Avocado – The High Maintenance “Green Gold”

When I first sampled an avocado I was not impressed, to put it mildly. The texture and colour of a bar of neglected and soggy bathroom soap and a flavour reminiscent of poor quality brie combined with grass clippings. But that didn’t stop me from persevering, because I had discovered the massive health benefits of this “green gold” and now I have learned to enjoy a dose of avocado on an almost daily basis.

But there are some worrying climate and social issues I have been wrestling with when it comes to the growing and distribution of avocados. Demand for them in Europe is increasing 30% each year and there are now restaurants that put them at the center of every dish they serve.

Avocado growing and export is an important pillar of the Chilean economy but avocados require massive amounts of water to grow and in Chile their constitution allows for the privatisation of water making it possible for large companies to buy up huge chunks of land for avocado mono-crops and diverting water supplies, drying up rivers and depriving small farmers of a livelihood. So whenever possible, I try to ensure that I get mine from a sustainable and traceable source.

Now the good news…they are full of monounsaturated fat, rich in fibre, Magnesium, very low in carbs and can reduce blood triglycerides by up to 20% (Source) Folate (B9): Essential for normal cell function and tissue growth, (Source) Vitamin K1: beneficial for bone health (Source) Potassium: for blood pressure control and heart health (Source) Copper: For heart health (Source) Vitamin E: A powerful antioxidant Vitamin B6: For converting food into energy Vitamin C: For immune function and skin health (Source) Carotenoids: Zeaxanthin and Lutein, both beneficial for eye health (Source) Persenones: Antioxidants that may protect against inflammation and cancer (Source) D-Mannoheptulose: Reported to help in blood sugar control (Sources).

Is it any wonder that this “soapy” super-fruit has become a major component on the list of low carb must-haves?

 

Further Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23638933

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23282226/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21115081

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10721886

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