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Treat Your Tastebuds and Waistline With Avocados This Christmas

New Zealand Avocado - 04 Dec '12

Many of us overeat during the holiday season but nutritionist, Angela Berrill, has some expert advice on how to treat your taste buds and look after your waistline this Christmas.

Berrill has spent her career teaching people how to enjoy food while also nurturing their bodies and has recently been engaged by New Zealand Avocado this season to comment on the fruit's nutritional benefits.

"Avocados are synonymous with summer and this Christmas you can enjoy a wide range of delicious dishes such as Nadia Lim's avocado, watermelon, pomegranate and feta salad. This extra special side salad is a fantastic addition to any festive feast, but will not leave you feeling guilty about having eaten the wrong sort of food,” says Berrill.

Berrill describes avocados as ‘tummy-friendly' because they contain one of the highest fibre contents of any fruit in terms of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre helps to aid digestion and keeps you regular while soluble fibre helps to lower cholesterol.

"Avocados are also a ‘weight-friendly' food which is something many of us are thinking about at this time of year. As a lower fat alternative to traditional fat-based spreads such as butter or margarine, avocados are a great substitute for mayonnaise when you're putting together a tasty sandwich or summer salad.

"Another important consideration for many New Zealanders is that because avocados contain ‘good' monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid, they can help lower levels of ‘bad' LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, making them great for heart health. The fats in avocado also help the body's absorption of fat-soluble nutrients,” she says.

Expectant mums can also benefit from the iron and fibre contained in avocados, while the fruit's high folate content will support the formation of a baby's neural tube.

"Avocados are an ideal first food for young babies too. Being smooth and creamy in texture, they are easily tolerated and provide babies with a range of important nutrients for their development,” adds Berrill.

Berrill has previously acted as the nutrition adviser and expert for TV3's Target and regularly contributes to well-known publications such as Good Health magazine.

"I'm passionate about educating people on the importance of diet. Avocados taste delicious but they're also a nutritionally dense food, containing many health-promoting nutrients and compounds for people of all ages,” she explains.

When planning a celebratory summer meal, remember that avocados do not need to be confined to a salad. Berrill says they're a versatile ingredient which can be used in smoothies, on toast, pizzas and omelettes and even in cakes and desserts.

"Now is the perfect time of year to enjoy them, so add avocados to your next barbeque, summer lunch, dinner or Christmas meal,” she concludes.

>> Recipe: Avocado, watermelon, pomegranate and feta salad

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Burgers OK for Father's Day thanks to promising avocado research

Research shows you can give your Dad the gift of good health this Father’s Day by simply adding half an avocado to his hamburger. A pilot study carried out by the University of California (UCLA) and supported by the Hass Avocado Board, examined what happened when healthy men added half a fresh avocado to their hamburgers. The study found avocado helped reduce inflammation and narrowing of the blood vessels in comparison to men who ate a meat-only burger instead. The research, published in the journal Food and Function, said the effect of adding fresh avocado to the hamburgers was noticeable within hours. Consuming avocado helped slow the production of compounds that contributed to inflammation – a risk-factor associated with heart disease. The avocado also helped the men (aged 18 to 35) maintain normal blood flow around their bodies which ensured oxygen and vital nutrients reached their organs, tissues and cells. Researchers believe these positive health effects are because avocados are rich in natural monounsaturated ‘healthy fats’ and antioxidants. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of NZ Avocado says the hamburger research has not been discussed in New Zealand before and there is now growing consumer awareness and understanding of the health benefits avocados can offer. The study also provides promising clues about the impact avocado has vascular and heart health in particular. "Avocados are one of the most nutritionally-complete foods in the world,” Scoular says. "They’re full of fibre and help your body absorb more nutrients, from other foods you eat." Eating avocado is not only delicious – it’s a great way to improve your overall health.” New Zealand’s summer crop of avocados are now on sale – just in time for families to get creative in the kitchen this Father’s Day (Sunday 6 September). "The kids will love smashing up avocado to add to gourmet hamburgers. New Zealand men – and their hearts – will thank you for it.” says Scoular.  To read more about the study’s key findings visit http://www.avocadocentral.com/avocado-nutrition-center/ucla-study *While these are initial findings from a single study, they provide promising clues and a basis for future research to determine whether avocados can play a role in the areas of vascular health and heart health.  About New Zealand Avocado The New Zealand avocado industry is the third largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. NZ Avocado Growers' Association Inc. (NZAGA) and Avocado Industry Council Ltd (AIC) – collectively NZ Avocado, operates under the Horticultural Export Authority Act to set mandatory industry standards for all fruit exported from New Zealand. NZ Avocado also facilitates access for avocados to off shore markets. NZ Avocado works with the industry to promote New Zealand avocados and provide technical information to all growers of which there are over 1,350 based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. For further comment and information please contactMidge Munro Communications Manager, New Zealand Avocado p: +64 7 571 6147 m: +64 21 275 3331 e: mmunro@nzavocado.co.nz  OR  Bridgette Paton-TapsellVillage Public Relations | Marketingp: +64 7 572 1608m: +64 27 5533929e: b@villagenz.com

