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Ah, avocado, the much-lauded superfood that has garnered the attention of food bloggers all over the world. For good reason, too! Not only are avocados a nutritional powerhouse, they also have myriad benefits when applied to the skin, lending even the driest face a lit-from-within glow.
Read on to find out just how beneficial avocado can be. We’ll leave it up to you whether you put it in your food or on your face, but we suggest you do both!
WHERE DID AVOCADOS ORIGINATE?
Avocados have been a staple of the Mexican diet for many years—10,000 years, in fact, according to archaeological findings. Later, tribes such as Maya and Inca domesticated the avocado tree and grew their own fruit. Avocados weren’t eaten in Europe until the 16th century.
WHY IS AVOCADO SO GOOD FOR THE BODY?
Many people avoid eating avocados because they are calorie dense and high in fat. That’s a shame, as the fat in avocado is monounsaturated, and this is the kind of fat that specialists recommend we should all be eating more often. Monounsaturated fat has been shown to not only help lower blood pressure but also protect us from heart disease.
On top of that, avocados are dense in other nutrients, including potassium, fibre, copper, and vitamins and minerals such as vitamins E, C, K and various B vitamins.
An easy way to incorporate avocado into your diet is by adding it to your favourite smoothie. It adds a lovely creamy texture, and its mild flavour means it won’t overpower any of your other ingredients.
To use, simply pop about half an avocado into your blender with your other smoothie ingredients. Here is a recipe from BBC Good Food to get you started. In this recipe, avocado is paired with strawberries, but feel free to add any other fruit, such as blueberries, raspberries, or bananas.
Have this smoothie for breakfast and you’ll be set up at least until lunchtime!
½ avocado, stoned, peeled and cut into chunks
150g strawberries, halved
4 tbsp low-fat natural yogurt
200ml semi-skimmed milk
lemon or lime juice, to taste
honey, to taste
How to Make:
Put all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add a little water.
HOW CAN AVOCADO BENEFIT MY SKIN?
Don’t think for a minute that avocado is just good for your body! This superfruit also has positive skin-softening and anti-aging effects thanks to oils called sterolins, also known as phytosterols or plant steroids. Sterolins enable avocado oil to penetrate the skin more deeply than most other oils.
That means that avocado is wonderful at helping to keep skin well-nourished and hydrated, leaving it soft and supple.
Studies have also found that the sterolins in avocado oil can significantly increase the amount of collagen in the skin. Collagen breaks down as we age, making avocado oil an excellent skincare addition for people with mature skin. On top of this, sterolins are effective in helping reduce sun damage and the look of age spots and scars.
If you don’t like the feeling of mashed-up avocado on your face, a cold-pressed avocado oil works brilliantly as well; you’ll get the same skin-loving benefits but without the mess!