Avocado Oil Health Benefits
If you’ve ever used avocados for cooking and eating, you may be surprised how avocado oil has many health benefits for your heart, skin and hair.
Avocado oil is made from pressing the fruit of the avocado plant. The oils are usually refined and may contain monounsaturated fats, omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and plant sterols.
These oils are excellent for cooking as they are very tolerant of high heat (up to 260 degrees Celsius).
You can use this versatile product on salads, grilling vegetables and meat, as well as cooking with many other dishes.
The oil has a very light and fresh flavor and lends itself well to a variety of different recipes and cooking techniques.
What are the Active Ingredients behind Avocado Oil’s Health Benefits?
Avocado oils contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid), omega 6 fatty acids (linoleic acid), monounsaturated acids (oleic acid), plant sterols (beta-sitosterol), beta-carotene, lecithin, minerals, and vitamins A, C, D, and E.
These oils are available as food-grade and cosmetic-grade. If you’re using the oils for nutritional reasons, make sure the product is classified as ‘food-grade’.
I think the best types of oils are naturally refined and expeller-pressed. This means the oils are usually processed with minimal heat which lessens the chance for heat damage to the fatty acids found in the oils.
Avocados are gaining popularity as a functional food. The following research shows the possible health benefits of avocado oil:
May Reduce Risk for Heart Disease
- Avocado oils contain high amounts of the monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid. Research shows diets containing oleic acid may help lower levels of unhealthy cholesterol (LDL).
- Avocados contain a plant sterol called beta sitosterol. Certain plant sterols have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and studies show they also may reduce cholesterol blood levels by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.
May Improve Skin Health and Wound Healing
- These oils may also improve your skin health and possibly treat certain skin conditions. A Swedish study published in the 2001 edition of Dermatology discovered a lotion of Vitamin B12 and avocado oil provided better long term effects for reducing plaque psoriasis than Calcipotriol (Donovex), a commonly used vitamin D treatment.
- Brazilian researchers believe this product can be a viable option for wound healing and improving skin texture and thickness. A recent animal study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Volume 2013) showed application of avocado oils led to improved skin healing, increased collagen synthesis and less redness and inflammation.
- It’s believed that avocado oil’s rich source of fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, proteins and waxes may provide a source of enrichment for dry, damaged, inflamed skin. These ingredients may help nourish and support the skin’s natural moisture barrier and enhance healthy skin.
Condition Dry Hair and Scalp Conditions
- Many people have used coconut oil to moisturize and condition dry hair. Avocados provide a natural source of essential fatty acids and vitamin B6; ingredients that may also help improve your hair health and condition.
Enjoy Healthy Cooking with Avocado Oil
One of the problems when using certain cooking oils is the risk of heat damage to the oil caused by over-heating it. This can lead to loss of food flavor and nutritional value.
Avocado oil is one of the few cooking oils, similar to virgin coconut oil, that has a very high heat point.
This means that you can use it to safely fry, saute and cook at much higher cooking temperatures (up to 400 degrees F) without risking any damage to the healthy fatty acids found in the oil.
Vitamin B12 Cream Containing Avocado Oil in the Therapy of Plaque Psoriasis. Dermatology 2001;203:141–147 (DOI: 10.1159/000051729)
Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Critical Reviews in Food and Science Nutrition. 2013;53(7):738-50. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.556759.
Effect of semisolid formulation of persea americana mill (avocado) oil on wound healing in rats. Evidence-Based Alternative Medicine. 2013;2013:472382. doi: 10.1155/2013/472382. Epub 2013 Mar 19.
Wound healing activity of Persea americana (avocado) fruit: a preclinical study on rats. Journal of Wound Healing. 2008 Mar;17(3):123-6.
Avocado (Persea americana) seed as a source of bioactive phytochemicals. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2013;19(34):6133-40.
The effect of various avocado oils on skin collagen metabolism. Connective Tissue Research. 1991;26(1-2):1-10.
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