Avocados, the glorious green fruits from Mexico, are rich in nutrients and creamy texture. They’re a great addition to salads, but they can also find their way into almost any meal! Here you’ll find a fully greeny-yellow fleshed out run down of avocadoes, and how they may be able to help with reducing symptoms of arthritis!
Table of Contents
Origin and history
Avocados originated from Southern Mexico down to the Andean Region. Interestingly, their large seeds were originally dispersed by giant mammals, however once they had all died out, around 13,000 years ago, there was a bit of a precarious era where the avocados ran the risk of extinction. From this point onward, the fruits would drop beneath the parent tree, and compete for sunlight and often rot away. Scientist speculate how they did survive between the period when the megafauna went extinct to when humans began cultivating them. 
All thoughts aside, aren’t we glad they persevered!
Avocados have been part of the diet and culture of the locals from these regions for many thousands of years, with the fourteenth Classic Maya month represented by the glyph for the avocado, pronounced as “K’ank’in” as well as appearing in iconography in the Mexica (Aztec) world. 
They eventually made their way around the world at the turn of the 17th century and now thrive in tropical and Mediterranean climates. However, despite their global expansion, Mexico still is the world leader in Avocado production. 
Varieties and botanical stuff
Avocados belong to the family Lauraceae, which is a diverse family comprising of about 2850 species, in about 45 genera. It is an ancient family that has been utilised for a broad range of uses including essential oils, fragrances, timber, flavour, and food. Some other members of this family include, cinnamon, bay leaves, camphor tree and of course the avocados!
Naturally, avocados have an unusual breeding behaviour known as protogynous dichogamy, where each flower is both male and female, but only on certain days. So typically an entire tree will open up one day as female flowers and then the following day as males. This helps to reduce the chance of self-pollination which is beneficial in plant diversity.
There are many cultivars of avocados, they are classified in to two groups, type A and type B, depending on their breeding cycle. Type A open in the morning as female flowers, close and reopen the following afternoon as male flowers. These are as follows:
Anaheim, Gwen, Hass, Hazzard, Lamb Hass, Pinkerton, Reed, Rincon and Wurtz.
Type B open first in the afternoon as female flowers, close and then reopen the following morning as male flowers, these are as follows:
Bacon, Edranol, Ettinger, Fuerte, Llanos Hass, Nabal, Nobel, Sharwil, Shepard and Zutano. 
In commercial use, they are often grafted to maintain quality and quantity.
Avocados have a variety of beneficial nutrients, some are well known, and others might seem like a bit of mumbo-jumbo. You will see in my blog that I take the time to mention all these little bits and pieces as it is important to take note of the nutrients in the food that we consume. Maintaining a varied diet can ensure that we get all those seemingly random vitamins and minerals and whatnot that benefit our health. I am currently working on an enormous post that breaks down all the macronutrients and micronutrients, where to find them, and why they are good for you, so stay tuned!
But back to Avocados… Avos are known for having a high fat content, but don’t be alarmed! Not all fats are bad – especially if consumed in moderation. The main type of fat found in avos is called monunsaturated fat. They can improve blood cholesterol levels, ease inflammation, stabilize heart rhythms, and play a number of other beneficial roles. 
They also contain a number of other macronutrients including, but not limited to, water, omega 3, and fibre. As well as a variety of vitamins including, but not limited to, Biotin (vitamin B7), Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), Folate (vitamin B9), Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K.
They also contain some fun things called carotenoids, which are colourful pigments that act as a type of antioxidant. In avos, these include Beta-carotene eq, Beta-cryptoxanthin and Lutein/Zeaxanthin.
In addition to this, they include a variety of minerals including, and again not limited to, potassium, copper, and arginine. 
How does that help me?
So, taking in all this nutritional info, how does it benefit me and my arthritis, or other health related issues?
Avocados are glorified for their health benefits, there are numerous studies analysing their various nutritional components and how they affect your mental and physical health.
I think it is very important to have a variety of foods in your diet. All foods have different macro and micro nutrients that you most likely won’t have heard of! But they all come together to assist your body with the munition it needs to fight of disease and ailments whilst we can also seek medical advice that we need.
How to eat it!
Oh there are so many ways to eat it… I reckon it’s what makes avocado so special.
The easiest way to get some avo in your diet is to cut it up into a salad. It can fit into just about any salad under the sun.
But if you don’t feel like salad, do not stress. It can be mashed up into a dip, or into guacamole where you can enjoy it on the side of any Mexican dish.
You can slice it up and lay it on some wholegrain toast, or mash it up on the side of some eggs!
One of my go-to last minute lunches is a small can of tuna, some avocado cut into squares, mixed together in a bowl with chilli powder, a squeeze of lemon with some salt and pepper.
I have even made a pasta using avocado as the sauce, it was spectacular!
Here we have another super healthy and super yummy salad recipe 🙂 It is packed with nutritious goodies and the flavour is to die for. I enjoyed these last night on the side of my vegan veggie rissoles.
Mexican is one of my all-time favourite cuisines to cook. It's a great way to load up on healthy veggies and the recipes are always quick and easy! This dish is really easy as well, while the potatoes are cooking, pretty much chuck the rest of the ingredients in a fry pan, mash the avocado and that's it!
This is just one of the many ways I like to enjoy fish tacos. The best thing about this particular recipe is that it is incredibly quick to make! If you have some extra time, make yourself some Pico de Gallo to enjoy in the taco as well 🙂
Hi! I’m Stephie
A long-time sufferer of arthritis, I cook foods using ingredients that can help control the symptoms, and aim to reduce joint inflammation.
This site is dedicated to sharing my recipes, with the hope of helping others 🙂
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Avocados are incredibly versatile and really can make their way into almost any meal. They’re loaded with a variety of nutrients and well worth adding into your diet wherever possible!