Food Profile: The Healthy Butter Fruit

It wasn't until I relocated to the UK that I realised that the "butter fruit" simply referred to as pear in Nigeria is actually the fruit called avocado (or avocado pear).

My recollections of this fruit aren't that many. It's quite popular in the Eastern parts of Nigeria where they are cultivated more. As a kid, I had meagre opportunities to eat avocados often put off by the taste which was not tart or sweet but rather very oily; oilier than any fruit I had tasted. I remember a family member who grew up in the East tried to explain how to eat the fruit. He would say "just add some salt and spread on bread like butter or eat with boiled rice". I was not sold, so I seldom bought or eat the fruit.

As I continued my food adventure, I came to discover the huge nutritional benefits of avocado
pears, so much so that I have found some delicious and simple ways to include them into my regular diet.

I now absolutely love this fruit, yes!.....mainly due to their prospects of good quality nutrition. I am a bit of a "push over" for anything (natural that is, especially food)  that will help to amend my ageing body....hehehe.

So here it is, check out the complete profile of the "butter fruit" aka avocado, avocado pear.

Avocados are green oval shaped fruits and come in two main varieties recognised by the smoothness of their skin. The smooth skin, larger fuerte variety is the variety commonly found in Nigeria. Like bananas, avocados mature on the tree but will only begin to ripen after harvesting, so while purchasing, choose only fruits that are still firm and keep in a dark place to ripen.

Nutritional Data
Avocados are very high in oil (mostly mono-unsaturated, good oil) so do not let this be a deterrent. They are also quite high in protein, making them one of the very few fruits with exceptionally high levels of protein and fat.

Calorie content of 100g of fruit flesh only
Energy - 216kcal
Carbohydrates - 8g
Protein - 4g
Fat - 17g
Dietary Fibre - 5g

Cholesterol: Note, like all foods from plant sources (i.e. fruits and vegetables) avocados DO NOT contain Cholesterol! Also note that not all fat is bad for your body! Some fats (like those found in avocados) actually lessen LDL cholesterol, which is harmful to your body and raises HDL cholesterol which is the good cholesterol. (yep there is "good and bad" cholesterol).

Fibre: Avocados  are relatively high in both soluble and insoluble fibre content. This is not a common property for fruits and veg, to pack both types of fibre. Insoluble fibre is excellent for cleaning out the bowels and soluble fibre is great for appetite control. Soluble fibre gives the fuller for longer effect because it turns into a gel that remains in the stomach for a while when it combines with water.

Vitamins: I consider avocados to be a power house of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins include:  B vitamins (Folates, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin, Thiamin), Vitamins A, C, E, K

Minerals: Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Selenium, Zinc

What are you waiting for, start eating the "butter fruit" already....check out some simple recipes!

  1. Butter Fruit & Baked Plantain Crisps
  2. Butter Fruit on Toasted

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