Amongst your resolutions at the start of the year, did you decide to focus on your health and nutrition?
With the next lockdown in place again, now’s a great time to focus on your wellbeing and ensure your diet is packed full of healthy ingredients.
Avocados are packed full of nutrients and can be used in a variety of dishes including todays recipe for a delicious Guacamole.
Benefits of Avocados:
- They are full of nutrients
Avocados have been commended as a good example of a nutrient dense food.
They are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat and vitamin E. However, avocados are high in calories due to the high fat content. Half an avocado counts as one portion of your 5-a day and those managing their weight might want to consider limiting the number of avocados they consume to two per week while increasing the portions of other lower calorie fruits and vegetables.
Avocados have more soluble fibre than other fruit and contain a number of useful minerals such as iron, copper and potassium and are a good source of the B vitamin, folate.
- Source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats
100g of avocado contains about 19g of fat, of which 12g are monounsaturated fats (only 4g of saturated fat).
The guidance around the types of fat we should be consuming for a healthy diet is ever changing. Currently, it is recommended that we choose unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated fat (like that found in avocados) as they are supposedly better for heart health than saturated fat.
Research suggests that monounsaturated fat helps to protect against heart disease and lowers blood pressure.
- Help to lower cholesterol
The oils provided by an avocado include oleic acid and linoleic acid and are therefore recommended as part of a balanced diet to prevent high cholesterol.
- Vitamin E helps keep eyes healthy
Alongside the benefits outlined above, they are a rich source of antioxidant vitamin E, plus a group of carotenes which are thought to help keep the eyes healthy.
Good Mexican restaurants prepare guacamole tableside – gently crushing all the ingredients in a giant pestle and mortar. Guacamole is not a dip to be whizzed into mush in a food processor, it should be harmonious but chunky. Fresh jalapeño chillies are available in most supermarkets but just substitute regular green chillies if you cannot find them.
• red onion ¼, finely chopped
• garlic ½, crushed
• fresh jalapeño chillies 1-2 (depending on your heat preference), finely chopped
• limes 2, juiced
• sea salt 1 tsp
• vine tomatoes 2 small, diced
• avocados 3 ripe, cut into large chunks
• coriander a handful of leaves, finely chopped
• plain tortilla chips to serve
• STEP 1
Put the onion, garlic, chillies and lime juice in a large wide bowl, add the salt and leave for 5 minutes.
• STEP 2
Add the rest of the ingredients and use a fork to gently crush together leaving enough chunky avocado so you have a bit of bite in the finished guacamole. Serve with plain tortilla chips for scooping.