Avocado Oil: Benefits, Uses, and Possible Side Effects
Just like Avocados, avocado oil is well known for its nourishing properties. It helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure etc.
Avocado oil is well known for its nourishing properties, and its primary use is in various cosmetics. Avocado oil is extracted from the pulp of the avocado fruit. The process usually involves the separation of the pulp from the fruit and extracting the oil by cold pressing. People generally use the Hass and Persea Americana variety of avocado to extract this vegetable oil. Generally, the extraction of plant-based oil is from the seeds, but avocado oil is a specific oil extracted from the fruit itself. It contains all the essential nutrients and minerals that provide several health benefits.
Avocado oil mainly contains heart-healthy fats. These fats are monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and significantly less saturated fat. Therefore, avocado oil and olive oil are nutritional options to maintain cardiovascular health. In addition, people with diabetes can moderately also use avocado oil but in moderation. That is because of its zero glycemic index and zero carbohydrates. Avocado oil also contains vitamin E and A, which help nourish the body’s internal system.
Avocado oil has several health benefits. For example, it helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, aids in detoxification, helps to treat skin issues, improves nutrient absorption, etc. In addition, it may help to prevent cancer, provide nourishment to hair, and control inflammation. Avocado is rich in vitamin A and E, which help to nourish and repair the skin barrier.
Types of Avocado Oil
People use the cold press method to extract avocado oil. In the process, the fruit’s pulp is first pressed and then spun to extract the oil from the fruit by separating the water and the solids. Virgin and refined avocado oil are the two main types of avocado oil.
Virgin oil is the purest form of oil extracted at the first pressing of the pulp and is known as “extra-virgin”. At the same time, refined oil is made by further filtering the oil to remove all the impurities and small particles altogether. In this process, the original green colour of the oil and the authentic flavour also get eliminated. As a result, the refined oil has a hue of yellow with a bit of green.
Avocado oil has a high smoke point different for both types. Extra virgin avocado oil has a smoke point of 480°F and refined oil 520°F. Smoke point refers to the point where oil components break down and start to smoke. The primary use of avocado oil is dressing over salads and food. However, people do not always use it for cooking because it comes in small quantities and is more expensive than other vegetable oils.
Nutritional Value of Avocado Oil
One hundred grams of avocado oil contains:
- Calories: 884kCal
- Fat: 100g
- Protein: 0g
- Carbohydrate: 0g
- Saturated Fatty Acids: 11.6g
- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids: 70.6g
- Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: 13.5g
Health Benefits of Avocado Oil
Avocado oil primarily contains fatty acids that are beneficial for your heart health. In addition, it has no carbohydrates. The nutritional composition of avocado oil makes it one of the healthiest vegetable oils that we can use.
1. Super Beneficial for Heart Health
Avocado oil majorly contains monounsaturated fats, about 70%. It has 13% polyunsaturated fats and 12% saturated fats. Therefore, it is a heart-healthy oil that helps eliminate the risk of several heart diseases. It has a glycemic index of zero and contains zero carbohydrates, making it a diabetic-friendly oil.
Avocado oil helps lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. As a result, it helps to improve heart health and decreases the risk of coronary diseases. In addition, avocado oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which help prevent damage in the walls of arteries caused by plaque buildup. Moreover, avocado oil is a good source of vitamin E. Vitamin E in avocado helps maintain the health of blood vessels by eliminating free radicals from the body.
2. Helps to Repair Skin Damage
Avocado oil contains vital antioxidants like beta carotene, lutein, protein, lecithin, omega fatty acids, and vitamin E. These antioxidants help to strengthen the skin barrier and accelerate the healing of damaged skin. In addition, avocado oil helps to nourish skin and protect against UV rays. Exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays may lead to heavy damage, even skin cancer.
According to one study, when combined with vitamin B 12 cream, avocado oil can lead to better and faster treatment of psoriasis than typical vitamin B12 therapy. Furthermore, avocado oil helps to heal scars and wounds with ease. It contains potassium and lecithin, which are helpful in the growth of new skin cells.
Avocado oil is a well-known ingredient to reduce wrinkles. It also helps to prevent premature ageing. The vitamin A and E in avocado oil helps to nourish skin and boost collagen production, resulting in younger-looking skin.
Comedogenic is the tendency for an ingredient to clog our pores. For example, avocado oil has a comedogenic rate of 3. It means that avocado oil is slightly heavier on the skin and does not cause clogging of pores. However, it may lead to clogged pores in some skin types. Although its skin lightening properties are not proven, avocado oil helps to brighten skin.
