Although it has not reached celebrity status like coconut oil, avocado oil is rapidly gaining momentum in natural health circles. The flesh of the avocado fruit, depending on weight, can contain up to 30 percent oil. However, up until recently, this oil has been used as a raw material by the cosmetic industry, and has not been viewed as an edible oil. The good news is, there is a way to extract the oil in avocados and end up with a shimmering green oil loaded with health benefits.
Many people dismiss nutrient-packed avocados due to their high fat content, and while they have more fat than any other fruit, it’s mostly monounsaturated fat, a healthy type of fat that has been shown to increase HDL, or “good” cholesterol and improve heart health. The American Heart Association explains that monounsaturated fats help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Monounsaturated fats are also high in vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin most Americans need more of.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help to manage blood pressure and lower LDL “bad” cholesterol levels. Both of these things improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease.
According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, a diet rich in avocado oil changed levels of fatty acids in the kidneys, which caused the kidneys to regulate blood pressure in a positive way. Researchers were thus encouraged that avocado oil may play a big role in improving blood pressure.
Furthermore, research indicates that a diet high in healthy fats can help bust stubborn belly fat. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating monounsaturated fats increases satiety to help you feel full longer.
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, carotenoids in avocado oil boost the absorption of carotenoids in food. Carotenoids (a type of antioxidant) are fat-soluble and depend on dietary fats for absorption. Avocado oil not only contains high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, but also high amounts of carotenoids.
In one study, both high and low amounts of avocado oil enhanced absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein (up to 15 times) in a salad, versus a salad without avocado oil.
Cold-pressed avocado oil is loaded with antioxidants including vitamin E, alpha and beta-carotene, and lutein. Research indicates that vitamin E may support a healthy heart and also reduce the risk of Alzheimers, breast and prostate cancers, as well as eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.
The human body converts alpha and beta-carotene into vitamin A – an essential nutrient that is vital for healthy skin, mucous membranes, eye health, strong bones and the immune system. Lutein, another powerful antioxidant, protects both the eyes and the heart.
Avocado oil is loaded with healthy plant proteins, and along with its healthy fats can greatly benefit skin health. In addition to its other benefits, avocado oil contains sterolin, which has been shown to soften the skin and reduce the appearance of age spots. Of course, the antioxidants in this potent oil can also help heal sun-damaged and dry skin. When applied to the skin, avocado oil can help promote the production of collagen and reduce the signs of aging. Avocado oil also contains lecithin and potassium that can keep your skin and hair strong and vibrant.
In addition, avocado oil is beneficial for treating skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis. A study published in the journal, Dermatology, found that a mixture of vitamin B12 and avocado oil helped relieve the symptoms of psoriasis over a 12-week study period.
Avocado oil has a pleasant taste and is a great replacement oil for everyday use. The great news is that it has a high smoke point and is very stable.Resource: The Alternative Daily