From avocado toast to avocado-laden soups, smoothies, and even brownies, it’s safe to say the world has become avo-obsessed. But is this superfood really worth the hype?
We sat down with Freshly’s head nutritionist Brooke Scheller, DCN, MS, to find out. Here, she breaks down why avocados are so healthy and reveals her favorite tricks for incorporating them into meals.
Q: What makes avocados so healthy?
Brooke: Avocados are an excellent source of healthy, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These are super important for the squishy outer layer that makes up all of your cells.
They’re also important for proper hormone production (like estrogen and testosterone), and they support healthy skin and bones and help with the absorption of specific vitamins like A, D, E, and K.
Avocados are also an excellent source of potassium, an essential mineral that many Americans are deficient in. Plus, they’re loaded with antioxidants, which support your liver and your body’s natural detoxification pathways.
Q: Any pro tips we may not know about?
Brooke: The most nutrient-dense part of the avocado is the dark green color just inside the rind. If you scoop out the avocado, you can miss out on some of the nutrients in the fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!).
So the best method is to actually peel the skin off of the avocado instead of scooping it out. If it’s ripe, the skin should come off easily. Simply slice the avocado in half; then, cut into wedges and peel the skin.
Another good tip: To store an avocado half and keep it from browning, leave the pit in, sprinkle it with lemon or lime juice, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for up to a day.
Q: What are some easy ways to incorporate avocados into meals?
Brooke: I love adding avocados to smoothies because they make them nice and thick. My fave recipe is coconut milk (amount to taste/thickness), 1/2 avocado, 1/2 banana, and a sprinkle or two of cacao powder for a chocolate kick. It’s nice and sweet and gets thick like ice cream. Yum!
For a snack, I love making a quick guac with just mashed avocado, fresh-squeezed lime juice, chopped cilantro, salt, and pepper. My trick for extra flavor is adding lots of lime juice. Instead of pita chips for dipping, I use fresh veggies like endive, radishes, peppers, cucumbers.
A healthy dessert hack: puree a ripe avocado in a blender or food processor and use it to replace the oil in a brownie recipe. The natural fat from the avocado will add richness and a nutrient boost, too!
Avocado is also a great addition to Freshly meals. I like adding slices on top of our chili and tacos.
Q: Is it possible to eat too much avocado?
Brooke: Yes! Avocados are high in fat, which means they’re also high in calories. Though the fat they contain is the good kind, you can still blow your calorie budget by having one too many scoops of guac.
I recommend limiting your serving size to ⅓ of a medium avocado which has about 80 calories (versus 240 calories for a whole avocado).
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