Another study states that linoleic acid, oleic acid, and monounsaturated fatty acids in avocado oil can accelerate wound healing.
3. Increases Hair Growth
Avocado is rich in vitamin E, making avocado oil helpful in nourishing and moisturising the scalp. In addition, it helps to treat dandruff. Avocado oil also helps to increase hair growth. It is due to the vitamin B, E and antioxidants in avocado, which helps to stimulate hair growth.
Avocado oil helps in reducing hair damage and maintaining hair health by enhancing absorption. As a result, it prevents hair damage and minimises hair breakage. In addition, avocado oil is considered an excellent conditioner for the hair, especially protecting from dry environments and sun damage.
Avocado oil helps to moisturise the dry scalp and provides nourishment. In addition, it also helps to control the overproduction of oil by sending signals to the oil glands to produce the required amount of oil for the scalp.
4. Helps in Weight Loss
Avocado oil contains a high amount of monounsaturated fats and oleic acid, which helps in reducing belly fat and also reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome may negatively affect weight loss.
A survey result states that consuming about half an avocado can decrease about 50% risk of metabolic syndrome. In addition, including avocado oil in your diet can improve the diet quality. Furthermore, avocado oil contains monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats. As a result, it helps absorb nutrients and fat-soluble carotenoids, which improves weight loss.
Avocado oil also helps in boosting metabolism. High metabolism helps to accelerate weight loss by converting food into energy faster.
Ways to Use Avocado Oil
There are various ways to use avocado oil. You can use them as a part of your meal or as a skincare ingredient. In addition, you can use it to get naturally soft hair.
Using Avocado Oil for Skin
You can use avocado oil in your skincare ritual in various ways. For example, you can massage it on your skin, rub it on the face or add it to your bathing lotion.
- Massage some amount of avocado oil into your skin after a shower. You can use the avocado oil solo or add a few drops to one of your body lotions.
- You can make a moisturising oil using avocado oil and other essential oils. For example, take avocado oil and mix a nourishing oil with it. Then, add a few drops of any essential oil like lavender etc., to the mix. Use this mix to your face as a moisturising ingredient or on your hands and feet as a moisturiser.
- You can also use avocado oil as an anti-ageing solution.
Using Avocado Oil for Hair
There are several ways to use avocado oil for improving your hair health. For example, you can use it as a hair mask or hot oil therapy. In addition, it is a carrier of essential oils. So you can mix essential oils like lavender, peppermint etc., and use the mix on your hair to enhance hair growth. Furthermore, you can evenly distribute avocado oil to the roots of your hair and leave it for a while. It will act as a leave-in conditioner and give you soft, smooth, shiny hair.
Culinary Uses of Avocado Oil
- One of the easiest ways to start using avocado oil is to swap it for olive oil when roasting. First, drizzle over sliced root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and turnips, with salt, pepper, and your favourite seasonings. Then, roast in the oven at 425°F or until browned or caramelised.
- You can use avocado oil as a dressing for your salads. It’s guaranteed to add a bright and refreshing flavour to any bowl of mixed greens.
- Avocado oil can be a marinade for your fish, chicken, steak, or mixed veggies. However, creamy and nutty avocado oil has a milder flavour than other flavoured oils. Therefore, it is best if you prefer a lighter taste.
- If you want to avoid using non-natural products on your infant, avocado oil can be a great alternative to traditional diaper rash creams. Rub a small amount of the oil into the irritated area to help soothe it.
- Avocado oil is also a superb leather conditioner. So, you can use it on your shoes, belt and other leather accessories to bring back the shine.
You can store an unopened bottle of avocado oil in a cool and dark place for up to 12 months. At the same time, you can store open avocado oil for up to 6 months without refrigerating it.
Possible Side Effects of Avocado Oil
- Excess consumption of avocado oil may lead to allergic reactions like itching, redness, eczema, and hives for some skin types. Therefore, you should always consume it in moderation. In addition, if you are allergic to vegetable oils, you should avoid using avocado oil.
- Consuming avocado oil in hypersensitivity can lead to an allergic reaction like vomiting.
- It also disturbs the digestion of babies when breastfeeding mothers over-consume avocado.
- Consuming high amounts of avocado may lead to mouth allergies like itching sensation and swelling in the mouth. Therefore, you should consume it in the recommended quantities only.
- Consuming high amounts of avocado may upset the stomach and cause gastrointestinal irritation.
