Guacamole Day: The Best Guac Recipe Ever and the Benefits of Avocados
7 minute read
A side dish for many, guacamole is finally getting its turn in the center of the table as we celebrate National Guacamole Day.
While the date of this celebration is September 16th, it is one of the most widely consumed foods in the United States in the middle of the winter and during the Super Bowl. A time of year when avocados aren’t even in season.
History of Guacamole
Guacamole originated before the 16th century, but at that time it was simply mashed avocados. In fact, the name comes from the Nahuatl word Ähuacamolli, which translates to the avocado sauce.
As mentioned, the original guacamole was simply mashed avocados, but the recipe grew to include some ingredients that were common to the area, such as tomatoes and onions. As Europeans arrived in the Americas, the recipe was altered a bit, and garlic and lime became staple ingredients.
Much like today, guacamole was very popular because of the flavor and the high nutritional value. The Aztecs even believed guacamole was an aphrodisiac, which boosted its popularity even higher.
While the other ingredients have their place, it’s really the avocados that make guacamole the healthy treat that it is.
Health Benefits of Avocados
Avocados are classified as a fruit because they contain a seed, but they’re unlike most common fruits. They’re primarily a carbohydrate but high in healthy fats. While the avocado has a lot of health benefits, it’s important to keep this fat content in mind.
Avocados Are Nutritious
Avocados are loaded with nutrients. They contain vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. It also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin.
While, on average, a Hass avocado has about 160 calories, it also has 2 grams of protein, 15 grams of healthy fats, 9 grams of carbohydrates, with 7 of those being healthy fiber. There is no cholesterol or sodium in avocados, and they’re low in unhealthy saturated fats.
Heart-Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
While you want to limit your avocado consumption due to the fats they contain, there is some good to be found in those fats.
A whopping 77 percent of the calories in an avocado come from the fat, but the majority of that fat is oleic acid. This is the same monounsaturated fatty acid that’s in olive oil, and it’s why these fats are classified as healthy.
Oleic acid has been studied quite extensively, and it’s been directly associated with reduced inflammation, a major cause of disease and illness. That said, it’s the connection between oleic acid and cancer that’s most exciting.
| Related: 9 Signs of Hidden Inflammation + Treatment Tips |
A scholarly article reviewed many studies on oleic acid and cancer and determined that oleic acid, like that found in avocados, plays a role in activating intracellular pathways that prevent tumor development.
Full of Fiber
An avocado is roughly 25 percent soluble fiber and 75 percent insoluble fiber. Both soluble and insoluble fiber are great for your body and have health benefits.
Soluble fiber attracts water and slows digestion. It’s believed that this type of fiber is what makes you feel full for a longer period of time, and it appears to lower your risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and some gastrointestinal diseases.
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool, helping it pass through the body with fewer problems in the digestive tract. It can also help with weight loss.
Avocados Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world. High cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and some inflammatory markers can help predict potential heart problems. The good news is that avocados can help.
♦ They reduce total cholesterol levels significantly
♦ Blood triglycerides can be reduced up to 20 percent
♦ LDL cholesterol is reduced by 22 percent
♦ HDL cholesterol is elevated up to 11 percent
Do all of these health benefits have you craving guacamole? If so, you’re in luck. The following recipe is the best guacamole recipe ever. What makes it even better is that it’s a very basic recipe that’s easy to make, and it takes full advantage of the health benefits of avocados, but on top of that, it can be easily altered to suit your tastes.
3 ripe avocados
1 lime, juiced
1/2 of a small onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1. Scoop the flesh out of the avocados and put in a medium-sized bowl. Add the lime juice and mash with a fork to desired texture. Dice the onion and add it to the mixture.
2. Slice your Roma tomatoes in half, lengthwise and use your finger to scoop out the seeds. Removing the seeds helps prevent your guacamole from having too much liquid and soupy consistency. Then dice the tomatoes and add to the mix.
3. Deseed your jalapeno, dice it, and add it to the guacamole. Use a garlic press to mince your garlic cloves and add them. Chop the fresh cilantro and add it to the bowl with the salt.
4. To store any leftover guacamole, place it in a bowl with an airtight lid. Use a spatula to smooth the top of the guacamole until it’s roughly level. Add cool water to the top to cover the surface. Cover with the lid and refrigerate.
5. This should prevent oxidation of the avocado and will keep it fresher. Simply pour the water off when you want to eat it again.
The Bottom Line
While celebrating guacamole gives you another reason to enjoy this delicious side dish, it’s really the health benefits of the avocado that transform this tasty treat from an appetizer to a scene-stealing superstar.
Avocados have long been noted for their health benefits. Loaded with nutrients, healthy fats, and fiber, and avocado fuels your body with things it needs to thrive while fighting cancer and heart disease along the way.
If you want to boost your health in a natural way, try adding more avocados and guacamole to your meal repertoire.