Although, the ‘health buffs’ in the developed world have gone pretty batty over avocado, in recent years, we in the Caribbean have long had a passionate love affair with the fruit. Called a ‘pear’ in Barbados and ‘zaboca’ in most islands with a French-Creole background, we in the Caribbean too love we zaboca, oui?
Recent findings though support our Granny’s passionate inclusion of zaboca with almost everything. These are more than enough encouragement to stalk your neighbour’s zaboca tree, watch-pot one ripening, and then slice off a piece of the business when it’s ready to go.
Here are five perfectly legitimate reasons that you should consider hunting and securing a regular supply.
1. You could lower your risk of heart disease.
Cardiovascular diseases accounted for four out of the five leading causes of deaths in Jamaica. If you’re of Afro-Caribbean descent, you are at higher risk of having high blood pressure or a stroke than other ethnic groups. You are also at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which can lead to cardiovascular disease.
Avocados are known to positively benefit the cardiovascular system in a variety of ways due to its low saturated fat and high unsaturated fat content (predominantly the monounsaturated fat (MUFA) variety).
Avocado is high in fat. 77% of the calories in it are from fat and it’s one of the fattiest edible plants known to man. Yet, the fat isn’t bad. The bulk of the fat in avocados is made up of oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid.
This is what we get in olive oil, and this is why it is said olive oil is good for the system. Even avocado oil is good for you, as it resists oxidation due to cooking, and this is a great replacement for soy oil, or corn oil, the latter of which makes your arteries scream bloody murder.
2. Keep the ‘mamp’ in ‘mampie’ at bay.
While the dichotomy of consuming fat to get rid of fat may do in some folks heads, avocados can help to maintain your weight because it is so satisfying. Anyone who has survived many moments of zaboca induced belly bliss can tell you that. It’s a gift that just keeps giving.
A recent study found that if you–like Granny did–included zaboca in a lot of your meals, it extended your sense of ‘fullness’ and you were less likely to snack heavily. These miraculous ‘belly-tight’ properties of zaboca, is amped up by the high fibre content in the fruit. On average each fruit contains about 14g of fibre! Plus the more zaboca you eat, the skinnier you get. Plus ya already giving your heart some love, so everything just gets more blessed from there.
3. It’s an ally in preventing cancer.
High concentrations of phytochemicals, that studies suggest help prevent cancer, including the previously discussed xanthophylls and phenols. A protein compound called glutathione, along with the xanthophyll lutein (both found in avocados), have been associated with decreased rates of oral cancer. Preliminary data also show promising results for avocados potential role in reducing risk of both breast and prostate cancers. Additionally, preliminary studies demonstrate that a specific type of fav derived from avocados is able to exert anti-cancer effects on acute myeloid leukemia cells. Together, these studies show that further research needs to be conducted to draw more conclusive results.
4. You will keep fresh well into old age (aka Your Black Won’t Crack).
Thank you zaboca, thank you. Your carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin slow down declining eyesight, and help to prevent eye problems in later years. Lutein and zeaxanthin especially act to protect agains oxidative UV damage. That’s the ‘black don’t crack’ bit. See, Granny was working the zaboca and Oil of Olay, that’s why she look so young when we getting so big. The way our bodies absorb carotenoids found in avocados, makes it the perfect everyday food. It towers over other fruits and vegetables for this reason. Make it your daily ‘must have’!
5. They help you to use your food nutrients efficiently.
How cool is this last little bit? Zabocas, because they’re such a rich, fatty fruit, help our stomachs to absorb and utilise all other nutrients we’re consuming, including vitamins A,D,E & K. In fact they increase the absorption rate anywhere from 2.5 to 15%! Zaboca, I love you even more!
Now that we have proven that stalking zaboca trees and vendors is actually good for you, try letting your love for this super-fruit free!!