What is Avocado?
Avocado was once shunned as a fruit that’s unhealthy and loaded with fats. Weight Watchers could not touch this fruit with a 10-mile pole, but today, a lot has changed.
The avocado is virtually the only fruit that has monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid.
Oleic acid is known to protect humans against breast and prostate cancer significantly.
Monounsaturated fats help lower the bad LDL cholesterol and raise the healthy HDL cholesterol.
Saturated and trans fats, on the other hand, are the wrong fats.
Saturated fats are commonly found in animal products and can increase your cholesterol level when excessively consumed.
The recommendation states that you should limit the consumption of saturated fat in your diet to stay healthy.
Now here’s the deal, it can be challenging to separate saturated and unsaturated fats, but because avocado only contains a small amount of the unsaturated fat, you can consume the oil without worrying about the recommended limits.
Of course, you will also have to consider the types of food consumed along with this oil.
As you can see, avocados are not bad for you.
They’ve received a bad rap for being fatty and unhealthy.
But I’d like to bust that myth with some facts.
Avocado oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which are very useful for preventing scars on the skin as well healing wounds and cuts.
They are also useful for preventing dermatitis and acne breakouts. Another essential nutrient is ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which is found effective in suppressing the growth of tumors (especially in the breast) and colon cancer.
ALA can be used for treating skin and prostate cancer as well.
The Aztecs used avocados as “the fertility fruit.”
It’s a tropical fruit native to Central America and parts of Mexico and South America and has been cultivated in these regions since 8,000 B.C.
The scientific name is Persea Americana, which is in the flowering plant family called Lauraceae. It comes from the Aztec, and the Nahuatl dialect word ahucatl meaning ‘testicle,’ about the shape of the fruit.
Guacamole comes from ahuacatl-molli meaning ‘avocado sauce’.
The Avocado is also known as aguacate (Spanish), butter pear or alligator pear about the rough, leather-like appearance of some cultivars.
With more than 500 varieties of avocados grown worldwide, it’s a very different fruit and called many names by many cultures.
Avocado oil is obtained from the flesh of the fruit instead of its pit. The pit, seed, leaves, bark can be toxic to some animals, particularly birds, and also to some people.
The oil can be consumed as an ingredient in various foods, or it can be applied directly to skin and hair.
Because of its high nutritional contribution, this oil is widely used in many cosmetic products and food recipes.
The avocado is a climacteric fruit, and this means that it matures on the tree, but becomes ripe and edible after it has been picked.
Once harvested, the fruit will become ripe in a few days when left at room temperature.
Avocado Nutrition Content
- Avocados are high in amino acid proteins, dietary fiber, Folate, Vitamins D, E, and K, and potassium.
- Avocados have 60% more potassium than bananas. Potassium helps in regulating blood pressure and protects the body from circulatory diseases like stroke, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.
- Avocados have the highest fiber content of any fruit; 75% of which is insoluble and 25% is soluble fiber.
- Avocados also have Vitamin C and B6, zinc, copper, magnesium, Manganese, iron, phosphorus, Niacin, Thiamin, Riboflavin, and, pantothenic acid.
- Avocados contain carotenoid lutein, a natural antioxidant, which some studies suggest may help maintain healthy eyes.
- Avocados contain beta-sitosterol, a natural plant sterol, that may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
- The human body requires fat for energy, transporting and storing vitamins, producing hormones, and insulating organs.
- Some parts of total calories absorbed by the body should be in the form of fat.
- A tablespoon of avocado oil contains 14 grams of fat, while a cup of avocado slices can provide 22 grams of fat.
It is recommended that 20 to 35 percent of calorie consumption per day should include fat.
It is probably 49 to 86 grams of fat per day.
A large percentage of avocado’s fat is monounsaturated which is believed to be able to lower cholesterol level.
Avocado oil has both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated types. A single serving of avocado oil will contain 10 grams of monounsaturated and 2 grams of polyunsaturated fats.
The monounsaturated kind can reduce cholesterol level in the blood so that it can lower the risk of heart attack.
