Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables can help you get all of your essential vitamins and minerals. Avocados are nutrient-dense and loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Avocados are best eaten raw, and can be prepared in many ways. Add avocados to salads, sandwiches, chilled soups or dips. Incorporating avocados into your diet can help decrease your blood cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease
One cup of raw, cubed avocado has 240 calories, 22 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 13 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 1 g sugar, and 3 g protein. Avocados are high in fiber and contain vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin B-6. The vital nutrients in avocados may help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
The vitamins in avocados promote the healthy functioning of the body. Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin, plays a key role in blood clotting. Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, is required to repair tissues and cells in the body. Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body’s tissues and cells from damage caused by unstable substances called free radicals. Vitamin E promotes the formation of red blood cells and is good for skin and hair health. Vitamin B-6, a water-soluble vitamin, helps the immune system produce antibodies to fight disease.
One cup of raw avocado, cubed, provides 8 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin K and 4 percent of the daily value for vitamins C, E and B-6. The heart-healthy fats in avocados also help the body absorb fat soluble nutrients such as beta-carotene when eaten together with avocados.
Avocados have a rich, buttery texture and can be peeled, pitted and sliced for a cool, refreshing addition to any meal. Mash them up with the back of a fork and sprinkle with lime juice, salt and cilantro for guacamole. Serve them over mixed green salads or add them to your favorite cold sandwich. Pureed cucumbers, avocados, lime juice, salt and basil make a refreshing and delicious chilled soup. Look for large, ripe avocados with dark skin and a slightly soft exterior. They tend to darken quickly after peeling, so keep them refrigerated well and wrap tightly with plastic wrap after peeling and slicing.
References and ResourcesSelf Nutrition Data: Avocados, Raw, All Commercial Varieties
California Avocado Commission: Avocado Nutrients