Avocado – the most popular fruit of all!
Before, we use to call it “avocado pear.” Now, that name instantly throws us into Space 1999, Dallas, Topo Gigio era …
With all the “Low fat” fad of the 80/90’s, avocados had a loooong crossing of “diet desert.”
I’m not sure when it changed, but it was probably due to research advancements in nutrition and also the growing interest in Blue Zones and the anti-aging effects of the Mediterranean Diet.
Avocado and me
The first contact I had with this fruit did not end on a positive note. My mother was preparing a dinner party at home and had chosen the (then) uber chic shrimp cocktail set in avocado halves as a starter.
I was charged with the critical task of opening the avocados and preparing them to get their filling. Not an easy task for a child. But then again, I wasn’t that small a child anymore, I must say.
It happens that, as so often does, the avocados had brown spots all over them. Don’t you hate it when it happens? Such a mood killer.
What did I do? Threw them in the bin, of course!
“What??” asked the mother, astonished by the after the fact news.
“They were rotten,” answers the daughter, matter of factly.
I can’t say if I had the privilege of dinner that evening 😉
After that night, I courted avocados from a distance, always associated with the several Mexican restaurants that conquered my stomach and heart along the different geographical stops of my life.
And then the trend explodes, and today we have avocados everywhere. And I’m super happy because I find them delicious!
When I was in LA, a couple of years ago, Oh boy, did I take advantage of the fantastic quality of Californian avocados! There is photographic proof of my unforgettable breakfasts at Blue Jam Cafe (on Melrose), with “my side order of avocado for 2$” …
Avocado – nutrition benefits
It’s not just about the fashion; it turns out avocados are super healthy.
According to public data, avocados are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, many essential vitamins (A, C, E, and a few of the B complex), minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. They also have an interesting protein component, for a fruit.
Seven reasons to eat avocado every day
The presence of all the nutrients mentioned above means that avocados are beneficial in addressing the following concerns:
- cardiovascular health
- protection against type-2 diabetes
- fighting inflammation
- fighting cell oxidation
- cognitive performance
- balancing sugar and insulin levels
- skin, eye and hair health
If you want to read more about avocados and human health, read Dr. Axe’s post HERE.
At 108 Kcal per 100 gr, avocados are more caloric that the average fruit. On the other hand, they have almost zero sugar. (source: HERE)
All you can eat?
I’m for balance in all situations. I usually eat 1/4 avocado per day. I add it to my morning smoothies or my lunch salads. But I never worry about exact weight and if the avocado turns out to be large, all the better 🙂
Exception made for one of those days when I have “that” guacamole craving, and then it IS all I can eat – as long as there is guac on the table, I’m eating it!
Other quirks: I usually skip the olive oil when I have avocado in the salad; I season it with lemon juice and vinegar (either apple cider or balsamic).
I also avoid accumulating fatty foods, so I don’t add nuts or seeds to my avocado dishes. I’m faithful to Kimberly Snyder’s principles of keeping meals simples to ease digestion – one single protein source, one healthy fat source, and so on.
There are many types of avocado out there! However, you can easily distinguish two types:
The ones that have dark and rough skin: they are called Hass, and they are my favorites. This variety originates from Guatemala, but it’s grown in many countries, including the US and Portugal. Its flavor is buttery, as is the flesh. I find it perfect to mash into guacamole or a simple avocado toast. It is also a bit easier to control regarding ripeness.
The ones that have the lighter and shinier green skin: there are many varieties with these characteristics, and they aren’t so easy to identify in markets. Their skin tends to be, and I can never tell if they are ripe or not. The flesh has a different feel from the Hass variety: it makes better cubes for salads, but I don’t love it for mashing.
If you’re curious, you have an excellent article on avocado varieties in Huffington Post, HERE.
After all this info, I’m sure you’re motivated to add avocado to your daily meal routine. It’s a great antidote to all those dreadful aging symptoms we all wish to avoid.
Avocado recipes in Glow Chef
Avocado Toast with Lime Zest Sprinkle
Mackerel Wraps with Avocado and Vegetables
How about you, feeling motivated to give it a try?
Let me know what is your favorite way to eat avocado, comment here or tag me on Instagram!
Photography: Glow Chef, Brenda Godinez, Kelly Sikkema e Caroline Attwood.