Avocados are everywhere at the moment. I absolutely love them. I went to a friend’s party recently where she had made a bowl of guacamole using avocado, lime and jalapeño peppers. It was delicious, I could not get enough of it and since then I have been spurred on to have more of them in my diet.
They are so easy to cook with, they blend into any sauce making it thicker and more satisfying and adding a real depth of flavour, this is great if you are cutting out other less healthy fats as I do on my diet. At lunch time today I put a peeled avocado into the blender with tinned chopped tomatoes and a handful of olives, seasoned it with some salt and pepper and stirred it into a bowl of rice, prawns, spinach and broccoli, it was lovley, really simple and so satisfying.
Being mindful about what we chose to eat can make all the difference in terms of how much we eat. Each time you feel hungry pause and decide what food you want to prepare to nourish your body, avocados are a really good choice. The number of health benefits found when we eat avocados are huge.
77% of the calories in an avocado are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence. But don’t let this put you off because the majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid. Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and has also been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. If you are trying to loose weight or take in fewer calories this may still concern you but in actual fact because they are such a satisfying food you will feel fuller for longer and they can actually help you guard against over eating. The other benefit in terms of weight control is that they are made up of 7% fibre so they aid digestion.
The most amazing is that an avocado helps us to get more out of other foods. If you make a salad with lots of lovely vegetables and then also add avocado to it you will take in more antioxidants than if you had eaten the other vegetables alone. They also contain more potassium than a banana and potassium is a really important mineral that most people struggle to get enough of. An increase in potassium in our diets should support healthy blood pressure levels.
So a couple of top avocado tips to get you on track…
1) When you peel an avocado do so with your hands and do it just like you would with a banana, you may need to make a nick with a knife to start you off. Handling it in this way means that you get the most out of it because the greatest concentration of carotenoid antioxidants in avocado are found in the dark green flesh that lies just beneath the skin.
2) Eat the avocado as soon as you can after preparing it and eat it raw in order to get the most nutritional content out of it. If you eat half and want to store the other half then wrap it in cling film to stop it discolouring.