When we’re putting together a plan for healthy eating, we try to incorporate foods that are very nutrient dense. These foods are usually called “super foods” and they’re essential to a healthy lifestyle. Super foods are considered to be the most powerful portions of our diet because of their richness in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while being low in calories. One super food, that isn’t always known for being a super food, is avocado.

As a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants, the avocado offers more to the plate than you’d think. The flavor is very versatile and it can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, sandwiches, smoothies, and even some kinds of dough. But the versatility isn’t the only thing that makes it a great food to enjoy. It’s the nutrition one gets out of eating an avocado that makes it a super food.

One cup of avocado contains 3 grams of protein, 25% of our daily value of vitamin C, and 10 grams of fiber – which is approximately 40% of our daily recommended value. In addition to high fiber, avocados contain vitamin E, which protects our skin from free radicals, and oleic acid, which has been shown to be beneficial in the prevention of breast cancer.

Avocados are also rich in phytonutrients, which research has shown to prevent prostate cancer. Phytonutrients have also been studied for their abilities to repair damaged cells and stop the growth of cancerous cells. Other antioxidants and glutathione found in the avocado can help improve immunity and nervous system function.

Enzymes are also part of the avocado’s amazing nutritional value. Enzymes found in avocado have been shown to improve the body’s ability to absorb carotenoids and nutrients, not to mention, soothe inflamed mucous lining in the stomach and small intestines. The only downside of this fruit is its high fat and calorie content, but when enjoyed in moderation, avocado can be a wonderful super food and a great addition to any healthy diet.