There’s no question avocado is one of the top super foods, and for good reasons. It improves your health on many levels, both on the inside as well as on the outside.
Avocado, native to south central Mexico, is also known as alligator pear. You can find it many shapes, from a round cannonball to a tear drop, and the flesh varies from bright yellow to pale yellow to yellow-green, depending on the variety. But the common denominators to all avocados are the smooth texture and nutty flavor.
As reported by the medical anthropologist John Heinerman in his book, Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Healing Juices, one avocado (about 170 g) contains: 23 mg calcium, 95 mg phosphorous, 1.4 mg iron, 9 mg sodium, 1,386 mg potassium, 660 I.U. vitamin A, 8.6 mg niacin, and 82 mg vitamin C. He rightly called avocado “nature’s own green butter.”
The ways you can include this nutritionally dense fruit into your diet are countless. You can use it to make dips, chips, smoothies, salads, and other delicacies.
One of the greatest health benefits that this fruit provides is its cholesterol-lowering effect. In fact, a single avocado a day as part of a moderate-fat diet can effectively reduce cholesterol levels in adults.
Avocado, a Skin Savior
As we already mentioned, avocado can also do wonders for your skin. Regular consumption of avocado nourishes the skin internally, whereas topical application of its juicy pulp or oil (extracted from the pulp, not seed) moisturizes the skin and protects against dryness and acne.
According to Heinerman, regular consumption of avocado, rich in healthy fats and oils, stimulates the sebaceous glands to secrete the oily semi-fluid natural sebum that keeps skin well-hydrated and e muscles and joints agile.
How Does Avocado Help Your Skin?
There’s no doubt that avocado oil, especially cold-pressed oil, is the best treatment you can give your skin. Make sure you avoid the refined version as the manufacturing process takes away a lot of nutrients. It’s the essential fatty acids, with monounsaturated oleic acid that do wonders for your skin. Not many know that avocado oil packs 63% oleic acid, as opposed to coconut oil that has only 5-10%.
It Treats Inflammation, Eczema, and Psoriasis
Oleic acid improves your skin quality on many levels – it speeds up cell regeneration and wound healing and promotes elimination of microbial infections from the body. In other words, this fatty acid found in abundance in avocado can reduce inflammation inside out, which makes it ideal for treatment of chronic skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. According to a 2001 study published in the journal Dermatology, patients with psoriasis responded very well in a 12-week period to a combination of avocado oil and vitamin B12.
It Protects Against and Reduces UV Damage Thanks to the PFA
A previous study in 2010 discovered that polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFA)— a type of lipid molecules—extracted from avocado can protect the skin from UV ray–induced skin damage, and inflammation, reduce the severity of damage, and even reduce the risk of skin cancer. It was also confirmed that topical application of this oil or simply the avocado pulp improves DNA skin repair and protects against malignancy.
Not To Forget The Vitamins
Aside from oleic acid and PFA, the vitamins C and E, also found in avocado, can protect the skin against UV damage. To be more specific, vitamin C fights UVA damage and vitamin E fights the DNA-altering UVB rays.
It Keeps Away the Signs of Aging
Human bodies are subject to a lot of oxidation – a process that releases atoms and molecules called free radicals, which react with the cells and damage them. Aside from inflammation, this can also lead to premature aging. On the other hand, regular consumption of avocados can effectively relieve inflammation.
Its Antioxidants Prevent Skin Damage
Avocadoes are rich in antioxidants, including vitamins C, E, and carotenoids, which prevent excessive oxidation, and maintain good skin quality. It’s highly recommended to use beauty products like sunscreens, moisturizers, and serums that contain antioxidants.
Its Vits and Fats Boost Collagen
Avocado oil is a real storehouse of vitamins: A, B, D, E, K, as well as folic acid, lecithin—a fatty substance with a number of health benefits, and phytonutrients – beneficial chemicals produced by plants. This amazing spectrum of nutrients fights aging-related skin damage because it strengthens your collagen, a skin protein that maintains skin suppleness and firmness.
A Quick Avocado Mask for Your Dry Skin
The avocado face mask recipe we recommend here is extremely simple. Start by pureeing the avocado pulp. Don’t use the seed though. Mix the puree with yogurt or sour cream and apply on your face and neck. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes then gently wash it off with water.
This mask is extremely useful for dry and sensitive skin. Plus, you can use it on elbows, knees, and heels to eliminate the dryness.