I’m a big fan of Western medicine, but after recently getting diagnosed with food allergies, airborne allergies, and even a gluten intolerance, I’ve started to realize that my body might just need a break from all of the junk it’s eating and breathing. So I’ve started exploring some of the benefits of organic and herbal remedies, hoping to phase out much of the processed and OTC crap, and phase in more natural oils. Enter: Avocado oil! You think coconut oil is magic? Pffft, you’ve got to try what’s in this healthy, fatty fruit. Not only does it have anti-oxidant properties when used in your foods (it has a high smoke rate, making it a great cooking oil), but when used topically, it repairs your skin and hair as well, according to holistic nutritionist Jonathan Yaneff, CNP. Read on to hear more about what this superfood can do…
1. It can protect against cancer. Avocado oil aids in the absorption of carotenoids, plant pigments which have been shown to help prevent certain kinds of cancer. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that adding avocado oil to a salad boosted the absorption of these cancer-fighters 15 times more than the non-avocado greens.
2. It’s got anti-aging properties. This magic fruit oil is loaded with Vitamin A, which helps stimulate collagen production and slow down the signs of aging. “It’s naturally full of anti-oxidants which prevent and protect against environmental damage and free radicals, the kind that damage your skin when you’re in the sun, when you’re in front of your computer, or just spending time under fluorescent lights,” explains Kristen Arnett, healthy beauty expert and founder of Green Beauty Team. She recommends using it in place of your typical store-bought anti-aging serum. If your skin isn’t too oily, apply it before bed to repair and nourish your face while you sleep.
3. It boosts weight loss. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to help burn calories, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Since avocado oil contains 70 percent of monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid called oleic acid, that means it’s pretty much a diet food.
4. It can lower blood pressure. Another study found that avocado changes the levels of essential fatty acids in the kidneys, resulting in hormone shifts that, ultimately, lead to lower blood pressure.
5. It helps with inflammatory diseases.The anti-inflammatory properties of avocado oil can inhibit aggravated ailments like gum disease, arthritis, and psoriasis.
6. It’s an amazing moisturizer. Avocado oil helps the skin retain water, making it an incredible moisturizer for your hands and body, says Arnett. For the face, she recommends putting a small amount on the skin, and letting it dry for a few minutes before applying your makeup. For the body, smooth it on right when you get out of the shower, while you’re still a little damp, so that it can really absorb into the skin. It’s so gentle it’s even safe to use on baby’s skin.
7. It nourishes your hair. You can also use the oil to revive dry, damaged hair. Arnett suggests applying it to your ends and working it up towards your scalp. Then wrap your hair in plastic and run a hair dryer over it, using low heat. “Because avocado oil contains a lot of proteins, and your hair is made of proteins, your strands know how to absorb it,” she says. You can also use it as a daily conditioner, but shampoo afterwards since it will leave a greasy film.
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