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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  

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