Tasty Tuesdays – Mango, Avocado Salsa

Salsa is a great summer snack and doesn’t involve turning on any appliances that produce heat.  I love this particular recipe because it’s very refreshing and goes well with chicken, shrimp, white fish and of course tortilla chips.  I found this recipe (here) and made a few tasty adjustments.  

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 fresh lime juice and zest
  • 1 mango
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro

Directions

  • Whisk together the olive oil, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic, lime juice and zest.
  • Finely chop the mango, avocado, red onion and jalapeño pepper into similar sized pieces. *Remove the jalapeño seeds if you don’t like too much spice.
  • Add this to the whisked dressing and stir until everything is evenly combined.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and then add the coarsely chopped cilantro prior to serving.

Interesting Facts

The avocado, nicknamed the Alligator pear because of its skin texture, has been cultivated for many thousands of years (Meyer et al., Chapter 3, 2011).  This fruit is native to Central and South America and contains a wealth of nutrients including; carotenoids, manganese, phosphorous, iron, potassium, folic acid and vitamins B, C and E.  As well, avocados contain both soluble and insoluble fiber (6.7g/100g avocado) which aid in digestion and make you feel fuller longer, thus managing weight control (Naveh, et al., 2002).  Avocados are also found on the low glycemic index list which means that the carbohydrates are broken down slowly with a gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream (NCI, 2009).  You may recall from an earlier post that folic acid and vitamin B6 regulate homocysteine levels, which help to prevent heart disease (Meyer et al., Chapter 3, 2011).   They are a heart healthy food not only because of the aforementioned, but also because of their ‘good’ fat content which accounts for 85% of avocados calories.  Oleic acid and omega-3 fatty acid, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, are found in high concentrations and improve levels of inflammatory risk factors and help to lower cholesterol levels (Dreher and Davenport, 2012).   Interestingly, this extraordinary but not ordinary combination of fats is very beneficial to your heart’s health.  A study by Ledesma et al.(1996), assessed serum lipids of healthy individuals in a control group and those following a high monounsaturated fatty acid (MFA) diet (which included avocados).  After only seven days it was found that the participants following the MFA diet had a significant decrease of blood total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, and an increase of HDL levels.  Another study, which had noteworthy results found that by adding 1 cup of avocado (approximately 150g) to a salad increased the absorption of fat soluble carotenoids by 200-400% (Unlu et al., 2005).  Although carotenoids are generally associated with orange coloured vegetables and fruits, avocados contain nine different types of this pigment (Colle et al., 2012).  On that note, don’t be scared of the fatty avocado…it’s actually very healthy for you and contains a winning combination of fats and fat soluble nutrients!

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