The polyunsaturated type is also useful for lowering glucose level. Thus it reduces the chances of diabetes.
Other vital substances include omega-3 fatty acid which is known to be able to lower the risk of heart disease, reduce blood pressure, and decrease the possibilities of irregular heartbeats.
Omega-3 is also useful in protecting the skin from UV radiation, so it decreases the chances of skin cancer.
Avocados have Phytonutrients which may help prevent many chronic diseases.
A tablespoon of avocado oil stores 124 calories.
This is approximately 6 percent of total daily calorie consumption required for an adult.
Since avocado oil also has other useful substances for the human body, some cooking recipes use this oil to improve the foods’ health value.
Avocado Toast Recipe
Avocado toast is probably one of the best ways you can enjoy an avocado.
The best part about this recipe is the added advantage of being a power meal that lets you gain energy and is light enough not to make you feel sluggish.
A simple avocado on toast is the most common way to enjoy this recipe but I have listed a few different recipes that kick it up a notch.
Note: The avocado can be placed on the toast either sliced or smashed, whichever way you like it!
Avocado Toast with Fried Egg
- Toast 1 slice bread and spread with half-ripe avocado.
- Fry one egg as desired.
- Place cooked egg on avocado toast, sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.
- Season with sea salt to taste.
Avocado Toast with Turkey & Tomatoes
- Toast 1 slice bread, spread with half avocado
- Add 2 slices of Turkey and tomato.
- Season with sea salt to taste.
How to Make Homemade Avocado Oil
You can eat the fruit to your heart’s content and still use the skin of the fruit to make a nutrient loaded oil for your skin and body.
Most people are aware that avocado oil has a lot of useful substances for skin and hair, while it is also an excellent ingredient for cooking.
Manufacturers respond by providing numerous products containing the oil in the market.
But you can make your pure avocado oil right in the comfort of your kitchen.
Here’s a simple homemade method:
Step 1: Preparing the avocado
- Use a blade to cut the avocado in half. Push the knife until it reaches the seed of the fruit.
- Roll the fruit until it is completely cut in half around the seed.
Step 2: Removing the seed
- It is relatively easy to remove the seed of avocado from the flesh. When you cut the fruit in half, the seed will stick out on one half. Gently scoop it out with a spoon.
Step 3: Scoop the flesh
- Scoop the flesh of avocado to separate it from the skin. You will extract the oil from the surface.
Step 4: Use an oil press
- It is not necessary to use any specific tool to extract oil from avocado skins. You can use any oil presser to squeeze out the oil.
Place the avocado skin into the pressing machine and pull/press/push until the lever touches the surface.
Most oil presses usually have a container located at the base for gathering oil.
As you pull the lever harder, avocado oil will flow into the container.
Step 7: Filter the oil
- After the extraction, the oil may contain some bits of avocado skins or even small amount of flesh.
- Use a fine mesh strainer to filter the oil. You can also put a coffee filter inside the mesh-strainer for better results.
Step 8: Leave it overnight
- It is best to use a reasonably big mesh-strainer so that it can hold the entire volume of oil from the press container.
- By using this method, you can leave the oil overnight to filter thoroughly.
One avocado fruit will not be enough to make a reasonable amount of oil.
It is probably ideal to use 8 to 10 fruits to produce an adequate amount for any purpose.
You can repeat the mentioned steps for other fruits.
If you don’t plan to use the extracted oil all at once, you can keep it in a bottle for future use.
The nutrients contained in this homemade avocado oil will be more or less the same with those extracted commercially.
In fact, a homemade extraction will produce pure avocado oil from the skin without any additional substance that may alter its chemical structure.
Avocado Benefits and Uses
Avocado oil offers benefits for skin, but it also has plenty of useful nutrients for other parts of human body.
The fruit contains high concentrations of vitamins B6, C, K, as well as folic acid and potassium.
Avocados are natural sources of essential oils that contain vitamins and other useful substances for the human body.
You can eat it as food, use it on your skin or extract the oil from the flesh through cold pressing.