Avocados now 'The Oprah of Instagram'

Avocados have been declared ‘the Oprah of Instagram’ by renowned fashion blogger Leandra Medine and are the most photographed food of our time – just as New Zealand’s new season crop is about to hit supermarket shelves here and overseas. New Zealand’s avocado season begins in September and is likely to send Instagram’s foodies and health and fitness fans into overdrive. Jen Scoular, Chief Executive of NZ Avocado, says the fruit’s rising star status is great news for New Zealand’s avocado industry which is on track to increase production to take advantage of ever increasing global demand. New Zealand sold a record 7.1 million trays worth $135m during the 2014-15 avocado season, of which 2.4 million trays were consumed by Kiwis here at home. About one in five of Nigella Lawson’s recent Instagram posts have featured mashed avocado smothered on toast. Last month actress Emmy Rossum received 27,000 likes for posing in an Avocado Toast t-shirt, while Lena Dunham is another celebrity who likes to regularly snap her healthy avocado snacks. Bloggers and fashion influencers everywhere are leading the trend and avocados are now dominating the brunch and smoothie scene, becoming a must-have on every menu. The UK’s Daily Mail have described avocado as "breakfast’s new superstar” and "the Kendall Jenner of the fruit bowl” thanks to its popularity on Instagram. American blogger Leandra Medine, aka the Man Repeller, compared avocado’s influence to that of Oprah, while Kelly Eastwood of The London Chatter says the obsession is here to stay. "Avocado on toast says: ‘yes, I’m hungover, I haven’t showered yet but, hey, I’m eating avocado at a cool Portobello Road café so I’m still on top of the trend for all things healthy’.” Avocado is revered as a nutrient-dense, cholesterol-free fruit containing healthy fat. They’re a great source of energy, keep you feeling fuller for longer, and are quick and easy to prepare.  About New Zealand Avocado The New Zealand avocado industry is the third largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. NZ Avocado Growers' Association Inc. (NZAGA) and Avocado Industry Council Ltd (AIC) work with the New Zealand industry to set export standards, facilitate market access, promote New Zealand avocados and provide technical information to all New Zealand growers of which there are over 1,350 based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. For more information visit www.nzavocado.co.nz or follow us on social @NZ_Avocado @Jen_Scoular @Midge_Munro

