It was an exciting day on Saturday when I found avocados at the supermarket for $2 each. After a winter of avocados at three times that price, this was cause for celebration. Avocados are in season, abundant and economical.

This is a good reminder about shopping with the seasons. It frustrates me to see, every year, stories about fruit and veges being expensive in winter. It's true - but it's almost always what's out-of-season.

Have we lost touch with this? Yes, avocados are crazy expensive in winter, but that's because they're scarce. About now, new season fruit starts coming in and we can all afford to make guacamole again.

The avocado has become a rather trendy fruit (although we most often eat it in a savoury context, the avocado is technically a fruit).


It also became notorious for its popularity on breakfast menus in Australia, with the avocado on toast trend being blamed for the lack of home ownership among younger people.

If they weren't all spending $20 for avocado on toast, the criticism went, they'd be able to afford a mortgage.

Avocado's hotness, trend-wise, is partly driven by the world of wellness, as demonstrated on social media. It is highly photogenic, with #avocado as a tag on over 6 million posts on Instagram. There it can be found gracing salads, abundance bowls, salsas, pizzas, burgers, wraps, sushi, spreads and breakfasts.

It is also in sweets such as chocolate mousse, ice-cream, smoothies and cocktails (avocados, anyone?).

Healthwise, the avocado occupies an increasingly unusual position. It is acceptable, even favoured, by many varied diets.

It's a staple of raw diets, being used often in sweet and savoury dishes and prized for its creaminess. It's popular on the opposite side of the diet wheel by followers of the paleo trend and its low-carb, high-fat relatives.

Avocados are also hugely useful ingredients for those who are dairy free, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian.

As well as being delicious, the avocado is a bit of a health superstar.

It contains vitamin E, fibre and a small amount of omega-3. Compared to most fruit, it has a high fat content - mostly healthy monounsaturated fat.

The fat means avocado is fairly energy dense. One quarter of an avocado has 410kJ.

This makes avocado very satiating, and it's a boon for people wanting to gain weight in a healthy way.

Interestingly, while the avocado is highly nutritious, there are some for whom it is not a friend. Some people who suffer from IBS are sensitive to polyols, which are in avocados. For them, large amounts (more than 1/8th of an avocado) can cause gut problems.

The good news is that servings up to 20g should be fine, meaning avocado can still be on the menu in sushi or as a garnish. Time to go shopping and stock up on the green goodness.

• Niki Bezzant is editor-at-large of Healthy Food Guide.