Avocados – Elephant fodder

The success of a plant species depends on its ability to spread its seed, a pit as large as the avocado is an anomaly nowadays because it requires a rather large animal to digest it. Such animals roamed the Americas millions of years ago, but became extinct many millennia before they became cultivated by humans. So somehow the avocado survived against the odds. All the better for us, as its nutrient rich flesh is packed full of enough essential fats to sustain such immense creatures, reason enough to be proclaimed a “superfood”

Archeological records link the avocados first use by humans to the birth of the Aztec civilization some 10,000 years ago. The name avocado comes from “ahuácatl” which in the native Aztec language means testicle, it would seem the association did not end with its shape, they admired the fruit for its doting virility too. In fact during the avocado season the Aztecs locked up their young women to protect them so much virility.

Benefits to your Health

Medicinal studies have shown that frequent avocado consumption con lower cholesterol levels significantly.

  • Reducing triglyceride levels in the blood by up to 20%
  • LDL Cholesterol by up to 22%
  • It can also increase “good cholesterol” (HDL) levels by up to 11%

Avocados can make a big difference to a vegetarian diet as they improve the absorption of vitamins and minerals derived from plant matter. Combining avocado with a salad, vegetables, grain and cereals maximizes the nutritional benefits of the meal. This is because some nutrients are “fat soluble” and avocados are rich with oleic acids which assist the nutrients to pass though and be absorbed by the body.

  • The high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids such as omega 3, 6 & 9 in avocados have been shown to reduce blood pressure, increase fat burning to help with weight loss, protects cells from free radical damage and may help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Avocados are also one of the great cancer fighting foods, they may have a positive effect on stopping growth of breast and prostate cancer.
  • They also have more potassium than bananas.
  • Those are a lot of good reasons to include more avocados in your diet.

The History of Oranges

Origin

Oranges are not a product of nature, they were created by us around 2,500 B.C. by the Chinese, using Chinese grapefruit and Mandarins from South East Asia. Today there are approximately 170 varieties of oranges, although in Swingle’s system of classification he counts 16 distinct species. Even in its cultivation oranges are hybrid as branches of sweet oranges are grafted onto bitter orange root stock as the parent plant is hardier, this practice also guarantees uniformity in the fruit as it limits genetic mutations between generations.

¿The Color or the Fruit?

Ever wondered what came first, the Color or the fruit? The first oranges in fact were green, as they continue to be in tropical regions, in more temperate areas their peel becomes the orange colour we know so well. The etymology of the word comes from Sanskrit “naranga” which in Tamil Nadu means “fragrant” or “aromatic”.

The Journey

Oranges arrived in Europe via Persia in the 1st century A.D. Although orange trees were present in ancient Rome it is believed they flowered but did not give fruit. The Arabs introduced bitter oranges to Mediterranean regions around the 10th century, especially to Spain where it became known as the Seville Orange. Five centuries later Genovese traders introduced the Sweet Orange to Europe. Christopher Columbus took the first sees to the New World on his second voyage, and sowed the first oranges in the Americas.