It’s hard to come across a food with as much nutrition as an avocado. And what can’t you do with one? Avocados are the perfect complement to any dish, great as a dip and amazing in smoothies and shakes. In a single, 3.5-ounce serving, an avocado is packed with:
1. Vitamin K, 26% of the daily value (DV): This nutrient is often overlooked but is essential for bone health. Taking in enough vitamin K can support bone health by increasing calcium absorption and reducing the urinary excretion of calcium.
2. Folate, 20% of the DV: Folate is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function.
3. Vitamin C, 17% of the DV: Vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection.
4. Potassium, 14% of the DV: Potassium plays an essential role in activating nerve impulses throughout your nervous system.
5. Vitamin B5, 14% of the DV: Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is one of the most important vitamins for human life. It’s necessary for making blood cells, and it helps you convert the food you eat into energy.
6. Vitamin B6, 13% of the DV: Vitamin B6 may help reduce high homocysteine levels that lead to narrowing of arteries. This may minimize heart disease risk.
7. Vitamin E, 10% of the DV: Because vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body, studies have shown that supplementing with high doses of it can reduce markers of oxidative stress and boost antioxidant defenses in some populations.
8. Avocados contain more potassium than bananas! (Cramping up after a 5k? Try guacamole!)
9. 77% of an avocado’s calories come from heart-healthy fats.
10. You’re getting a healthy dose of fiber when you eat an avocado, too!
11. Avocados are loaded with antioxidants that support, nourish and protect the eyes: Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals present in eye tissue. They provide antioxidant protection to help minimize damage, including from UV light.
Additionally, avocados contain small traces of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin). They are definitely a superfood you shouldn’t skip out on in your diet!
Talk about delicious, and nutritious! And now, in case you’re on the go and don’t have time to add avocado toast or homemade guacamole to your routine, is a simple avocado smoothie recipe that mimics the consistency of a milkshake and gives you all of the benefits of avocados.
Try This Simple Avocado Smoothie!
1/2 of a ripe avocado: Be sure they’re ripe but not too ripe!
1 and a 1/2 cups of milk of your choice: Whole milk is fine, but go nuts with almond milk if you like bad jokes.
1 teaspoon: vanilla extract
2 tablespoons: Grade A maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon: salt
1 scoop: protein powder of your choice
Peel the avocado and discard/compost the pit. Blend all ingredients until completely smooth. Feel free to blend in a few coconut milk ice cubes for a super thick and ice-cream-like shake if desired. (And if you like this, try experimenting by adding some new flavors like a few blueberries or half a banana.)