This four ingredient smoothie with pineapple, orange, and avocado is the perfect healthy and creamy sweet treat. It can be eaten as an energy-boosting breakfast, quick lunch, or even satisfying afternoon snack.
Avocados have had a bad reputation in the health world for being too high in fat and calories, but recently we've realized that this nutritional gem actually has amazing health benefits that make it completely worth adding back to our plates on a regular basis!
One very common complaint about nutrition I often hear from clients is how confusing and inconsistent nutrition information can be. One day we hear fat is bad, then the next day it's good, or maybe we hear that eggs should be avoided for their cholesterol content, followed by an article saying you need to eat more eggs. Nutrition is science, which means it is being studied constantly and new research comes out all the time.
As we advance in our knowledge of the human body, we also learn more about how different foods affect our body in different ways. Sometimes we forget just how much food there actually is out there and how hard it is to study in people since we combine so many different foods in our meals all the time. This is one of the main reasons nutrition information changes so often. The more we learn, the more we try to modify our eating plan to fit that optimal "diet" and reach all our health goals. The reality is that the best thing we can do is eat a variety of fresh foods straight from nature and cut out as many processed foods as possible. That change alone is enough to make a huge health impact on most people.
Now back to the avocado. Healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, flax, and fish are an essential part of a balanced eating plan, and eating more healthy fats is associated with protective benefits for the heart, reducing inflammation (plus promoting joint health), and helping manage weight. Yes, healthy fats can help you maintain a healthy weight and are part of a healthy weight loss plan. Fats digest pretty slowly in our bodies, so they are really good at helping us feel more full for a longer time than if we just ate foods like bread or fruit on their own, which are much quicker to digest and can make us feel hungry again sooner.
Avocados can also help to better absorb lycopene and beta-carotene, which are important disease-fighting antioxidants found in brightly colored red and orange produce like tomatoes and carrots along with other fruits and veggies. In fact, we know now that even though they are green (not orange), avocados also contain some of these powerful antioxidants, so not only to they help us absorb more from other produce, but they also contain some of the same healthy and protective compounds on their own.
The key is enjoying healthy fats in moderation. For example, most people know that nuts are healthy, but eating handful after handful of nuts can lead to a whole lot of extra calories, which can affect weight loss. So instead of mindlessly munching straight out of the nut jar, portioning them out into 1/4 cup servings is a way to practice moderation while still getting all of the healthy benefits they have to offer. The same goes for eating avocado - when in doubt, portion it out! :) One cup of cubed avocado has roughly 240 calories as a point of reference, so I recommend 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup portions.
This recipe is an example of healthy fat from avocados enjoyed the right way: in moderation and with other fresh healthy foods to go with it. Even though it only has four
ingredients, this smoothie is packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and even some protein from the yogurt. It's got a smooth, creamy texture and can help you stay full
Pineapple, Orange, and Avocado Smoothie
Makes 1 Serving
1/4 cup roughly chopped avocado (about 1/2 small avocado)
- 1/4 cup chopped pineapple (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed or 100% orange juice
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3-4 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend for about 1 minute or until completely smooth and creamy.