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Treat Your Tastebuds and Waistline With Avocados This Christmas

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

Read More 06 Sep '17 Nic Gill - avocado grower Photo

Nic Gill - avocado grower

Dr Nic Gill tells us about why he chose to grow avocados and why he loves them. Watch here: Nic Gill - Avocado grower

Read More 06 Sep '17 Nic Gill - avocado as the Ferrari of fruit Photo

Nic Gill - avocado as the Ferrari of fruit

Dr Nic Gill shares about why avocados are the "Ferrari of fruit" and talks about avocados as a part of a high performance athletes diet. Nic also shares his favourite avocado smoothie recipe. Watch here: Nic Gill - avocado as the "Ferrari of fruit"

Read More 17 Aug '17 Kiwis Assured All Fresh Avocados Eaten in New Zealand are Grown Here Photo

Kiwis Assured All Fresh Avocados Eaten in New Zealand are Grown Here

“All fresh avocados eaten in New Zealand are grown here,” says New Zealand Avocado CEO Jen Scoular, mitigating concerns that we import the fruit from Mexico. Criticism of Mexican growing practices was raised by an article published this week by the New Zealand Herald in the Lifestyle Section article headlined “Why you should stop eating avocados.”* Scoular says the article has caused confusion and New Zealand Avocado had fielded some concerned calls from the public for clarification about the origins of the fruit in New Zealand. New Zealand Avocado says the facts are: New Zealand does not import any fresh avocados. All our fruit is grown here, and consumed by Kiwis as well as exported, and our industry business model is environmentally sustainable. All of the fresh avocados that are sold in New Zealand supermarkets must comply with food safety protocols that ensure they are free of unsafe chemical residues and are safe for consumption. Furthermore, New Zealand researchers have discovered that New Zealand-grown avocados have unique nutritional qualities, with double the amount of Vitamin B6 and 20 percent more folate than those grown in other countries. “The article is misleading because it doesn’t mention New Zealand’s positive role in the international avocado industry. We don’t want Kiwis to be put off purchasing avocados based on incorrect information and a lack of knowledge and understanding about our successful and sustainable industry,” she says. Scoular says she is confident that Kiwis’ love affair with avocados will continue, and New Zealand Avocado encourages discussion around origin and sustainability. “It’s great the public are asking these questions, we want to ensure they are properly informed.” The New Zealand avocado season officially launched last week, it runs from August to April, but fresh avocados can be supplied year around in New Zealand. “Avocados are simply one of the best everyday simple, healthy, delicious foods. And it is wonderful the new research has uncovered that New Zealand avocados are especially healthy.” * http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11904488

Read More 10 Aug '17 New avocado research makes superfruit even more desirable Photo

New avocado research makes superfruit even more desirable

New Zealand researchers have discovered thatNew Zealand-grown avocados have unique nutritional qualities, with double the amount of vitamin B6 and 20 percent more folate than those grown in other countries. Demand for avocados is already surging in New Zealand and this nutrient packed superfruit is fast becoming a staple ingredient in the diets of high-performance athletes, busy parents and the elderly. The findings were announced at the New Zealand Avocado 2017-18 season launch held at Eden Park’s Centenary lounge  on Wednesday 9 August. The launch drew celebrities and included presentations from head international rugby strength and conditioning coach, ironman and avocado grower Nic Gill, and chef, author and avocado enthusiast Nadia Lim. New Zealand Avocado Chief Executive Jen Scoular says the new research is huge news for the nation. “We always knew avocados were good for us. It’s wonderful that we have now confirmed our locally grown fruit is especially healthy.” New Zealand avocados have a folate measurement of 81.6 ug* per 75g serving, providing 41 percent of the recommended daily intake.  They have a vitamin B6 measurement of 0.47mg per 75g serving, providing 30 percent of the recommended daily intake. Folate contributes to normal growth and development in children, and to good tissue growth in pregnancy. Vitamin B6 contributes to normal immune system function and helps reduce fatigue. But that’s not all - the superfruit is fullof healthy mono-unsaturated fats that help keep appetites under control, is low in sugar and sodium, a good source of dietary fibre, and is packed with a range of essential vitamins and minerals. These vitamins are particularly beneficial for athletes, mums, busy families and young professionals. Nic Gill, who is also an associate professor of Sport and Recreation at AUT, addressed the guests on achieving optimal performance.  Gill is credited by the likes of Jeff Wilson and Steve Hansen as being the key architect behind the best-conditioned team in the world. Avocados are “the Ferrari of fruit.” “Many athletes and high performing individuals eat avocados throughout the day, due to the nutrient dense and quality fuel they provide,” says Gill Celebrity chef and co-founder of My Food Bag, Nadia Lim, demonstrated healthy ways of using avocados at the launch, and spoke about the need to innovate for a healthier New Zealand. “Avocados are simply one of the best everyday simple, healthy delicious foods and Kiwis love learning new ways to enjoy them.” Nadia prepared for guests two salads; roast pumpkin, pear, avocado salad with blue cheese and raspberry balsamic dressing and harissa chicken, pumpkin and avocado salad with mint yoghurt dressing.  Launch guests included Art Green and Matilda Rice, Laura McGoldrick, Mikki Williden, Zac Franich and Viarni Bright who were served five different avocado dishes to enjoy. The latest research was conducted by the Phytochemical and Health team at Plant & Food Research throughout the 2015-16 season. New Zealand avocados were analysed in accredited laboratories in New Zealand following the protocols required by the New Zealand Food Composition Database, NZFCD. NZFCD is an independent validated source for the nutritional composition information for the foods consumed by New Zealanders. ug* is the correct symbol for the metric measurement microgram which is one millionth of a gram or one thousandth of a milligram.