach in your salad better when avocado is included.
- Although evidence is limited, some researches show that avocados can help prevent against cancer.
- Avocados are packed with lutein, a carotenoid that helps protect against eye disease.
- Due to the soluble and insoluble fiber contained, avocados aid in keeping the digestive system running smoothly, also aiding in weight loss.
- They contain oleic acid, a fat that communicates to the part of the brain that makes you feel full.
- Avocados taste great and are extremely versatile. Their creamy texture and subtle taste make it easy to slip into your favourite recipes and create new recipes, where the wonderful superfood is the main star.
BUT IF AVOCADOS ARE SO GOOD FOR YOU… WHY ARE THEY SO HARD TO GET?
As the avocado love continues to grow, so does the price of everyone’s favourite fruit. We’ve recently seen avocado prices reach an all-time high and for some, this means forgoing their daily dose of vitamins and minerals.
A shortage of avocados from Mexico and a poor growing season in California have led to the surge in price, which saw the price of a single avocado double in 2016 from what it was in 2015. Today, Australian shoppers are expected to pay a staggering average of $3.50 per avocado in local supermarket chains.
Mexico, the world leaders in avocado production and export, are simply unable to keep up with the growing demand for avocados and local forests and natural environments have been wrecked trying to keep up with the global cry for the fruit.
Whereas other large avocado suppliers, like California and Chile, have suffered hot weather and drought, causing problems for avocado farmers. The bad weather has even spread as far as Australia, with Victorian farmers being forced to reconsider the way in which their grow their crops, seeking alternative agricultural methods.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE AUSTRALIAN AVOCADO LOVERS?
Thankfully for Australian avocado lovers, our far away island hasn’t experienced weather conditions as severe as the Atlantic and our avocado shortage is said to be down to overindulging in the creamy fruit (oops). Prices are predicted to decline now the ‘national avocado panic’, that was experienced over the Christmas period, is declining and thankfully for us, our future avocado supplies haven’t been ruined by volatile weather.
The avocado love is strong in WA
Western Australia accounts for more than 60 per cent of the nation’s summer avocado crop. The avocado boom is WA will not end anytime soon, with new tree plantings expected to quadruple the state’s production. The WA avocado experts reassure Aussie avo lovers the high prices we’ve recently seen won’t continue and are unlikely to ever similar heights again, thanks to the preparation they’ve taken to ensure future demands are catered for. Hooray! Good news avocado enthusiasts, you can continue to whip up your favourite avocado creations for years to come.
Top tip: an avocado will ripen more quickly with a banana or an apple nearby.