Why the Amazing Avocado Will Help You Curb Cravings

Research shows adding a few slices of avocado to your lunch will slash your desire to eat over the next three hours by 40 per cent compared to eating the same meal without it. A study, published in Nutrition Journal*, focussed on overweight adults to see if avocado consumption helped them feel more satisfied and reduced their desire to eat in the following few hours. Researchers at Loma Linda University in the United States conducted randomized single-blind crossover trials where participants ate a standard breakfast followed by one of three test lunches – one without avocado, one that included avocado and one where extra avocado was added. The volunteers’ glucose and insulin responses were measured, along with their feelings of satisfaction and desire to eat over the next five hours.The study found those who added half a fresh avocado to their lunch reported a 40 per cent decrease in desire to eat again over the next three hours, and a 28 per cent decrease in the following five hours. Participants also reported feeling more satisfied (26 per cent) during the course of the afternoon following their avocado lunch.Satiety is an important factor in weight management, because people who feel satisfied are less likely to snack between meals, said Dr Joan Sabaté, Chair of the Department of Nutrition who led the research team at Loma Linda University. It was also noted that though adding avocados increased participants' calorie and carbohydrate intake at lunch, there was no increase in blood sugar levels beyond what was observed after eating the standard lunch. This leads them to believe that avocado’s potential role in blood sugar management is worth further investigation. The study was funded by the American-based Hass Avocado Board. New Zealand Avocado CEO Jen Scoular says there are many international studies underway to uncover the health benefits of avocados. "Other research published in Nutrition Journal found people who regularly eat avocados weigh 3.4kg less on average, and have waistlines around 4cm smaller, than those who don’t,” Scoular says. "Avocados are rich in monounsaturated (‘good’) fats and are a low GI (glycemic index) food, so they will help you to feel fuller for longer.” Another reason avocado will help fill you up is they are packed with fibre. Half an avocado will provide more than 25 per cent of your daily recommended fibre intake. "They’re an absolute powerhouse when it comes to providing your body with the nutrients it needs each day. They also help your body absorb more nutrients from other fruit and vegetables you eat with avocado,” Scoular explains. Boosting your avocado intake is easy as this home-grown fruit is extremely versatile. You can add a few slices to your favourite omelette, sandwich or salad, or eat them on toast at any time of day. "You can also blend them into smoothies or use them as a butter and oil substitute when baking or making desserts,” she says. "Their creamy texture makes them perfect for mousses, ice cream and cheesecakes. Delicious and healthy!” URL: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-01/fl-nre010714.php About New Zealand Avocado Avocados are the third-largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. New Zealand Avocado works with the New Zealand industry to set export standards, facilitate market access, promote avocados from New Zealand and provide technical information to all New Zealand growers, of which there are more than 1600, based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. www.nzavocado.co.nz www.facebook.com/nzavocado www.twitter.com/NZ_Avocado www.instagram.com/nzavocado www.youtube.com/nzavocado For media assistance, please contact:  Midge Munro Communications Manager Avocado Industry Council midge.munro@nzavocado.co.nz 64 27 306 7089 64 7 571 6147  Bridgette Paton-Tapsell Village Public Relations | Marketing b@villagenz.com 64 27 553 3929 64 7 572 1608  

Taste of Auckland: the wild and wonderful

From November 13-16, Midge, Bevan and Corrie engaged with foodies at Taste of Auckland, a three and half day culinary extravaganza. The NZ Avocado stand was an inviting garden party themed space where attendees were treated to delicious avocado samples, as well as recipe books, live music and cooking demonstrations. The goal was to get as many people as we could inspired to get creative with avocados, and boost their nutritional knowledge of the fruit.  Nadia Lim and gluten-free chef Jimmy Boswell joined us in holding Masterclasses where they created awesome dishes such as Avocado Chocolate Mousse, Avocado & Feta Dip, and Avocado Cream on Cucumber just to name a few. We battled the wind and rain for half of the festival but our marquee stood up to the weather and provided an inviting space for the bedraggled attendees. Guest numbers were affected on Thursday night and Saturday due to the wet and windy conditions but Friday and Sunday (which was given extended opening hours), showed us what an awesome event Taste is for getting in front of a large number of enthusiastic foodies – final numbers for the show will be available from the event organisers in the next couple of weeks. We received incredibly positive feedback from guests and the Taste organisers in regards to our stand. People loved our samples and there was a real interest in the industry.  We had lots of support from our "Friends of NZ Avocados” – NZ King Salmon, Vogel’s, NZ Hothouse, Go Nutz, and Tahi Honey.  We went through over 450 avocados and 60 loaves of Vogel’s plus a number of other fresh ingredients to make up more than 5000 samples of avocado toast, guacamole, smoothies, dip, mousse and various canapés. To view images from this event click here. To view a 90 second video of the event click here.

