In spite of the fact that my team, the Patriots, didn’t make it into the Super Bowl this year (tear), we’ll watch the big game. And that means guacamole. Did you know that Americans eat about 8 million pounds of guacamole on Super Bowl Sunday? I adore guacamole, and I’ll be contributing to that 8 million pounds. But I always felt guilty about eating it because there’s about 320 calories in an average avocado.
The avocado really is one of nature’s superfoods. Though it is high in fat that’s contributing to the calorie count, it’s the good, heart healthy mono-unsaturated fat. In fact, a recent study showed that patients with mild hypercholesterolemia who included avocados in their diet for 7 days showed a 17 percent drop in cholesterol levels with decreases in LDL (the bad cholesterol) and triglycerides, and an 11 percent increase in HDL (the good cholesterol). Not bad. Nutrients in the avocado provide many other health benefits:
- potassium to help control blood pressure
- lutein to promote eye health
- folic acid to reduce stroke risk and help prevent birth defects
- oleic acid that may help protect against breast cancer
- phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Plus, it’s high in fiber that keeps you feeling full.
In addition to the important health benefits, avocado is great for skin. Avocado has a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and has been said to actually slow the aging process. Sign me up for that!
Avocado works both internally and externally. In other words, you can both eat it and use it directly on your skin. Avocado oil contains vitamins A, D and E which help maintain healthy skin. Applying the oil heals and soothes dry skin, irritated skin and reduces the discomfort of eczema and psoriasis. Eating half an avocado a day can provide additional help with the itchy, painful skin that eczema and psoriasis bring.
The vitamins, antioxidants and moisturizing power of avocados make it a popular ingredient in skincare products. Do try avocado oil on its own. Or use a moisturizer or body lotion made from avocado.
Why not make your own facial masque with avocados from your own pantry? Mash an avocado till it’s nice and smooth. Add a little milk to thin it down a bit. You can add some oatmeal for more calming properties and to help clean your pores. Remove your makeup and cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser, and then apply the avocado masque to your face. (Never mind that you look like the Wicked Witch of the West.) Relax with a glass of wine, if you like, and leave the masque on for about 10 minutes. Rinse it off with lots of warm water, and apply your serum and moisturizer while your face is still damp.
So now I feel like I can truly enjoy my guacamole on Sunday. Here’s my recipe that serves 4-6, or 2 if you adore guacamole like I do:
- 3-4 Haas avocados, mashed: as smooth or chunky as you like
- one small or half a medium onion, diced fine
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/2 -1 jalapeno pepper diced small, with or without seeds and ribs depending on your heat tolerance, or a few dashes of hot sauce, or none if you don’t like heat
- one large tomato or 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
If I have any cilantro, I add that too. Mix and enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips or on a salad. What’s your recipe for guacamole?