Today's Inside Out Beauty Food is the ever-popular and delectable avocado!
In fact, as I write this, I am enjoying the most delicious avocado toast, at one of my fave coffee shops, topped with radishes, carrots, goat cheese, and pickled onions. Just. So. Good.
Clearly the secret is out about about avocados. But, being the healthy food nerd that I am, I always love learning more about why a particular food is so healthy and what exactly it supports in our bodies. And the more I learn about avocados, the more in awe of them I become.
I chose avocados for today's beauty food because, they are so wonderful for our skin health in so many ways. You'll notice a theme for the past three days with my focus on "plumping" foods - chia seeds, coconut oil, and avocados are all raw, plant-based sources of healthy fats. When we reduce difficult-to-digest, rancid fats from our diets and replace them with easy-to-digest, plant-based ones, it results in some amazing benefits for clearing skin (damaged oils are a major component of breakouts and uneven skin), as well as reducing dark under-eye circles and adding that youthful suppleness we all want.
Why? Because we are adding moisture and lubrication on a deep cellular level, which results in reducing dryness on the outside (aka your skin!) too. In fact, they can literally prevent wrinkles by rejuvenating moisture. Not only are avocados wonderful for our skin, but they are also great for our joints. Oftentimes, a foods own properties are an indication of what they help in our own bodies - call it natures cue to us. For examples, walnuts, which quite literally look like mini brains, help our brain health and cognition function. Um...thank you, nature - you so smart!
Avocados contain vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like potassium, copper, and iron and fiber. Technically a fruit, avocados are the most abundant fruit source of vitamin E. They also contain anti-aging amino acids glutamine and glutathione - both environmental protectors and antioxidants.
For today's recipe, I'm doing a super hydrating and cleansing avocado gazpacho. It also happens to be added-oil-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan! It makes the perfect light lunch, snack, or side dish. In fact, I threw my leftovers in a mason jar and took them with me to work and basically drank it like a smoothie. It left me feeling light yet satiated for hours.
Also amazing for plumping and hydrating the skin? Every other ingredient in this recipe. And together, they form a symphony of awesomeness. Did you know herbs and spices not only have their own beautifying properties, but also increase the bioavailability of other foods? i.e. garlic, cayenne, and cilantro (all in the recipe, below) help increase your body's access to the vitamins and minerals in the avocado and cucumber. To top it off - there's no annoying steps like peeling and deseeding the cucumber - because, why would we want to throw away all that goodness?! Plus, I think the dark specks in the finished gazpacho look super cool.
(makes two servings)
- 1 cup ice cold water
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
- 1 large cucumber, roughly chopped
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (raw, unfiltered)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
- pinch sea salt
- pinch cayenne
- optional toppings: radish, cucumber, cilantro
Combine all ingredients, in order, in high-speed blender. Blend starting on low, speeding up to medium-high, making sure blades don't get stuck or stop spinning food. Blend ~45 seconds until you reach desired consistency. Add more water as needed to thin-out.
Add toppings of choice and enjoy!
Gazpacho will stay fresh for several days in an air-tight container in your fridge.
I hope you love this recipe! And I hope you loved learning more about avocados. Their beauty gets me every time. I mean, just look at that pit...isn't it amazing?!
Tomorrow, we'll be moving to BALANCING beauty foods for three days. Get excited.