Ahh, the avocado – the only food deemed worthy enough to be enshrined with it’s own ‘day of celebration’. It’s a divisive fruit, with some eagerly devouring the green goodness while others turn their noses at the sight of it. There’s no denying that the world has gone avocado mad – the creamy delight, can now be found in everything from smoothies, toast, salads and guacamole, making it a global sensation. But what exactly is an avocado? How did it become so popular, and what are its nutritional benefits? Here’s a rundown on the enigmatic avocado.
The avocado is technically a fruit, which originates from Mesoamerica and is classified as a large berry with a single seed. It generally comes in one of three varieties - fuzzy, smooth-skinned, or dark-skinned. It has a thick dark green skin on the outside and a yellow green flesh inside. Despite its appearance and texture, avocados are considered a superfood due to their high levels of vitamins, healthy fats, and minerals.
The history of the avocado can date back as far as 500 BC when it is believed to be one of the staples of the ancient Aztec diet. The fruit was given much reverence and discovered by the Conquistadors in the 16th century, who were eager to promote it in Europe. However, it wasn't until the beginning of the 20th century that the fruit began to become popular, as immigrants from Central and South America brought the fruit to North America, making it a staple throughout North America.
The avocado also began appearing in United States supermarkets in the mid 1930s, regarded as we do today as a health food. Its versatility and versatility has made it an increasingly popular choice for consumers, and now it’s found in cafes, restaurants and grocery stores all across the world, in addition to being used in various traditional dishes.
Avocados are a nutritional powerhouse, with a vast array of benefits. They are naturally low in sugar and contain virtually no saturated fats. While they contain 'healthy' mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, they are also rich in potassium, lutein, and antioxidants which can help ward off a number of diseases and conditions. While avocados may not be suitable for everyone, their nutritional profile still makes it a smart choice for those looking for a healthier diet.
In terms of taste and texture, avocados have a buttery, creamy consistency and unique flavor. They are often used as a substitute for mayonnaise or butter, and make a great addition to salads, sandwiches and dips. For those looking for convenient ways to incorporate avocado into their daily routine, avocados can also be pureed and added as a topping to toast or blended into smoothies. Avocado makes an ideal base for guacamole, which is one of the healthiest and most delicious sources of monounsaturated fat and dietary fiber.
All in all, the avocado has become a global phenomenon, with evidence pointing to many more health benefits than was previously thought. Forget ice cream and other processed snacks, the avocado is a superfood and with its health profile, there is no wonder it has become so popular. Whether you are adding it to your sandwich, smoothie or making guacamole, it’s clear that the avocado is here to stay!