Quite similar to olive oil in its composition, avocado oil can be used for seasoning and cooking. It has benefits for cardiovascular health, for the eyes and even, in extract form, for the joints.
The avocado is a fruit that is good for health. Rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins (especially vitamin E) and minerals (potassium and magnesium), it contributes to good cardiovascular health. Perhaps less well known, avocado oil is made by squeezing the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado kernel. Avocado oil contains approximately 70% oleic acid (a monounsaturated fatty acid), 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids (mainly linoleic acid) and 12% saturated fat. It also contains vitamin E and carotenoids, which give it antioxidant properties. Here’s how it can help keep you healthy.
For cardiovascular health
Thanks to its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and especially oleic acid, avocado oil can help reduce cardiovascular risk. In fact, oleic acid which is also present in large quantities in olive oil has been the subject of studies testing, for example, its beneficial effect on blood pressure.
In hypertensive rats, daily administration of avocado oil significantly reduces blood pressure. Another study also carried out on rats (fed with sugar in order to modify their metabolic profile) indicates that supplementation with avocado oil helps to limit the inflammatory process associated with the cardiovascular risk induced by sugar, and to improve the lipid profile.
Another study conducted this time on 13 healthy adults shows that by replacing the butter in their diet with avocado oil, they get an improvement in their metabolic profile in just 6 days (blood sugar, insulinemia, triglycerides, cholesterol) as well as a decrease in inflammatory markers.
Avocado oil for the joints
Several studies, including randomised controlled trials, indicate that extracts of avocado and soybean oils (avocado-soy unsaponifiable) help reduce pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis and thus improve joint function. These extracts also make it possible to reduce the need for pain-relieving drugs. In France, avocado-soy unsaponifiable are found in a drug intended to treat osteoarthritis of the hip and knee.
Avocado oil for eyes
Avocado oil is an excellent source of lutein, an antioxidant from the carotenoid family, which is of interest in the prevention of diseases such as AMD and cataracts. Lutein would also suppress inflammation in people with coronary artery disease.
According to the results of a study, adding avocado oil to a dish also improves the absorption of carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein) present. Thus, adding 24 g of avocado oil to a salad containing carrots, lettuce and spinach can increase the absorption of carotenoids in these foods between 5 and 15 times.
Against oxidative stress
The antioxidant content of avocado oil (vitamin E, carotenoids) allows it to fight against damage due to reactive oxygen species. It involves oxidative stress in the genesis of many diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A study carried out on diabetic rats shows that supplementation with avocado oil improves mitochondrial function (impaired in diabetes, which increases the production of reactive oxygen species) and thus fight against cerebral oxidative stress.
Avocado oil for the skin
Avocado oil can also be used on the skin because of its antioxidant and protective properties. Combined with vitamin B12 in a cream, it would have beneficial effects in relieving psoriasis according to the results of a small clinical trial that lasted 12 weeks. Used locally, avocado oil promotes wound healing and exerts anti-inflammatory effects on the skin.
Avocado oil in practice
Better to choose virgin avocado oil, got by cold pressing. We can use avocado oil as a seasoning in salads, but also for cooking. It is stable at high temperature, up to about 250 ° C. Its heat stability is superior to that of olive oil. Remember that the important thing is to vary the oils to get the most of their benefits.