Avocado is a good source of antioxidants, potassium and monounsaturated fat, helping protect your vision, reduce your risk of hypertension and lowering your cholesterol. The powerhouse fruit is also full of essential vitamins and minerals and makes for a great helpmeet when it comes to baking healthy treats and nourishing your skin and hair.
The antioxidant lutein for protecting your vision
One special antioxidant found in avocados is lutein, a component that the human retina accumulates. Lutein has the ability to serve as a photoprotectant, defending the retina from free radicals and damaging effects. In this capacity, lutein from avocados may be able to help protect your precious vision, which is why the antioxidant has come to be known colloquially as the eye vitamin. Helping prevent eye degeneration and disease is just one small part of what avocados can do for you.
A needed dose of potassium for preventing hypertension and heart disease
Potassium is required for the proper functioning of all living cells and a high diet of such can actually help reduce the risks of hypertension and heart disease. Although fruits like bananas are commonly praised for their potassium content, an avocado actually has double the amount of potassium that a large banana has. Avocados have more calories as well so loading up on the green fruit isn’t what doctors and nutritionists are recommending, but you can benefit from including a reasonable amount of avocado into your weekly diet.
Monounsaturated fat for lowering your cholesterol
Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, a healthy type of fat when used to replace saturated and trans varieties. Avocados can help reduce LDL cholesterol, which is known as bad cholesterol, and increase your HDL cholesterol, which is the good type to have. This two-pronged approach can significantly improve your good to bad ratio and reduce your total cholesterol in a meaningful way.
Although avocados have the right kind of fat that can be beneficial for your body, your system still only needs limited quantities of such components for your health. If you eat an avocado everyday thinking you’re doing your cholesterol a favor, you may be in for a very sad surprise as the fat calories start to weigh you down. Be sensible with your consumption and use a conservative avocado portion to replace unhealthy fats in your diet. You easily only want to add a fifth or sixth of an avocado to a dinner salad or other health-conscious meal.
A fruity source of protein to keep your body going
Avocados aren’t a mind-blowing source of protein, but compared to other fruits, avocados do offer a surprising helping of protein, which can provide you with strength and endurance. Your body may also have an easier time accessing the protein in a healthy pick like avocado whereas some of the protein found in meats just goes to waste since the bioavailability is limited. Housing the most important amino acids, avocados may become your new best friend when it’s time to sneak in some more protein.
Essential vitamins and minerals for maintenance and repair
Besides the great components already mentioned, avocados additionally have a number of other essential vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals including fiber, vitamin E, folic acid, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese and zinc. Because the fruit is so nutrient dense, avocados provide a host of health benefits for all-around wellness.
A great texture for healthy baking
Avocados work wonders in the kitchen and I’m not just talking about in salads and sandwiches. The texture of avocados makes the fruit a great baking substitute in place of butter or oil in goods like muffins, breads, cookies and brownies. Because avocados have the right kind of fat and fewer calories than an equal serving of butter, the fruit is commonly used to replace half of the butter a recipe calls for. As an example, if your cookie recipe requires one stick of butter, you can go ahead and use half a stick of butter and one-third of an avocado.
Experiment with different recipes that you already love or search for a pick that your favorite healthy blogger has recommended. With the right recipe, you might not even notice a difference at all in taste, texture or color even though you’re still getting all the health benefits of the nutrient-rich fruit. You can continue to play around with other healthy substitutions such as applesauce in place of sugar and the use of whole grains instead of nutritionally-lacking alternatives.
A nourishing, hydrating formula for skin and hair care
Avocados pack a healthy punch even when it comes to a topical application. The amino acids and antioxidants can rejuvenate your hair and skin, repairing damages and providing nourishment for smoother, softer and younger-looking results. In addition to being cost effective, another great thing about do-it-yourself beauty treatments is that you can completely customize the process to fit in with your schedule and preferences.
If you can only leave on a hair treatment for twenty minutes rather than overnight, that’s fine. If you like beauty scrubs that are thin and not thick, you can make your avocado spread accordingly. If you love the smell of essential peppermint oil, all your DIY products can be flavored that way. You’re in the captain’s seat so take advantage of the possibilities as desired.
When making your own skin treatments and hair treatments at home, make sure to still use high-quality products even though you’re not ingesting the goods. Yes, an overly ripe avocado is fine, but a moldy pick just needs to go in the garbage.
To make a nice avocado-based treatment, consider adding in other natural ingredients like coconut oil or olive oil for a more spreadable consistency. Pour in a few drops of an essential oil like lavender or jojoba for your hair or skin’s pleasure. If you want to create a body scrub, feel free to add in an exfoliating agent like salt or sugar to increase the treatment’s effectiveness. After you’ve left a treatment on as long as you want, be sure to rinse off the natural product with lukewarm water.