The avocado rose, served on toast with a screw of black pepper and lemon juice, is the latest way to eat one the the world’s healthy ‘super foods’.
And you don’t get much more super than avocados.
Since they were first introduced to the UK over 40 years ago, avocados have become a staple of the British diet.
We love their smooth creaminess and nutty buttery taste and eat more than 35 million of the green fruits each year.
Sue Baic, a registered dietitian and co-author of Nutrition for Dummies, said: ‘Avocado is an extraordinary food and can offer significant benefits as part of a healthy lifestyle.
‘It contains a lot of nutrients that we need in a convenient package which tastes great and keeps well.’
Ms Baic added: ‘Beneath the inedible skin is a fruit which is largely made up of monounsaturated fat, one of the healthiest form of fats which is also found in rapeseed and olive oils
‘Half a large avocado contains 180 calories and counts as one of your recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables.
‘Avocados are also chock-full of other beneficial nutrients including potassium and vitamin E.
‘They are naturally low in salt and contain fibre. In addition, they contain hundreds of powerful antioxidant plant chemicals – many of which are believed to have widespread health benefits.’
KEEPING A HEALTHY HEART
Avocados, which contain monounsaturated fatty acids, may be able to help lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol while boosting ‘good’ HDL cholesterol in the body.
High levels of HDL cholesterol seem to protect against heart attack while LDL cholesterol clogs up arteries.
In one study, scientists discovered that people who ate avocados every day for three months dramatically cut their levels of LDLs.
Linda Main, dietetic advisor for Heart UK, said: ‘Replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol which is going to have heart health benefits.
‘There is also a small but significant boost to HDL cholesterol too.
‘We are not quite sure why this happens although it may be that monounsaturated fats improve the function of LDL receptors in the liver.
‘These recognise LDL circulating in the body and take it out of circulation.’
Avocados also contain high levels of potassium – a third again more than bananas weight for weight – which is essential for protecting the vascular system and helps to regulate the heart as it pumps blood around the body.