Avocados have gained immense popularity of late and are a choice for millions of people around the world. Its popularity and use in European nations have grown tremendously during the last decade. With a unique buttery surface, avocados are berries, which means they are more of a fruit than a veggie.
People who prefer a high-fat diet use avocado oil, thanks to an excellent high quantity of healthy fats that avocado contains. Also, avocados are a favorite source of high calories amongst people running on a plant-based diet.
It is well understood that avocado oil is a derivative of this fat-rich berry. Avocado oil was popularly termed as an “alligator pear” in 1696 after Sir Hans Sloane called the avocado tree an “alligator pear tree.” While most pets, other than birds, can consume the inner side of avocado, its skin can lead to toxicity in dogs and cats.
Health benefits of avocado oil such as combating heart diseases, improving the immune system, maintaining eye health, improving blood health, reducing risk of prostate cancer, regulating metabolism, fighting premature aging, and preventing the risk of various chronic diseases.
All about Avocado
Avocado is a unique and popular oil derived from the flesh of the avocado fruit and distilled by the flesh or pulp, unlike most oils that are extracted from the seed, kernel, or nut of a shrub instead of the flesh. Typically, the main reason behind this in case of avocado is its seed’s extreme toxicity. The avocado oil can be produced all year round as compared to other common oils such as Argan and Olive, which can only be harvested during a certain period of a year.
Widely used as an essential health oil, avocado oil has several methods of processing based on the predefined use of the oil. Avocado oil processed for the manufacturing of cosmetic products are deodorized and belched, which makes the oil unfit for cooking. However, avocado oil processed for cooking purposes is purer – therefore, it can also be applied to the skin.
Benefits of Avocado Oil
While avocado oil offers a wide range of health benefits, the following ten benefits make it exceptional for regular use.
1. Improves Immunity
Avocado oil acts as a potent carrier as well as a promoter in the synthesis and mechanism of various vitamins. Typically, it helps absorb Vitamin E and carotenoids (Vitamin A) – both of which help in proving your immunity and helps fight infections as well as several acute ailments.
2. Prevents Heart Diseases
Avocado oil is an excellent source of oleic acid in the form of Omega-9, which is proven to boost heart longevity and health, along with safeguarding you against coronary heart diseases and the buildup of plaque in your arteries. Avocado oil helps strengthen your cardiovascular system to help fend off the risk of several chronic disorders related to the cardiovascular system.
3. Enhances Blood Health
Your bloodstream carries “good as well as bad” cholesterol along with triglycerides. Typically, excess of triglycerides or bad cholesterol can lead to hyperlipidemia, which can result in severe health ailments due to increased blood pressure as well as the blockage of arteries. Avocado also has superior effects on reducing the levels of bad cholesterol as compared to other commonly-used oils.
4. Improves Eye Health
Antioxidants found in avocado oil prove beneficial in improving the health of your eyes. When combined with carotenoids (vitamin A) found in avocado oil, these antioxidants work to keep your eyes, health and fresh along with preventing a wide range of eye ailments such as cataract.
5. Antioxidants Fight Aging
Apart from their role to improve eye health, the antioxidants found in avocado oil, such as lutein, combats free radicals and oxidative stress in your body to counter premature aging as well as preventing several diseases associated with cancer development and organ degeneration. Also, they help prevent wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes, and other signs of premature aging on your skin, face in particular.
6. Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer
Phytosterols are compounds similar to cholesterol found in several plant foods and play a leading role in improving your health and overall wellbeing. Also, these compounds combat tumors and cancer cells to fend off your risk of developing cancer, particularly prostate cancer.
[Read: How to Prevent Prostate Cancer]
7. Helps Regulate Metabolism
Monounsaturated fats are an important constituent of this oil and come in handy in proper regulation of sugar levels in your bloodstream along with facilitating healthy insulin secretion. For those having diabetes, monounsaturated fats can be a big plus. Despite its high concentration of fat, avocado oil can boost your metabolism along with keeping your digestive system in prime shape.
8. Supports Joint Health
Various studies have revealed that regular intake of different types of fats, such as those offered by avocado oil, may help alleviate the pain and stiffness in your joints, thence relieving the symptoms of arthritis.
9. Supports Dental Health
Studies indicate that this oil tends to block proteins that can lead to a degradation of tooth and bone minerals, hence supporting the upkeep of enamel and dentin. When paired with a healthy intake of potassium and calcium, avocado oil can help keep your bone and teeth healthy.
10. Maintains Skin Health
Avocado oil serves as an excellent source of vitamin E and several other minerals that act as a moisturizing agent to take care of your skin. Avocado oil protects your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun and possesses anti-inflammatory(2) effects to reduce the visibility of spots, blemishes, and low-level irritations.
Uses and Benefits of Avocado oil for skin
Avocado oil can be used for cooking as well as applied to your skin for its numerous benefits. For cosmetic use, it can be applied as a lotion, facial oil moisturizer, face mask, or anti-aging cream.
1. As a lotion to treat chapped skin
After a bath, massage some avocado oil onto your skin. Use twice a week for the best results.
2. As a face moisturizer
You can fill two-thirds of a 1-ounce plastic bottle with fresh avocado oil. Fill the bottle with another nourishing oil such as emu or tamanu. Add 2 to 5 drops of your preferred essential oil such as rose or lavender. Store in a cool place and remember to shake well before applying it to your skin daily.
Avocado oil is also used as a primary ingredient in numerous cuisines and salads such as paleo coconut curry stir fry, low carb lamb burgers, roasted cauliflower rice, and more. Also, various other cosmetic and wellness uses of avocado oil include its application for dry scalp treatment, leave-on hair conditioning, as a sunscreen, and more.
Preventive measures to keep in mind while using Avocado Oil
Though studies focused on understanding the side effects of this oil are not many, you must remember to go for a patch test of avocado oil on your skin on a small area first to rule out the possibilities of any allergies.
Rub it on a smaller area on the inner side of your forearm. In case you don’t notice any redness, inflammation or irritation with 24 hours of application, you can go ahead with using it to nourish, heal, and energize your skin.
In case you’re allergic to avocado oil, it is recommended that you check with your physician before using it.
Avocado oil offers a wide range of health benefits both when used for cooking(3) or when applied onto the skin. Avocado oil provides a wide range of health benefits such as improving the immune system, improving blood health, combating heart diseases, combating aging and critical illnesses. Maintaining eye health, regulating metabolism, and reducing the risk of prostate cancer are the other range of health benefits. Other benefits of avocado oil include fighting arthritis, improving joint health, improving skin health, repairing damaged and dry hair, and maintaining your dental health.
Avocado oil is nowadays readily available in the market; however, it is recommended that you avoid using the cosmetic products based on avocado oil since the majority of these have unnecessary and often harmful deodorants and bleaches.
Though avocado oil is safe for people of all ages, it is recommended you do a patch test before applying it on your skin. In case you experience any signs of allergy, it makes sense that you consult a registered medical practitioner to discuss your options.