- Mexican avocado, which contains estragole and anethole, may lead to carcinogenic reactions. Therefore, people facing liver issues should avoid it as it may worsen the conditions.
Possible Alternatives to Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is a healthy addition to your diet and offers several health benefits. But, it is slightly expensive and may not be a common ingredient in your meals. Therefore, people prefer using other healthy oils as an alternative to avocado oil.
Avocado oil and Olive oil both replicate similar nutritional profiles. Both the oils are rich in unsaturated fats, making them a perfect choice for improving heart health. They have the same amount of saturated fats and are made up of oleic acid. However, avocado has a lesser amount of vitamin E compared to olive. In addition, avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil.
Avocado oil contains more antioxidants like thiamine and riboflavin than coconut oil. Both avocado oil and coconut oil are plant-based oil with a high smoke point. The controversy involves its fat content – coconut oil, almost entirely comprised of saturated fatty acids. However, the saturated fats in coconut oil are made of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easier for your body to burn off than the long-chain triglycerides of animal fats. MCTs from coconut oil supports your gut health by promoting the growth of good bacteria and boosting “good” HDL cholesterol.
Avocado oil is rich in unsaturated fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats make it heart-healthy. You can store it for up to 12 months in a cool and dry place without exposure to the sun. In addition, it contains vitamin E and antioxidants. As a result, avocado oil has several health benefits such as improving heart health, skin condition, hair health and aids in weight loss.
Avocado oil has many incredible benefits for health, but it also has some side effects like it may cause allergic reactions, mouth allergy, gastrointestinal irritation, and liver damage. In addition, there are some precautions you should take while consuming avocado oil. For example, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not consume it. In addition, people with hypersensitivity should avoid consuming avocado oil.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is avocado oil good for your face?
A. Yes, avocado oil is good for the face because it has several skin benefits. For example, avocado oil helps to nourish the skin. It also protects and heals damaged skin. Due to the nutritional composition and antioxidants in avocado oil, it helps in anti-ageing, prevents wrinkles, and moisturises your skin.
2. Is avocado oil healthier than olive oil?
A. Both avocado oil and olive oil are similar, replicate the nutritional profile and are rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. However, avocado oil and olive oil differ in the smoke point. Avocado oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil.
3. Does avocado oil have side effects?
A. There can be several side effects of avocado oil. For example, it causes an allergic reaction in some cases. In addition, excess consumption may lead to liver damage, mouth allergy, and gastrointestinal irritation. Furthermore, it is not safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women to consume avocado oil in excess.
4. Does avocado oil help you lose weight?
A. Yes, avocado oil helps in weight loss because it contains a high amount of monounsaturated fats and oleic acid, which helps in reducing belly fat. It also reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome, negatively affecting weight loss. Avocado oil also helps in boosting metabolism. High metabolism helps to accelerate weight loss by converting food into energy faster.
5. Does avocado oil grow hair?
A. Yes, avocado oil helps increase hair growth because it contains vitamin B, essential for hair growth. In addition, it is a vital source of antioxidants and vitamin E in excess, which helps to stimulate hair growth.
6. Is avocado oil anti-ageing?
A. Yes, avocado oil helps prevent premature ageing because avocado oil contains vitamin E. This vitamin helps nourish the skin and boost collagen production. As a result, avocado oil reduces wrinkles while stimulating the anti-ageing process.
7. When should I use avocado oil?
A. You can ideally use avocado oil in cooking, dressing over salads and foods, face and hair application. You can also add a tablespoon to a smoothie. In addition, you can add it to your homemade healthy salad dressings.
8. Is avocado oil better than coconut oil?
A. Yes, avocado oil can be a better option for consumption and application than coconut oil. Avocado oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which help nourish the heart. However, coconut oil is fat-burning and energy-boosting.
9. Does avocado oil lighten skin?
A. Avocado oil helps in moisturising, nourishing, and brightening the skin. In addition, it helps to maintain skin health which leads to plump and glowing skin. But there is no research that avocado oil is helpful in skin lightening.
10. Can avocado oil clog pores?
A. Avocado oil has a comedogenic rate of 3. Although avocado oil is slightly heavier on the skin, it does not cause clogging of pores. However, in several skin types, it may lead to clogged pores.
11. Does avocado oil cause pimples?
A. Avocado oil helps in treating skin damage and acne. It helps strengthen the skin barrier, nourish the skin, and reduce inflammation. Therefore, it eventually decreases pimples, and it also helps to heal scars.