Some of the best benefits of avocado oil are listed below:
Avocado has Antioxidant Effects
Avocado’s antioxidant properties are provided by a combination of 3 essential substances including omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, and vitamin E.
When consumed or used as an ingredient in food recipes, avocado strengthens blood vessels by eliminating the existence of free radicals and reducing the level of cholesterol.
In general, this will profoundly improve blood vessel health and prevent damage.
Free radicals and cholesterol are eliminated, and blood vessel walls become stronger.
Therefore, they respond better to sudden changes in blood pressure.
Regular consumption of avocado has scientifically been proven to be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Avocado Prevents Certain Types of Cancer
Alpha-linolenic acid contained in omega-3 fatty acids can suppress the growth of tumors in the breast and colon cancer, while vitamin E is useful for preventing and treating prostate and skin cancer.
Avocado can be consumed on its own or combined with other substances such as beta-carotene that is naturally present in fruits and green vegetables.
Drinking a combination of beta-carotene and vitamin E decreases the possibilities of lung cancers in smokers.
Avocado Improves skin quality
The most popular benefit of avocado is improving and protecting hair as well as skin health.
It contains a high concentration of vitamin E which is necessary to promote skin health.
Vitamin E has almost everything necessary to rejuvenate dry skin. In fact, this is one of the most important substances for skin health. Avocado is rich in vitamin E, and it is safe to use as a daily treatment.
It is also possible to create a mixture of some avocado oil with other substances such as jasmine oil or lavender oil.
The additions of such substances will not alter the chemical structure of the avocado oil.
Applying avocado oil directly to the skin can also reduce the occurrence of age spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of skin aging.
Studies also suggest that consuming avocado may provide the same beneficial effects.
Also Read: 15 Cinnamon Ceylon Oil Uses and Benefits
Avocado Protects Cardiovascular System
Oleic acid also exists in avocado. When consumed, this substance increases the amount of good cholesterol.
Thus it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
When used as an ingredient in cooking, this oil promotes proper blood glucose level and decreases the risk of diabetes.
It also lowers the risk of heart disease by reducing the amount of harmful cholesterol.
In other words, one of the most significant avocado oil benefits is that it can protect the cardiovascular system by reducing the chances of disease attacks in the related body organs.
Avocado Moisturizes Hair
There are numerous hair treatment products on the market that contain avocado oil.
Two critical substances available avocado these are lecithin and sterolin.
Both are useful for hair and skin treatment. Lecithin forms a protective layer on the skin’s surface and hair follicle, while sterolin moisturizes and softens them.
Avocado oil should be applied topically in this case.
You can get avocado oil benefits by consuming it orally or applying it topically to skin and hair.
It is also possible to mix or blend the oil with other substances such as in food recipes or bath formula to improve its positive effects.
Avocado Facial Treatment
The most common use of the avocado fruit is for the skin as a facial moisturizer.
The peel of avocado fruit contains humectants, and you can massage it on your face using the inner side of this peel to help it to hold its moisture condition.
It is best to apply such treatment before bed and leave it on your face for a few hours or overnight.
Avocado Dry Scalp Treatment
The oil also works well as a treatment for dry scalp.
It’s useful when mixed with castor oil (oil extracted from castor bean).
Blend 2-tbsp of avocado oil and 2-tbsp of castor oil then warm this mixture.
Use it to massage your head before bed and leave it overnight.
The mixture will penetrate through hair shaft and provide essential nutrients for the scalp as well.
Remember to rinse your hair with shampoo in the morning.
Besides being useful for dry scalp, this treatment can help you to get rid of some hair problems such as dandruff.
Avocado Reduces Signs of Skin Aging
Once again, vitamin E plays the most crucial role. It is a powerful antioxidant that strongly fights free radicals.
Compared to other fruits, avocado has the highest amount of vitamin E.
Avocado Hair & Facial Treatment Recipes
There are many possible ways to use avocado oil on your skin.
It only takes some homemade recipes to gain the entire benefits of avocado oil for skin care.
The main ingredient of the method is avocado oil, but other necessary substances can also be obtained easily.
