We know that wearing sunscreen helps keep your skin healthy and beautiful, protecting it from the outside in—but key nutrients in certain foods can shield your skin from damage from the inside out.

Foods containing Vitamin C, lycopene, omega-3s, caffeine and isoflavones in soy can help keep your skin looking young and healthy. Many of the same foods that can boost your defences against skin cancer (the most common type of cancer) will also help keep your skin smoother and ward off wrinkles. Every week we will be sharing a summer recipe that will help keep your skin looking healthy- and taste great too.

This Week… A is for Avocados

Avocados contain Vitamin E

An antioxidant, this works with selenium and has a powerful action against free radical damage. It also helps the skin retain moisture. Premature wrinkles, pale skin, acne, easy bruising and slow wound healing may indicate a deficiency

Guacamole, a dip made from avocados, is originally from Mexico. The name is derived from two Aztec Nahuatl words – ahuacatl (avocado) and molli (sauce). The trick to perfect guacamole is using good, ripe avocados. Check for ripeness by gently pressing the outside of the avocado. If there is no give, the avocado is not ripe yet and will not taste good. If there is a little give, the avocado is ripe. If there is a lot of give, the avocado may be past ripe and not good.

Perfect Guacamole Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 ripe avocados
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1-2 chillies, stems and seeds removed, finely chopped
Handful of corriander, finely chopped (finely chop some of the stalks too, these have great flavour)
Juice of one lime or lemon
Pinch of coarse salt and black pepper
1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped

Serve with tortilla chips or as a side dish at your next barbeque.

METHOD

1. Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.

2. Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the chopped onion, corriander, lime or lemon, salt and pepper and mash some more. Chillies vary in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chilli and add to the guacamole till you have it as hot as you would like. Keep the tomatoes separate until ready to serve.

Remember that much of this is done to taste because of the variability in the fresh ingredients. Start with this recipe and adjust to your taste.

3. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.

4. Just before serving, add the chopped tomato to the guacamole and mix. Garnish with coriander leaves, lime wedges and sliced chilli.