The Hush Post: Those of us who have been abroad are aware of this magical ‘super’ fruit called avocado, and we go gaga over its health benefits and mild taste, though some people don’t like its blandness. Mostly pear-shaped, avocados, not a native to India but to Central and South America, are commercially produced in the US, Australia, Caribbean, Mexico, Brazil and Israel, though in UK the climate restricts its growth.
Now, to its health benefits – they are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat and vitamin E. They are incredibly nutritious, contain more potassium than bananas, rich in fibre and can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Studies have shown that eating avocado or avocado oil with vegetables can dramatically increase the number of antioxidants you take in.
Its buttery cream-like texture just like our coconut pulp is a base in preparing bread spread, salads, dressing, toppings, desserts, pastas, etc. You can simply scoop them out with a spoon and eat them plain, rub in a bit of salt, sprinkle some herbs, grounded pepper, chilly flakes and lemon juice
The downside of avocados is their high fat content.
What are the Indian substitutes which have the same nutritional value as an avocado?
Coconut pulp or virgin coconut oil which has naturally occurring saturated fats has similar benefits as that of avocados.
Cooked spinach and kiwi are also good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin (found in avocados) which protect against cataracts. Spinach is bursting with iron, antioxidants, plus vitamins C, K and E.
Cherries have anti-inflammatory properties and are packed with anti-oxidants called anthocyanins which reduce the risk of heart disease and cancers. They also have beta-carotene-good for vision.
Pomegranates contain ellagitannin compounds such as Granatin B, and Punicalagin, effective in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Eggs, though they give us high cholesterol, eating eggs in moderation will not be harmful at all. Packed full of proteins, essential mineral and vitamins, an egg is a great balance to many meals. Nuts like almonds, cashews, walnut – Best eaten as snack between meals or added to your baking.
Broccoli rich in magnesium, vitamin C and antioxidants, broccoli is the perfect immunity booster for the colder months.
Taste-wise, the best substitute for avocado is home-made mayonnaise, flax (linseed) oil or virgin coconut oil.
The creamy texture and the flavour of hummus or peanut butter also make a good substitute for avocado with toast. Spread it onto a sandwich or use it as a dip when you’re snacking.