The avocado is without a doubt one of nature’s most luxurious foods: rich and creamy and subtly flavoured. Plus side: It’s also super healthy.
Why avo is worth your time (and money):
1 For the Heart
Published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1, a 2018 study found that those who eat avocados (compared to those who follow an avo-free diet) had higher levels of good HDL cholesterol. This is likely due to the high amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in avos. Avos are also naturally cholesterol-free, an added bonus in heart health.
2 For Healthy Blood Pressure
It’s a double-win for blood pressure when eating avos. Firstly, avocados contain potassium, a mineral that, when included as part of healthy diet, contributes to normal blood pressure. In addition, avocados are also naturally free from sodium, which we know, may increase the risk of high blood pressure if consumed in excess.
3 For the eyes
Published in the scientific journal Nutrients 2 in 2017, researchers in America found that people who ate one avocado a day over six months had higher levels of lutein in the blood. Avos are a source of lutein, a phytochemical that accumulates in the eye. Lutein, along with another phytochemical called zeaxanthin, has been found to be protective against a common eye disorder in the elderly called age-related macular degeneration.
4 For the brain
In the same study mentioned above, people who ate an avo daily also had significant improvement in their memory, cognition and problemsolving abilities. The lutein in avos, along with monounsaturated fats, fibre and other bioactive compounds, make this creamy fruit particularly attractive for a healthy brain.
5 During pregnancy
A mother’s diet during pregnancy plays a crucial role in influencing the growth of her baby and a healthy birth. Avos are a nutrient-dense food consisting of a unique combination of dietary fibre, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K and folate, all important as part of a healthy diet for both mom and
6 For the gut
The fibre in avos is a unique combination of ¾ insoluble fibre and ¼ soluble fibre. Our gut needs different types of fibres to keep it healthy, each of which has different jobs in the gut. Soluble fibre acts like a mop and helps absorb fluid in the gut, forming a soft, gel-like substance that helps the stool to easily pass through the gut. Insoluble fibre acts like a broom, roughly sweeping through the length of the gut to remove waste. But fibre does far more than just keeping us regular and may play a role in preventing colon cancer, lowering cholesterol, and even helping with weight loss.
7 For your waistline
Avos can be helpful as part of a successful energy-controlled diet for weight loss. Researchers have found that the monounsaturated fats in avo give a quicker feeling of fullness which reduces overeating. The richness may also help make the diet more appetising, reducing the temptation to binge on foods high in energy from sugar and bad fatsy.
8 For your hair and skin
Avocados are high in a B-vitamin called biotin, which contributes to the maintenance of normal hair and skin. Nourish your hair and skin from the inside out and have avocado as a spread on toast, as a dip for fresh finger veggies or diced into salads this summer.
Warm winter avo salad
With… Tenderstem broccoli, avocado and bacon dressed with warm anchovy butter
150 g streaky bacon
230 g tenderstem broccoli, blanched
1 – 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
A handful baby spinach, for serving
A handful microgreens, for serving
8 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
100 g butter
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 lemon, juiced
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake streaky bacon until crisp. Arrange on a plate with blanched Tenderstem broccoli, the flesh of avocados, baby spinach and a few microgreens. Finely chop anchovy fillets, then melt in a pan with butter and finely grated garlic cloves
over a low heat. When all the butter has melted, add the juice of 1 lemon and whisk. Spoon liberally over the salad while still warm.
Recipe by Hannah Lewry for Taste.co.za
Pair with: Glenelly Unwooded Chardonnay 2016