Our Recipe Series has been a massive success among our followers worldwide. Therefore, we have decided to continue to share with you some of our wholesome, healthy raw vegan recipes! It is a true pleasure for us to share the best of our raw vegan cuisine while at the same time spreading some of the knowledge and health benefits of the foods we incorporate into our program.
At An Oasis of Healing, we do not recommend that you indulge in a lot of “snacking,” but if you do snack, there are some healthier options. One of our favorites is guacamole! Being so close to Mexico, we have “imported” some tasty recipes from South of the border, and guacamole is simple, healthy, and very appealing to your taste buds, or in other words, super delicious!
Guacamole is often used as a snack, with taco chips (we have our healthy version of those too – go to our Tacos recipe to learn how to make raw vegan healthy tortillas, cut-up veggies, or even fruit. It can also be enjoyed by itself or as a nutritionally dense side to your dishes.
The star in guacamole is obviously the avocado, which we will highlight in terms of health benefits, along with the onion and lime. Read the full post to make sure you absorb all the great information we have to share with you!
Avocados are highly nutritious, contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals, and possess a balanced fat profile. Avocados have been associated with various health benefits, including helping support cardiovascular health and balance blood lipids.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Avocado1,2
- Source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate (B-9), pyridoxine (B-6), niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), riboflavin (B-2), choline and phytosterols.
- Rich in flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants beneficial for health, such as cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin, and beta and alpha carotenes. The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are very important for eye health. Lutein helps control oxidative/inflammatory stress.
- Good source of minerals, like potassium, magnesium, and small amounts of manganese, copper, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. The high potassium content may help promote normal blood pressure.
- Excellent source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) like oleic and palmitoleic acids as well as omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid and linoleic acid.
- Avocado oil consists of 71% monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and 16% saturated fatty acids (SFA).
- The balanced fat profile of avocados helps to promote healthy blood lipid profiles and to enhance the bioavailability of fat-soluble vitamins and phytochemicals from the avocado itself or other fruits and vegetables.
- Furthermore, avocados contribute to reducing total cholesterol and blood triglycerides, lowering LDL, and increasing HDL.
- Significant levels of dietary fiber, consisting of 30% soluble fiber and 70% insoluble fiber.
We have talked about onions in our “Enchiladas” recipe (https://www.anoasisofhealing.com/spicy-vegan-enchiladas/), but these phytochemical powerhouses always deserve more attention.
Onions belong to the allium family, along with garlic, leeks, chives, green onions, and the like, sharing some fantastic nutritional content and health-promoting chemicals.
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Onions3,4,5,6
- Frequent consumption of onions has been associated with a reduced risk of many cancers.
- Contain powerful antioxidant flavonoids, such as quercetin and fisetin, with anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic properties. These compounds can have applications in treating many chronic diseases.
- Flavonoids may inhibit cancer cell proliferation and angiogenesis and kill off cancer stem cells.
- Especially red and pink onions contain substantial amounts of quercetin and anthocyanins, both cancer-fighting flavonols.
- Quercetin, besides helping deter many cancers, also chelates excess iron from the body – high iron levels can promote cancer cell growth.
- Anthocyanins have strong antioxidant properties and are considered cancer-protective.
- Fisetin is neuroprotective and protective against cancer.
- Onions also contain other flavonoids that promote the production of glutathione – the body’s master antioxidant.
- Another beneficial phytochemical present in onions is allicin. Allicin has many beneficial effects: anti-mutagenic, anti-diabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal. It may contribute to reducing cholesterol, normalizing blood pressure, and preventing blood clots, which leads to a decreased risk of coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular diseases, and stroke.
- Good source of vitamin C with its protective antioxidant effect and some B vitamins like pyridoxine (B-6) and folate (B-9).
- Rich in the trace mineral chromium, important for adequate insulin response.
- Good source of soluble dietary fiber.
Lime, the scientific name Citrus aurantifolia, belongs to the same family of fruits that includes lemon, orange, pomelo, tangerine, and grapefruit. Limes are the smallest among citrus fruits, but their nutritional value and health benefits are among the highest!
Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Limes7,8,9,10,11,12,13
- Lime has a very low glycemic index, making it one of the favorite fruits for cancer!
- Limes are rich in Vitamin C, containing 29.1 mg per 100 grams of fresh fruit, which is about 48.5% of the daily average intake. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant with strong free radical scavenging properties and helps support the immune system.
- Source of Vitamin A, another natural antioxidant. Consuming fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin A and carotenoids has been shown to help protect from certain cancers.
- Like lemons, limes are rich in phytochemical flavonoids such as hesperidin, naringin, and naringenin. These phytochemicals have been found to exert beneficial effects: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, free radical scavenging, and immune-modulating. Studies suggest that hesperidin and naringin are beneficial for improving hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia.
- Limes and lemons also contain citric acid, which gives these citrus fruits their characteristic sour taste. Citric acid is a natural antioxidant and preservative and helps digestion.
