Always an avoca-DO! » Manila Bulletin Lifestyle

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Why avocado is good for the skin too

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By Dr. Kaycee Reyes

Whichever way we call an avocado, such as abukado, abokado, or in Spanish, aguacate, you shouldn’t miss this special fruit as it is packed with wonderful benefits in every piece! Coming in different colors (from green to black), sizes (from round to pear-shaped), texture (from smooth to bumpy), and weight (from eight ounces to three pounds), this superfruit is loved by many because of its extraordinary benefits for the body. It contains at least 20 of the essential vitamins and minerals from vitamins B1, B6, B12, vitamins C, E, and K, potassium, folate, magnesium, lutein, riboflavin, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and the list goes on. With a lot of good fats and zero sodium, it is low in carbohydrates and saturated fats. What more can you ask for? Well, did you know that avocado is also good for the skin?

The avocado, or persea americana, has been said to originate from Mexico around 10,000 years ago. By the time the Spanish conquered the Americas in the 1500s, they brought avocadoes with them to Central and South America, until they introduced it to Europe and it spread from there. The avocado was introduced to the Philippines in the late 1800s by the Spanish, until it became a staple fruit that easily adjusted to the soil and climate of the country. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to find avocadoes being grown in household gardens and backyards. And why not? Aside from the powerhouse of health benefits it provides, the avocado offers:

  • more potassium than banana that helps in regulating blood pressure
  • a lot of fiber that can clean the digestive tract, improve digestion, and regulate bowel movements, and also aid in weight management
  •  an increase in nutrient absorption in the body
  •  lutein that is essential in eye health
  • ease arthritis because of antioxidants that can fight inflammation
  • help in diabetes due to its high vitamin C, E, and mineral content
  • healthier babies for expectant moms because of its folic acid and vitamin K content
  • oleic acid that can control inflammation in the body that may even prevent certain cancers
  • regulation of menstrual cycle

What’s more, avocado offers a lot for the skin, too, some of which are:

  •  prevention of infection when applied on shallow cuts and wounds because of the presence of oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acid that aids in skin healing and repair
  • soothing sunburned skin
  •  moisturizes skin
  • helps with dry and brittle hair
  • management of eczema and psoriasis (avocado oil)

Eating an avocado can already offer benefits on the skin, but applying it directly may do so much more.  Here are some ways you can DIY an avocado mask for your skin or hair:

  • avocado + oatmeal or honey to moisturize skin
  • avocado + banana + egg to smoothen skin, reduce oil, and fight blemishes
  • avocado + yogurt to heal acne
  • avocado + honey + yogurt for anti-aging and to tighten pores
  • avocado + coconut oil mask to massage on hair to add shine, strengthen, and grow hair
  • avocado + coconut oil can also be applied on the body before rinsing for silky and soft skin

Avocado is one fruit you shouldn’t miss. Luckily, it is incredibly easy to incorporate avocado in your daily diet. Aside from being eaten on its own, as it is yummy as it is, it can also be traded for butter in your cookies, replace the yogurt in your smoothie, added in salads, or serve as dairy-free dips. Likewise, using avocado on the skin is versatile, too, as it can be mixed with different natural ingredients to your liking as mentioned above. If applying it directly on your skin, however, remember to test a small portion before going all the way to avoid any allergic reactions. It is best, as always, to consult with a dermatologist before trying anything on your skin, even if it is organic or natural. Lastly, be patient when expecting results, as it can take weeks or months for any of these benefits to take effect. Avocado is a superfood that we can gain access to easily, this is why there is no excuse not to have an avocado in your diet.  So whether consumed or applied topically, an avocado will always be an avoca-DO!

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