Healthy Foods List: Avocado

Avocados, also referred to as alligator pears, or avocado pears, are in fact technically stone fruits.

Their flesh has a rich, creamy texture and a high-fat content which makes them a delicious addition to salads, and can also help to fill out smoothies and soups.

Avocados are often called a "superfood," due to their high nutrient content (vitamin E, fibre, and healthy fats).

Health Benefits of Avocados

Avocados are a fantastic source of healthy fats, mainly heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Fat plays an essential role in our diet for several reasons. It is the primary macronutrient responsible for keeping us feeling full and satisfied throughout the day. Secondly, monounsaturated fats, like those found in avocados, contribute to improved cholesterol levels by elevating "healthy cholesterol" (HDL) levels, which helps keep "unhealthy cholesterol" (LDL) in check.

Avocado Ideas

Avocado is a versatile and nutritious ingredient that can be incorporated into your diet in various delicious and healthy ways. Here are some ideas:

    1. Avocado Toast: Spread mashed avocado on sourdough or gluten-free toast and top it with ingredients like sliced tomatoes, poached eggs, smoked salmon, or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for added flavour.

    2. Guacamole: Make homemade guacamole by mashing avocado with diced tomatoes, onions, coriander, garlic, lime juice, and a touch of salt. Serve with whole-grain tortilla chips or vegetable sticks.

    3. Avocado Smoothie: Blend avocado into your morning smoothie for a creamy texture and healthy fats. Combine it with spinach, banana, and almond milk and a variety of berries for increased phytonutrient content.

    4. Salad Topping: Add sliced or diced avocado to your salads for creaminess and extra nutrition. It goes well with ingredients like mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and grilled chicken.

    5. Avocado Sushi: Enjoy avocado in sushi rolls. Try making sushi rolls with avocado, cucumber, and your choice of protein (like cooked shrimp or crab).

    6. Avocado Bowl: Create a nourishing bowl by layering quinoa or brown rice with avocado slices, grilled vegetables, beans, and a drizzle of tahini dressing.

    7. Avocado and Egg: Hollow out the centre of a halved avocado and crack an egg into it. Bake until the egg is set for a satisfying breakfast or brunch.

    8. Avocado Pasta Sauce: Make a creamy pasta sauce by blending avocado with garlic, basil, lemon juice, and a touch of olive oil. Toss it with whole-grain pasta and cherry tomatoes.

    9. Avocado Stuffed with Tuna: Scoop out the flesh of half an avocado and mix it with canned tuna, diced celery, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stuff it back into the avocado shell for a protein-packed snack.

    10. Avocado Dip: Puree avocado with Greek yoghurt, lime juice, and your favourite seasonings to create a healthy dip for veggies or pita chips.

    11. Avocado and Turkey Wrap: Fill a whole-grain wrap with sliced turkey, avocado, lettuce, and a smear of mustard or Greek yoghurt dressing.

    12. Avocado and Fruit Salad: Combine diced avocado with tropical fruits like mango and pineapple for a refreshing fruit salad.

      Nutritional Content of Avocado

      Nutritional breakdown for 100 grams of avocado:

      Fiber: 6.7 grams
    13. Protein: 2 grams
    14. Healthy fats (mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats): Approximately 14.7 grams
    15. Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol): 2.07 mg (10% DV)
    16. Thiamin (Vitamin B1): 0.067 mg (4% DV)
    17. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 0.13 mg (8% DV)
    18. Niacin (Vitamin B3): 1.738 mg (9% DV)
    19. Folate (Vitamin B9): 81 mcg (20% DV)
    20. Vitamin B6: 0.257 mg (13% DV)
    21. Calcium: 12 mg (1% DV)
    22. Iron: 0.55 mg (3% DV)
    23. Magnesium: 29 mg (7% DV)
    24. Phosphorus: 52 mg (5% DV)
    25. Potassium: 485 mg (14% DV)
    26. Zinc: 0.64 mg (4% DV)
    27. Copper: 0.19 mg (9% DV)
    28. Manganese: 0.142 mg (7% DV)
    29. Please note that the nutritional content of avocados may vary slightly based on factors like the variety and ripeness of the fruit. The values provided here are approximate and based on commonly available data for a typical avocado.

Nutritionist Tips

When you slice avocados in half, squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice over it and wrap it tightly or store it in an airtight container with a sliced onion to prevent the avocado from turning brown. Alternatively, scoop out the flesh and freeze on a baking tray, then transfer to a freezer bag. These defrost very nicely too.

Avocado and latex allergies

Avocados, alongside bananas and kiwis, can cross-react with latex-fruits, so if you have a latex allergy, be careful and eat a small amount to test out your reaction to them (look out for instance for itchy throat, swollen throat, sore throat or hives).

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