Avocado Age Spot Remedy Recipe
A mixture of 2-tbsp of avocado oil and 2-tbsp of castor oil is enough to help you to heal age spot.
Simply massage the mixture into the spot and leave it for approximately 15 minutes.
Avocado oil contains sterolin which can penetrate deeply into the skin to moisturize it.
Studies suggest that sterolin is effective in reducing the occurrence of age spots and help to soften the skin.
Avocado Facial Mask Recipe
You will need an entire avocado fruit to make a facial mask recipe. Crush the fruit until it becomes soft mass (paste) then add 1-tbsp of avocado oil to the dough.
Wash your face and apply the mixture. Leave the mask for 15 minutes to allow it to penetrate into the skin layers.
Do not rinse your face immediately after this treatment.
You will need a warm towel to clean the residue of the mask. Soak a cloth in a bowl of hot water then place the towel on your face.
Apply pressure to the sheet so that it can absorb most of the avocado mask. Take the towel off then wash your face as needed.
Also Read: 25 Lemon Balm Uses and Tea Benefits
Avocado Bath Oil Recipe
Another recommended recipe for treatment is a math formula.
A bath oil recipe requires a mixture of 1 cup of almond oil and 2 cups of avocado oil.
Heat this mixture then place two teabags in it.
A combination of other substances is necessary to create a better formula and for more significant results.
You can make another mixture from different essential oil such as lavender and chamomile in another container (bottle).
Add avocado and almond oil mixture into this bottle, but you must remove the teabags first.
Shake this bottle well and leave it for a day. Keep the bottle in the dark location to ensure its quality.
Take a hot bath and pour the mixture from this bottle into the water. This recipe will rejuvenate and moisturize the skin well.
Avocado Hair Mask
Besides offering significant benefits for skin, avocado also functions well when applied to hair.
In fact, numerous hair treatment products such as shampoo and conditioner use avocado as the main ingredient.
You can easily purchase such products, but it is easy to create a homemade solution with only little efforts.
You need to create a mixture of 1 egg yolk, one avocado, and 1 tbsp of olive oil.
The mixture will primarily function as a hair mask, so it is essential that you perform a cleansing treatment to the hair and scalp first. After the cleansing is done, apply the mixture immediately.
Start from your scalp then move down to the nose.
It would be good to make many sections of hair, so you can message each section more easily and allow the mixture to penetrate more quickly as well.
Use a shower cap on the head, and then use a hair dryer to dry your hair.
Follow this treatment by rinsing your hair with shampoo, applying conditioner, and using styling products.
Avocado Eye and Skin Mask
The puree of avocado fruit works well to soften rough skin or mask dry skin problems.
It only takes a mixture of 1 tbsp of avocado and 1 tbsp of olive oil. This combination can be applied directly (topically) to the neck and facial skin to help you to overcome dry skin problems.
For skin softening purpose, however, you will need to make a puree of an entire avocado fruit, and then apply it to your overall complexion. Leave it for 20 minutes before you rinse it.
Another benefit of avocado fruit is to remove eye puffiness or soothe the skin around eye areas.
You need to use a thin slice of avocado fruit then place it beneath your eyes for some minutes.
For better results, you can pour few drops of almond oil into the slice and apply this mixture around your eyes.
Leave the mixture on your skin for 5 minutes before you rinse it thoroughly.
Avocado Facial Cleanser
It does not only function as a cleanser, but it also hydrates your facial skin at the same time.
To create a cleansing solution, you need to combine half an avocado with a cup of milk and egg yolk.
Combine and beat the mixture until it creates a liquid consistency of a lotion.
Before you apply to your facial skin, it is necessary to wet the face with water.
When you apply this to your face, massage the skin and make sure you reach the entire face.
Immediately rinse your face after applying this mixture.
This treatment will remove dirt, makeup residue, and oil as well.
Those are conventional treatments you can get in a beauty salon. Instead of paying, you can produce a homemade solution for skin, facial, and hair treatments by using avocados and other easy-to-find ingredients.
Avocados offer significant benefits, but the fruit is relatively inexpensive and available in abundance.