Avos celebrated on the 2023 food trends list

by Kyla Van Heerden
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Featured Image by THE SOUTH AFRICAN AVOCADO GROWERS’ ASSOCIATION

Over the years, foodies and consumers have been ‘adding an avo’ to their meals. This year avos have also caught the attention of the trendsetters and have been honoured on the Everyday Health Top 10 Healthy Food Trends list for 2023.

Third on the list is the trend, ‘plants in more places’, which refers to the way in which the plant-based eating phenomenon that has swept the globe in recent years, has inspired new ways to eat fruits and vegetables.

In particular, the report notes that people are realising they can add more plants to their plates without necessarily becoming vegans or vegetarians. It cites an ‘upswing in the creative use of vegetables and fruits as people strive to hit that five-a-day recommendation – for example using avocado in the place of butter’. We couldn’t think of a better way for you to prep your sarmies than with avo!

The report goes on to mention other exciting trends where avos tick all the boxes: ‘more plant-based options’, ‘mood-boosting foods’ and ‘food for your gut’.

‘More plant-based options’ speaks to the growing trend of people consciously choosing to eat less meat. As a result, interest in meat alternatives and interesting fruit and veg options is increasing across the globe. This is where avos come into their own as an incredibly versatile fruit. From traditional guacamole (which goes with everything) to ice-cream, avos fit squarely into the here-to-stay plant-based eating trend.

Functional foods and beverages that support the body in specific ways have been blipping on the radar for a while, especially around the issue of building immunity. The ‘mood-boosting foods’ trend on the 2023 list refers to feel-good foods that help ward against depression and dementia, and support brain health.

One avocado contains 13g of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Foods higher in good fats may lower the risk of depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. Good fats also facilitate thought-processing, hormone-production and stress-reduction mechanisms within the brain. So, when it comes to ‘mood-boosting foods’, avos are right up there!

Finally, caring for the microbiome in the gut as a key to overall improved health, has become firmly cemented among consumers in recent years. The ‘food for your gut’ trend predicted for 2023 sees this intensifying, with the focus shifting from supplements like pre- and probiotics, to foods that support gut health.

New research shows that eating avos may benefit gut microorganisms, as avos provide a unique mix of insoluble fibre (70%) and soluble fibre (30%), which feed healthy gut flora.

All these food trends reflect the prevailing global theme of sustainability. Avo farmers the world over are actively reducing their ecological and water consumption footprints. This, together with their high nutritional value, makes avocados a sustainable and healthy alternative.

As you can see, there are plenty reasons to ‘add an avo’ to your meals this year (especially if you like to keep ahead of the trends!).

For further information and avo recipes, visit www.avocado.co.za , like us on Facebook @iloveavocadoSA and follow us on Instagram @iloveavossa

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