BENEFITS OF AVOCADO OIL
There’s a new oil out there that is gaining popularity for its versatility and health benefits - avocado oil. Avocado oil is popping up as an ingredient in many healthy foods. People love it for its mild flavor in cooking and lack of scent in beauty recipes.
Avocado oil is produced from the fruit (avocado) of the avocado tree. It is pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado pit, making it one of the few edible oils not derived from seed. This lightly flavored oil is high in oleic acid, monounsaturated fats and Vitamins A, E and D. It contains decent amounts of magnesium and antioxidants, which most people do not consume enough of.
Health Benefits of Avocado Oil
- Improves Immune System Health
Avocado oil is a carrier and catalyst in the biological use of many other vitamins. Primarily, it can improve the absorption of carotenoids (Vitamin A analogues) and Vitamin E – these are incredibly important in the proper functioning of the human immune system. Increasing the intake of avocado oil can mean an improved resistance to illness and improve health in general.
- Combats Heart Disease
The oleic acid found in avocado is Omega-9, a far less famous member of the omega family. This is primarily because it can be produced in the body to an extent, but a dietary intake of Oleic acid can have huge benefits on the health and longevity of the heart, protecting against plaque build-up in the arteries and coronary heart disease. Considering that heart disease is still the #1 killer in the English-speaking world, this is a huge benefit.
- Improves Blood Health
‘Blood lipids’ refers to the balance of various fats in the bloodstream, with ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterols as well as triglycerides. Too much of either bad cholesterol or triglycerides can result in hyperlipidemia and cause serious problems such as the blocking of arteries, increase in blood pressure and increased likelihood of heart attacks. Compared to other oils – such as coconut, corn and even olive oil – avocado has the best effects on lowering bad cholesterol, whilst it tied olive for improving good cholesterol. These have yet to be discussed in human studies but the various animal studies show promising results.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
Avocado oil is a smart choice if you are looking for natural ways to lower your blood pressure or to maintain a healthy blood pressure. The monounsaturated fats found in avocado oil can have a beneficial effect on blood pressure and hence your heart when eaten in moderation and when used to replace saturated fat and trans fat in your diet.
- May Reduce Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis is a disease that involves painful inflammation of the joints. It's very common and affects millions of people worldwide. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is associated with the breakdown of cartilage in joints. Numerous studies have found that extracts from avocado and soybean oil, called avocado/soybean unsaponifiables, may reduce the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis. The extract seems to be especially beneficial for people who have hip and knee osteoarthritis.
- Boosts Nutrient Absorption
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, the addition of avocado oil to a meal can boost the absorption of carotenoids in food. Carotenoids are health-promoting antioxidants that are fat-soluble and depend on dietary fats for absorption.
The study found that the addition of avocado oil to a salad significantly enhanced alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein absorption. Dietary carotenoids are thought to provide significant health benefits to the human body by decreasing the risk of disease, particularly certain cancers and eye disease.
- Prevents Skin Damage From Sun Rays
Studies have found that avocados, and by extension avocado oil, can both prevent and treat skin damage, thanks to their PFA. In a study, when PFA was injected into skin cells before they were exposed to UVB rays.
- The skin cells showed increased ability to recover.
- The secretion of inflammation-inducing chemicals was decreased.
- DNA repair was enhanced.
- Fights Signs Of Aging
Avocado oil has benefits not just for a sun-damaged skin but any skin that shows the signs of natural aging like wrinkles, dryness, and flaccidity.
- Vitamin E and lecithin in avocado help boost the collagen in the skin, giving it firmness.
- Vitamin E and carotenoids also prevent inflammation and keep wrinkles from showing on the skin.
- The fatty acids in avocado oil penetrate into the second layer of the skin, moisturizing it well and preventing aging-related dryness and wrinkles.
- Prevents And Treats Acne
You can prevent and cure acne by using avocado oil. This oil keeps the skin hydrated without leaving it too oily, which reduces the risk of acne. It can also help with its linoleic acid content since the lack of linoleate in the sebum-producing skin cells is linked to acne.
- Relieves Eczema And Psoriasis
Avocado oil mixed with vitamin B12 has been found to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis, a condition where skin cells build up to form dry, scaly, and itchy patches on the skin.
- Heals Wounds Faster
An animal study in the journal Evidence-based Alternative and Competitive Medicine found that avocado oil heals wounds better than petroleum jelly. The oil reduced inflammation and made the skin firmer and stronger by boosting the collagen density and tensile strength of the skin.
- Fights Inflammation
As mentioned before, the bulk of the fat found in avocado oil is oleic acid, which reduces inflammation in the body. In one study, it was seen that the levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation in the body, were inversely related to oleic acid intake. This anti-inflammatory effect is what gives avocado oil the power to reduce the risk of heart disease and heal the pain related with arthritis, which brings us to our next point.
- Maintains Eye Health
Avocado oil is high in a variety of antioxidant agents – as it is produced from the pulp of the avocado rather than the seed or kernel of other plants, it provides a greater quantity of phytochemicals. These are plant-based chemicals that provide health benefits and have some effects similar to vitamins. Lutein is just one example of this, being incredibly effective antioxidants and having similar effects on the health of the eyes that we usually see in carotenoids (vitamin A).
- Reduces Prostate Cancer Risks
Phytosterols found in avocado oil have been shown to preferentially affect the chances of developing prostate cancer, meaning that the simple switch from corn oils to avocado oil could reduce the risks of developing life-changing medical conditions.
- Regulates Metabolism
The composition of avocado oil is also useful for health – it is primarily constituted by monounsaturated fats, which are effective in the control of blood sugar levels and the healthy secretion of insulin. For those who suffer from Type-2 diabetes, this can be a huge benefit. There are also low levels of Omega 3 and 6 found in avocado oil, which cannot be synthesized by the body so they should be represented (ideally with as much Omega-3 as Omega-6) in the diet.
Possible Side Effects of Avocado Oil
If you are allergic to avocado, then unfortunately you will have to avoid avocado oil for internal or external use. In addition, people with latex allergies can be allergic to avocado and avocado oil. Latex allergy is related to certain foods such as avocados, bananas, chestnuts, kiwis and passion fruit because these foods contain some of the same allergens found in latex. If you’re allergic to latex, then you have a greater chance of also being allergic to avocado oil, unfortunately!
In terms of interactions with other medications, avocado has been reported to decrease the effectiveness of warfarin. Warfarin, also known by the brand name Coumadin among others, is a blood thinner that is used to slow blood clotting. If you are taking any blood thinners, check with your doctor to discuss your internal intake of avocado oil.