Avocados are a natural way to nurture and replenish your body without any chemicals. The oil from avocados has long been used in many beauty products such as cleansing creams, hair conditioners, facial masks, bath oils and massage lotions. This is due to the fact that avocados are rich with essential nutrients that soothe and moisturize your skin. Here are 5 beauty benefits to obtain from avocados.
Avocados are rich with vitamin A which helps to remove dead skin cells from your body. They also contain an amino acid known as glutamine, which cleans and protects your skin from environmental damage. When making your own cleansers or moisturizers use only ripe avocados, as they will provide you with the most benefits. To prevent unused portions from darkening, put them into a container and place plastic wrap directly over the mixture. Store in your fridge for up to 48 hours.
Avocado oil is great when used in massage lotions, as it is easily absorbed. Therefore it is able to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin to clean and restore nutrients. This helps to stimulate the growth of new skin cells, and improves the blood circulation in the skin.
The oil in the avocado is also a great moisturizer which helps to soften dry skin. To make your own body moisturizer simply mash 1 or 2 avocados and add honey or your favorite essential oil. Apply the avocado to your skin and leave on for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
The antioxidants in avocados help to get rid of toxins that promote premature aging and wrinkling of the skin. A lot of the toxins on your facial skin are the residue of make-up or other cosmetics. Applying 1 mashed avocado as a facial mask and leaving it on for about 20 minutes before rinsing will help to remove these toxins.
One avocado mashed and mixed together with 1 egg and your favorite essential oil is great for conditioning your hair. The healthy oils in the avocado help to moisturize and soften dry and brittle hair, and the vitamin E helps to restore a natural shine to your hair. To obtain these benefits simply massage the avocado and egg mixture into your hair and scalp and leave in for about 20 minutes. Then wash and condition with your regular shampoo and conditioner.
Protects Against Sunburns
Avocado oil can be used as a natural sunscreen to protect your skin as well as your hair from UVB and UVA rays. The oil is also great to help alleviate the pain of sunburns.
Avocados can be used topically for a quick fix, but adding them to your diet will also help you to obtain these beauty benefits as they help to replenish your body from the inside out. Adding 1 or 2 to your daily diet along with other healthy fruits and vegetables is all that you need to obtain maximum benefits.
Recent research has shown that certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with fresh avocado (or avocado oil). In one study, when participants ate a salad of romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots containing avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes lycopene and beta carotene) than those who didn’t include avocados.The carotenoids are fat-soluble addition of avocado provides with the fat they need for absorption. Avocado oil added to a salad accomplished this same result. Both avocado oil and fresh avocado added to salsa increased carotenoid absorption from the salsa as well.
Avocado is a high-fat food (about 85% of its calories come from fat). The fat contained in avocado is unusual and provides research-based health benefits. The unusual nature of avocado fat is threefold.
First are the phytosterols that account for a major portion of avocado fats. These phytosterols include beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. These help to keep the inflammation under control in our inflammatory system. The anti-inflammatory benefits include problems involving arthritis.
Second are avocado’s polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFAs). PFAs are widely present in ocean plants but fairly unique among land plants – the avocado tree (and its fruit). Like the avocado’s phytosterols, its PFAs also provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits.
Third in avocado is the unusually high amount of a fatty acid called oleic acid. Over half of the total fat in avocado is in the form of oleic acid. This is very similar to the fat composition of olives and olive oil. Oleic acid helps our digestive tract form transport molecules for fat that can increase our absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids. This monounsaturated fatty acid has also been shown to help lower our risk of heart disease.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Research studies have shown avocado has improved many metabolic aspects of heart health including blood fat levels (including total cholesterol levels), levels of inflammatory risk factors and levels of oxidative risk factors.
In addition, heart heal this improved by intake of oleic acid (the primary fatty acid in avocado) and by intake of omega-3 fatty acids (which comes in the form of alpha-linolenic acid from avocado). A key risk factor for heart disease comes from the elevated levels of homocysteine. B vitamins are very important for healthy regulation of homocysteine levels. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for our heart.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Avocadois relatively low-carbohydrate food, with about 19% of its calories coming from carbohydrate. It’s also contains less than 2 grams of total sugar per 150 grams, and falls very low on the glycemic index. At the same time, 150 grams of avocado provides about 7-8 grams of dietary fibers. This fiber contain is an important dietary source of blood sugar-regulating nutrient.
This overall carbohydrate profile would not make avocado a problematic food for blood sugar unless it is eaten in excessive amounts (many fruits per serving).
When avocado is still on the tree, it contains about 60% of its carbohydrate in the form of 7-carbon sugars. In sizable amounts, 7-carbon sugars (like mannoheptulose, the primary carbohydrate in un-ripened avocado) are rarely available in foods.
The scientists say the 7-carbon sugars like mannoheptulase may help regulate the way that blood sugar (glucose) is metabolized. This is done blocking activity of an enzyme called hexokinase and changing the level of activity through a metabolic pathway called glycolysis. Studies are continuing in these findings.
The research on avocado and its carbohydrate:
After five days of ripening (with removal of the avocado from the tree) the carbohydrate profile of avocado changes significantly. The 7-carbon sugars change from being the predominant form of carbohydrate in avocado (60%) to being an important but minority component (between 40-50% of total carbohydrate). With ripening, the 5-carbon sugars – especially sucrose – become the predominant carbohydrate. This shows degree of avocado ripeness as an important factor in its health benefits. Studies are underway to find this degree of ripeness.
Studies have shown that avocado has the ability to help prevent the occurrence of cancers in the oral, breast, skin, and prostate gland. The anti-cancer properties of avocado are definitely related to its unusual mix of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients.
Avocado works in the following ways:
i. In healthy cells it works to improve inflammatory and oxidative stress levels
ii. In cancer cells it works to increase oxidative stress and shift the cancer cells over into a programmed cell death cycle, lessening the cancer cell numbers.
Brain and Eye Health
Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein (vitamin K) than any other commonly consumed fruit. Vitamin K is believed to contribute to bone health by helping bones retain calcium. In combination with nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, vitamin K appears to help maintain bone mass and prevent bone loss with aging.
Recent research also shows that vitamin K could contribute to both brain and eye health. The vitamin appears to help reduce the risk of developing age-related dementia and macular degeneration.
Gout: is an illness caused from having elevated uric acid levels in the body. Chicken liver, beef kidneys, sweetbreads, etc. have long been blamed for causing gout. These foods cause the body to be too acidic. However, the list of foods that raise the body’s uric acid levels includes much more than rich meats. Coffee, alcohol, dried fruits, fatty dairy products, sugar, chocolate, bacon and rich fowl (such as duck) can also cause gout.
Avocados, almonds and bananas are excellent high-alkaline foods, as are prunes, raisins, carrots and fresh uncooked spinach. Since the body operates optimally when it is more alkaline than acidic, changing the acid-alkaline balance in the body can result in a lessening or even eradication of a number of physical complaints. When the body is more alkaline, the cells slough off toxins more quickly and can regenerate more easily.