- Limes contain low amounts of B-complex vitamins, such as pantothenic acid (B-5) and pyridoxine (B-6), and of certain minerals, like iron, copper, and calcium.
- Limes were found to have an antimicrobial effect on certain bacterial strains (such as H. pylori) and might have therapeutic potential to control antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains.
- The essential oils of Citrus aurantifolia, both from the peel and the leaf, have been the focus of recent animal studies and show various potential health benefits, including helping to reduce blood glucose levels and improve blood lipid profiles.
Do you have the necessary ingredients to prepare our guacamole at home? If not, it is time to go out, and get some organic produce, ideally at a local Farmer’s Market, because our Guacamole really deserves a try! 😊
Here is the full recipe for a super nutritious Guacamole!
- Makes: 2 cups Prep time: 15 minutes • Total time: 15 minutes
- 4 medium avocados
- 1/4 cup red onion, minced
- 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, minced (optional)
- 2-3 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/4-½ tsp salt
In a bowl, mash avocados with a fork or potato masher. * Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the flavors according to your preference.
To store, sprinkle the top with lime juice, seal with plastic wrap, and keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.
*For smooth and velvety guacamole, process the avocado in a food processor.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171705/nutrients, accessed Oct 18, 2022.
- Nutrition and You. Avocados Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/avocados.html, accessed Oct 18, 2022.
- Li Q, Wang Y, Mai Y, Li H, Wang Z, Xu J, He X. Health Benefits of the Flavonoids from Onion: Constituents and Their Pronounced Antioxidant and Anti-neuroinflammatory Capacities. J Agric Food Chem. 2020 Jan 22;68(3):799-807. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.9b07418. Epub 2020 Jan 13. PMID: 31893634.
- Abotaleb M, Samuel SM, Varghese E, Varghese S, Kubatka P, Liskova A, Büsselberg D. Flavonoids in Cancer and Apoptosis. Cancers (Basel). 2018 Dec 28;11(1):28. doi: 10.3390/cancers11010028. PMID: 30597838; PMCID: PMC6357032.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Onions, raw. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170000/nutrients, accessed Oct 18, 2022.
- Nutrition and You. Onion Nutrition Facts. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/onion.html, accessed Oct 18, 2022.
- Jung UJ, Lee MK, Park YB, Kang MA, Choi MS. Effect of citrus flavonoids on lipid metabolism and glucose-regulating enzyme mRNA levels in type-2 diabetic mice. Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2006;38(7):1134-45. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2005.12.002. Epub 2006 Jan 6. PMID: 16427799.
- Jung UJ, Lee MK, Jeong KS, Choi MS. The hypoglycemic effects of hesperidin and naringin are partly mediated by hepatic glucose-regulating enzymes in C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice. J Nutr. 2004 Oct;134(10):2499-503. doi: 10.1093/jn/134.10.2499. PMID: 15465737.
- Lee SM, Park SY, Kim MJ, Cho EA, Jun CH, Park CH, Kim HS, Choi SK, Rew JS. Key lime (Citrus aurantifolia) inhibits the growth of triple drug resistant Helicobacter pylori. Gut Pathog. 2018 May 21;10:16. doi: 10.1186/s13099-018-0244-y. PMID: 29942354; PMCID: PMC5961513.
- Lin LY, Chuang CH, Chen HC, Yang KM. Lime (Citrus aurantifolia (Christm.) Swingle) Essential Oils: Volatile Compounds, Antioxidant Capacity, and Hypolipidemic Effect. Foods. 2019 Sep 7;8(9):398. doi: 10.3390/foods8090398. PMID: 31500259; PMCID: PMC6770194.
- Ibrahim FA, Usman LA, Akolade JO, Idowu OA, Abdulazeez AT, Amuzat AO. Antidiabetic Potentials of Citrus aurantifolia Leaf Essential Oil. Drug Res (Stuttg). 2019 Apr;69(4):201-206. doi: 10.1055/a-0662-5607. Epub 2018 Oct 1. PMID: 30273946.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Search Results. Limes, raw. Published April 1, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168155/nutrients, accessed Oct 21, 2022.
Nutrition and You. Limes Nutrition Facts https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/limes.html, accessed Oct 21, 2022
Vanessa Pinto graduated with a degree in Biology and Masters in Ecology from Lisbon University. After graduating, she underwent a series of professional and personal growth experiences, including being an officer in the Portuguese Army, working in countries as diverse as Iceland and Costa Rica. Vanessa became certified as a Yoga and Meditation teacher in rural India.
Being a compassionate person by nature, Vanessa is able to bring her connectedness when working with others while enhancing the importance and practicality of a pragmatic evidence-based approach to facilitating lasting and permanent change. Vanessa is a certified health coach whose specialties are nutrition, exercise, and mind/ body connection. She works both in Portugal, Thailand and USA, where she develops her work closely with people diagnosed with cancer, mainly in the areas of nutrition, movement and health education.