The avocado has been called the world’s most perfect food and has many health benefits? It has achieved this distinction because many nutritionists claim it not only contains everything a person needs to survive — but it has also been found to contribute to the prevention and control of Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions.
The avocado, also called the alligator pear, is a high-fiber, sodium- and cholesterol-free food that provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, is rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate) — as well as potassium.
Foods naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as avocados, are widely acknowledged as the secret to a healthy heart, a brilliant brain and eagle eyes.
Here Are Just a Few Avocado Health Benefits That Its Nutritional Profile Provides:
Monounsaturated Fats — These types of fats help control triglycerides in the bloodstream, lower blood cholesterol and control diabetes.
Folate — This water-soluble B vitamin promotes healthy cell and tissue development. According to the National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, “This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is also essential for metabolism of homocysteine and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.”
Lutein — This is a carotenoid (a natural pigment) that protects against cataracts and certain types of cancer, and reduces the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 years of age and older. Avocados contain 3 or more times as much lutein as found in other common vegetables and fruits.
Oleic acid and Potassium — Both of these nutrients also help in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of high blood pressure.
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.
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.
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 Milkshake Recipe
Avocado milkshakes – or avocado smoothies – are quick and easy to make, and very nutritious. This recipe uses only milk, avocado and sugar.
If you’re only familiar with using avocados in salads and dips, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how delicious an avocado shake can be!
Makes 2 to 3 servings.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
2 to 3 cups cold milk
1 ripe avocado
3 tablespoons brown sugar
500ml vanilla ice-cream (full cream)
2 tablespoons honey
handful of ice blocks
Peel the avocado and cut in half. Discard the pit.
Put the avocado, honey and sugar in a blender with 1 cup of milk and 1 cup or half of the ice-cream. Blend until very creamy and smooth.
Gradually add another cup or two of milk and the rest of the ice-cream to make the shake as thin or as thick as you like. How much milk you need will depend on the size of the avocado.
Add a handful of ice to the blender if you like your shake well-chilled, and blend for another minute.
Pour into glasses, and serve
Garnish with mint leaves.