One of the first projects approved under the Government’s Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) in 2000 targeted avocado orchard management.
They include double the amount of vitamin B6 and 20 percent more folate than those grown in other countries.
Demand for avocados is already surging in New Zealand and this nutrient packed superfruit is fast becoming a staple ingredient in the diets of high-performance athletes, busy parents and the elderly.
The findings were announced at the New Zealand Avocado 2017-18 season launch held at Eden Park’s Centenary lounge this week. The launch drew celebrities and included presentations from head international rugby strength and conditioning coach, ironman and avocado grower Nic Gill, and chef, author and avocado enthusiast Nadia Lim.
New Zealand Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular says the new research is huge news for the nation.
“We always knew avocados were good for us. It’s wonderful that we have now confirmed our locally grown fruit is especially healthy.”
New Zealand avocados have a folate measurement of 81.6 ug* per 75g serving (symbol for the metric measurement microgram which is one millionth of a gram or one thousandth of a milligram), providing 41% of the recommended daily intake. They have a vitamin B6 measurement of 0.47mg per 75g serving, providing 30% of the recommended daily intake.
Folate contributes to normal growth and development in children, and to good tissue growth in pregnancy. Vitamin B6 contributes to normal immune system function and helps reduce fatigue.
But that’s not all - the superfruit is full of healthy mono-unsaturated fats that help keep appetites under control, is low in sugar and sodium, a good source of dietary fibre, and is packed with a range of essential vitamins and minerals.
These vitamins are particularly beneficial for athletes, mums, busy families and young professionals.
Nic Gill, who is also an associate professor of Sport and Recreation at AUT, addressed the guests on achieving optimal performance. Gill is credited by the likes of Jeff Wilson and Steve Hansen as being the key architect behind the best-conditioned team in the world.
Avocados are “the Ferrari of fruit.”
“Many athletes and high performing individuals eat avocados throughout the day, due to the nutrient dense and quality fuel they provide,” says Gill.
Celebrity chef and co-founder of My Food Bag, Nadia Lim, demonstrated healthy ways of using avocados at the launch, and spoke about the need to innovate for a healthier New Zealand.
“Avocados are simply one of the best everyday simple, healthy delicious foods and Kiwis love learning new ways to enjoy them.”
Lim prepared for guests two salads; roast pumpkin, pear, avocado salad with blue cheese and raspberry balsamic dressing and harissa chicken, pumpkin and avocado salad with mint yoghurt dressing.