Is there anything more delicious to throw on a meal than a freshly sliced, creamy avocado? They’re the one fruit that Dr. Gundry says you can eat with abandon. In fact, he says, “Eat one every day!” You simply can’t go wrong with avocados.
Then, there’s avocado oil. Avocado oil isn’t quite as popular as extra virgin olive oil just yet, but it should be. It has just as many wonderful benefits because it’s packed with antioxidants and healthy fats.
Avocado oil can be used just as you would olive oil. Use it to make marinades. Drizzle it over salads. Add it to stir-fry. Bake it into a Gundry muffin. Use it in homemade mayonnaise. Toss your veggies in it before roasting. Add a spoonful to your smoothies. The possibilities are virtually endless.
Why Do We Love Avocados?
Avocados are rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also full of dietary fiber and high in vitamin K, folate, and vitamin C. And did you know that avocados contain more potassium than bananas? They also have no cholesterol, and they’re low in sodium and saturated fats.1,2
Avocados also have a rich, buttery texture that adds a creaminess to any dish that they’re added to.
And since avocado oil is essentially the best of the healthy fat from avocados, concentrated, the benefits become even greater. Let’s take a look at six incredible health benefits of using avocado oil:
1. It’s Heart Healthy
In several studies, avocado oil has shown some real benefits for heart health.
Because avocados are a potent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, like oleic acid (also found in olive oil), they have the potential to help support healthy cholesterol levels (key for heart health). One study determined that eating just one avocado per day has significant LDL lowering effects, and therefore may help reduce heart risk factors.3
The fatty acids in avocado oil also help to encourage more healthy blood lipids (like “good” HDL cholesterol), and several clinical studies have now shown that avocado oil consumption may help support cardiovascular health.4
2. It Helps Your Body Absorb Nutrients
Some nutrients require fat so that your body can better absorb them. This is where avocado oil becomes a friend to other fruits and veggies. Adding some avocado oil when you eat these foods can help your body to absorb the many beneficial vitamins and phytochemicals they contain.
Carotenoid antioxidants, for example, require fat to help your body absorb them. Studies suggest avocado oil can lend a helping hand. In fact, one study found that drizzling avocado oil onto a standard salad (containing carrots, lettuce, and baby spinach) increased the absorption of alpha-carotene by 7.2 times, beta-carotene by 15.3 times, and lutein by 5.1 times, compared to an avocado-free salad.5
3. It Targets Oxidative Damage
You want to increase polyphenols in your diet, because they’re a wonderful defense against free radicals. Free radicals are a natural byproduct of your body’s metabolism, but high levels of them can increase the visible signs of aging, or even cause illness. Polyphenols can help neutralize these attacking fiends. And, avocado oil has proven to be a very special source of these polyphenols.
A research study out of Mexico found that avocado oil was “protective against damage to cellular mitochondria” – the part of your cells where energy is produced and regeneration takes place. Researchers noted that while all polyphenols in fruits and veggies are known to be protective, they just can’t penetrate the cell like fatty acids can. So, they can’t protect your mitochondria in the same way.6
4. It May Keep Joints Healthy
Joint pain is caused by irritation in the joints and affects millions of people in many different forms. But as common as it is, it doesn’t make it any less painful for those who suffer from it.
However, research suggests that avocado oil may keep joints healthy an mobile, because it has been shown to reduce C-reactive protein (CRP) in the body – a blood test “marker” of discomfort.7
5. It Helps Support Skin Healing
You’ve probably heard that eating fatty acids are good for your skin – and you’ve heard correctly. Your skin needs fatty acids for normal function and appearance, and dermatologists will often recommend them to those suffering from skin complaints.8
A study that tested an avocado oil vitamin B12 cream on sufferers of itchy, scaly skin found that this combination had consistently good effects over a 12-week period.9
6. A good source of lutein — for your eyes.
The eyes are our windows onto this beautiful world, and yet, it’s easy to take them for granted.
Remember that carotenoid antioxidant “lutein” from earlier? Well, along with its partner zeaxanthin, lutein is your eyes’ number one defense against serious eye issues. Lutein can help protect your eyes’ healthy cells. It also may help filter harmful blue light. But your body doesn’t naturally make lutein. It needs to obtain it from green vegetables or… you guessed it… avocados and avocado oil.10,11
That Indescribable Taste
If you weren’t already a fan of the centuries-old “alligator pear,” then you just might be now. Avocados are truly a gift of a fruit, and they’re incredibly easy to add to both sweet and savory dishes.They just have a flavor that blends well with pretty much anything.
And avocado oil is incredibly neutral tasting, making it easy to cook with. Plus, it has a higher smoke point than olive oil meaning it’s safe for even high-heat cooking.