Avocados suddenly seem to be available everywhere. What used to be sold only in speciality vegetables stores is now available with roadside vegetable vendors. Avocados are considered by some to be a kind of miracle food, full of anti-oxidants and oleic acid. It is a fruit that helps to improve your complexion and has a general rejuvenating effect on your system.
Ayurvedic vaidyars consider this food to be anti vata and anti kapha, so if you have dry skin or are suffering from joint pains, avocado is the fruit for you. It moisturizes dry hair and moistens dry lungs. It is a builder of ojas and is therefore recommended as baby food.
Avocados have a smooth creamy texture and is somewhat bland in taste. It reminds me of the taste of the cream of tender coconuts. I have long been a fan of avocados and have eaten it in Mexican restaurants as guacomole with nacho chips. Guacomole is a kind of salad prepared with slightly squished avocado fruit, onions, tomatoes and lime juice. Then avocados kind of disappeared from my menu till I discovered the avocado smoothie, the avocado paratha and the avocado omellette.
Avocados contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals that the body requires including Vitamin W, C and B6. Avocados are the only fruits that have such a high content of fat. This fat is the ‘good’ fat and is said to help in lowering cholesterol. The fat in avocado provide protection against heart diseases, because oleic acid is the primary fat in avocados. Avocados are rich in omega-3 fatty acids normally found only in nonvegetarian sources such as fish, krill etc. Avocados are rich in alpha-linolenic acid. Avocados help increase High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and this improves ones cardiovascular health. Avocados are anti-inflammatory and help to mitigate both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. For a vegetarian getting Omega 3 into one’s diet can be a challenge till you discover avocados. However for most of us used to the taste of bhendis and parvals, the avocado can be a insipid tasting fruit.
I looked around for ways to incorporate avocado into my regular menu and ‘discovered’ the avocado smoothie. Cutting an avocado is simple; cut it length-wise all the way round, then give one half of the fruit a twist and voila, you have two halves of the fruit. Scoop out half the fruit right up to the skin, since the dark green portion is nutrient-dense. Squish the pulp lightly and add to coconut milk extracted from about half a coconut. Blend in a mixie. Add sugar or sugar substitutes and drink with a few cubes of ice thrown in. The recipe given above will be adequate for two people.
The fruit turns black on the outside when ripe. However, many fruits just remain green with a few black spots here and there on the skin. Unripe avocados do ripen at home but may take anywhere between two days to a week. Avocado pulp can be used as facials and for washing the hair. It greatly improves both skin and hair health. Avocados are worth incorporating into your diet and I am sure our readers will find many innovative ways of doing so.
The writer was earlier Health Secretary, Tamil Nadu, and is currently Additional Chief Secretary, and
Chairman and MD, Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation. She can be reached at Sheelarani.
Earlier articles can be accessed at