If you are following Malaika Arora Khan on her social media pages, you are bound to come across posts that show her enjoying avocado dishes. The obvious inference is, for the state-level runner, dancer, former VJ and actor, the fruit is almost a staple in her dietary regime. She often starts her day with avocado on toast. And why not? Considered a superfood, avocado's popularity with fitness buffs is growing exponentially, all because of the wonder fruit's myriad health benefits. In fact, the growing season for avocado starts from February.
Rich in nutrients
There are various kinds of avocados and each can weigh anywhere between 200 gms and more than one kg. The green flesh inside the fruit is eaten while the skin and seed are left out. Studies show that the fruit contains around 20 different vitamins and minerals including folate, potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamins B5 and B6. It contains a little of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc and phosphorous as well.
Healthy for your heart
Numerous studies have shown that the magic fruit can considerably lower heart disease risk. How? By reducing, among other things, total cholesterol levels and triglycerides. It can lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL (good). cholesterol.
Studies say that monounsaturated fats in the fruit can significantly improve skin tone and texture. Other skin benefits from avocado include protection from wrinkles. The antioxidants in the fruit can battle ageing.
Avocado for gastronomes
The rich, creamy velvery flesh lends itself to several kinds of savouries and desserts, not to mention healthy smoothies and other breakfast dishes. Here's a simple recipe that can be a hit on your party platter:
Tomato avocado treat
2 ripe avocados, mashed
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
150 gms hung curd
Salt and pepper per taste
1/2 teaspoon and a little extra chili flakes
1 pound french bread, cut into thick slices
2-3 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
250 gm ripe tomato, diced
2 tablespoon chopped basil
1 teaspoon sugar
A little extra basil for garnishing
Preheat oven to 180 degree Centigrade.
Mix the mashed avocado, hung curd, lime juice and chili flakes. Season and keep aside.
Mix tomato, basil, sugar. Add seasoning in this mix. Keep aside.
Mix olive oil with garlic, season. Cover the bread slices with this and toast them in the oven for 15 minutes.
Take them out from the oven and put the avocado mix on them first. Top it with the tomato mix. Garnish with basil and serve warm.
Recipe courtesy: Food historian Rakhi Purnima Dasgupta
Photo: Yogen Shah