You’re probably thinking, ‘what on earth is an alligator pear?’ Well, it is the beloved and wildly popular avocado. The subject of many conversations lately – from guac to toast – the avocado is a widely discussed and wildly diverse in it’s use!
Avocados have been around since about 7000BC, but they’ve only been cultivated since about 750 BC. Many people don’t know that the avocado is actually a berry! Yes, it’s true. Even though it’s well known that the avocado is a fruit, it is specifically a berry, which makes it even more intriguing.
Avocados are loaded with fiber and potassium, designed to aid in bloating and gas, while at the same time, their natural high content of fat helps you feel full for longer periods of time. The fats that are contained in an avocado are actually heart healthy fats and aid in cardiovascular function.
Here’s the caveat that most people don’t even consider given the popularity of the avocado: that in certain cases it could actually be the cause of your digestive discomfort. For those who are FODMAP sensitive (apples, onion, and garlic also fall into this category), or have a latex food allergy, your digestive system has a difficult time digesting the avocado. To combat negative effects from the avocado, a standard serving for FODMAP sensitive individuals is approximately ⅛ of an avocado. Experiment with serving size to determine if you can reap the massive benefits of the fruit, while not taxing your digestive system too much. If you think you might be intolerant to avocados, try avoiding them for at least a couple of weeks and see if your symptoms change.
If you are able to enjoy the fruit in unlimited amounts, one of my favorite ways to use an avocado is to cut it in half, poach an egg, place the egg in the center, and sprinkle a bit of Himalayan salt and crushed red pepper flakes on top. You can also slice it and top anything – salad, rice, grilled chicken, open faced sandwich – it makes a creamy almost mayo like garnish. Avocado is an excellent high heat cooking oil, that does not become carcinogenic as it heats.