You may know there are many health benefits to avocado, but do you know the history of this fruit?
Avocado is a fruit and more specifically a berry. Cultivated in Central America since 8000BC, the avocado or alligator pear is commonly used as a ‘savoury’ fruit in salads and salsas.
Like bananas, avocados mature on the tree and ripen after harvesting, which means that they are one of the few fruits where field-to-table time doesn’t matter so much.
As with many fruits and vegetables, the greatest concentration of beneficial phytonutrients in avocado is in the darker green layer lying just beneath the skin. Retain as much of it as you can by slicing the avocado in half, removing the stone, halving again and peeling the skin off with your fingers.
Ripe avocados will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. Don’t store unripe avocados in the fridge though. To speed up the ripening process, put them in a brown bag and store at room temperature for a few days.
Once cut, avocados will turn brown quickly, so to prevent to this, immediately drizzle lemon or lime juice over the flesh.
Why eat avocado?
- Avocado is incredibly nutritious and contains more potassium than a banana. Potassium contributes to lowering blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor in cardiovascular disease.
- Avocado is high in healthy monounsaturated fat and especially oleic acid, found in olive oil.
- Avocado has a high fibre content, essential for gut health and for expelling toxins and cholesterol from the body.
- Avocado is loaded with powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients and can help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
- There is evidence that avocado is a weight loss friendly food.