New Zealand Avocados Set to Inspire at Taste

Chocolate avocado mousse and a whole new take on Pina Coladas are just some of the creative avocado inspired dishes people will be able to try at Auckland’s top food festival, Taste, later this week. The four day-long foodie celebration promises to deliver bigger, bolder and tastier flavours than ever before, and New Zealand Avocado’s inaugural appearance will certainly set taste buds alight. New Zealand Avocado ambassador and celebrity chef, Nadia Lim, will deliver two master classes on Friday at 6:30pm and Sunday at 1pm, while internationally-renowned chef Jimmy Boswell will also be on hand throughout the festival. Together they will create a range of delicious and simple recipes using avocados for people to try. "Kiwis love avocados but some people may not have experimented with them beyond slicing some into a salad or putting them on toast,” Nadia says. "They are not only an amazing healthy and versatile wholefood but they’re also extremely versatile – you can use them in baking, desserts and smoothies and create some amazing dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” Jimmy, who is a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassador for New Zealand, is also eager to see more people eating avocado as part of their everyday diet." As a chef I focus on using real food. Avocados have been part of my life since I was young and I love their fresh taste and texture. They’re easy to work with and are super healthy. "I am excited to be with New Zealand Avocado this year at Taste of Auckland. I’ll be bringing some easy-to-plate dishes and ideas that I have been making for many years that will inspire and impress people dining at your table.” Visitors to New Zealand Avocado’s stand and cooking demonstrations will be treated to an urban garden party theme. A relaxed seating area will be set up where people can sample Nadia and Jimmy’s unique creations, and an acoustic musician will perform at regular intervals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. New Zealand Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular says Taste is a great chance to show Kiwis just how versatile and delicious avocados are. "This summer New Zealand is set to produce its biggest ever avocado crop. This is a fantastic opportunity to show foodies new ways to use avocado. We know they’ll go home inspired to get more creative in the kitchen, and discover new dishes and taste sensations with avocados,” Jen says. Festival-goers will also have the chance to win all the ingredients needed to make Nadia’s amazing avocado, lime and coconut cheesecake at home. To enter they just need to visit New Zealand Avocado’s ‘selfie corner’, create their own background using a hashtag magnet board, and upload their pic to social media sites. Over 20,000 people are expected to dine their way around the Taste of Auckland Festival, which will be staged for the first time at Western Springs from Thursday 13th November until Sunday 16th November. For more information visit http://www.tasteofauckland.co.nz/ About New Zealand Avocado Avocados are the third-largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand. New Zealand Avocado works with the New Zealand industry to set export standards, facilitate market access, promote avocados from New Zealand and provide technical information to all New Zealand growers, of which there are more than 1600, based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. Twitter: @NZ_Avocado Facebook: NZ Avocado www.nzavocado.co.nz/industry/ For media assistance, please contact:  Midge Munro Communications Manager Avocado Industry Council midge.munro@nzavocado.co.nz +64 27 306 7089 +64 7 571 6147 Bridgette Paton-Tapsell Village Public Relations | Marketing  b@villagenz.com +64 27 553 3929 +64 7 572 1608 

NZ Avocado at Taste of Auckland Festival

The versatility and nutritional benefits of New Zealand avocados will be highlighted to more than 20,000 ‘foodies’ at the Taste of Auckland Festival this November. In urban garden party style, NZ Avocado joins a new world of bigger, bolder and tastier flavours at this year’s festival, held at Western Springs from November 13-16. The festival is expected to draw in 25,000 people, with key New Zealand food personalities Josh Emett, Nadia Lim, Peter Gordon, Matt Stone, Robert Oliver and Matt Skinner among the attractions. For NZ Avocado, the event is a chance to promote the "NZ Avocados Amazing Anytime” concept – educating guests on the numerous ways to enjoy the fruit at any time of day. NZ Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular says Taste is a great chance to inform and excite people on the versatility of New Zealand avocados. "This is a fantastic opportunity to show New Zealand’s top ‘foodies’ new ways to use avocado. We know they will go home inspired to get more creative in the kitchen, and discover new dishes and taste sensations with avocados," says Jen.  "Taste is a high profile event, which is aligned with our promotional strategy, and puts New Zealand avocados alongside the country’s premium food products.” New Zealand Avocado Ambassador Nadia Lim and world-renowned chef Jimmy Boswell (pictured above) will perform live masterclasses throughout the festival, creating delicious and simple recipes using New Zealand avocados. Jimmy, who is a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassador for New Zealand, is 100 per cent behind getting more people eating New Zealand avocados. "As a real food chef avocados have been a part of my life since I was young and I love their fresh taste and texture. As a real food they are easy to work with and are super healthy. "I am excited to be with NZA this year at Taste in Auckland and I will be bring some easy to plate dishes and ideas that I have been making for many years that will inspire and impress people dining at your table.” NZ Avocado’s Urban Garden Party will include themed sessions throughout the festival, and a ‘selfie corner’ will encourage visitors to take create their own background using NZ Avocado’s hashtag magnet board and post to social media sites. The Taste of Auckland Festival runs November 13-16 at Western Springs.

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