Over the years, coconut oil has stolen the spotlight. From beauty to nutrition, it’s pegged as a “miracle” ingredient. One can even say it has a fan club! Nothing seems better, but just wait until you learn about avocado oil.
Both coconut and avocado oils contain healthy fats. Yet, coconut oil is made of 92 percent saturated fat, making it questionable for people with heart problems. On the other hand, avocado oil is made of just 16 percent saturated fat. Most are monounsaturated fatty acids (72 percent), topped off with polyunsaturated fatty acids (13 percent). 1 But that’s not all. Aside from helping the heart, it can benefit the eyes, skin, and everything in between. Here’s how.
Ways Avocado Oil Is Good For You
1. Avocado Oil Prevents Heart Disease
Since avocado oil doesn’t have much saturated fat, it’s less likely to cause atherogenesis,2 or the creation of fatty masses in the arterial walls. In a 2014 rat study, avocado oil also decreased “bad” LDL cholesterol without affecting “good” HDL cholesterol. Plus, it’s also been shown to lower triglycerides3 and blood pressure.4 Together, these benefits can lower the risk for heart disease, the country’s leading cause of death.5
2. Avocado Oil Boosts Immune Function
Avocado oil is rich in oleic acid, a type of omega-9 fat.6 This lesser known monounsaturated fatty acid may improve the immune response. It acts on three types of white blood cells: macrophages, lymphocytes, and neutrophils, In turn, harmful germs are removed from the body with ease.7
3. Avocado Oil Enhances Eye Health
When you think of eye health, avocado oil is probably the last thing that comes to mind. It’s actually a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids. These nutrients protect the eyes and improve visual clarity.
As antioxidants, they also find and destroy free radicals. Both have been linked to a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts,8 making it a smart choice for eye health.
4. Avocado Oil Eases Joint Pain
Thanks to the anti-inflammatory fatty acids, avocado oil may benefit arthritis, a disease of joint inflammation. More than 50 million American suffer from the condition. Symptoms include joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and a poor range of motion, making it a major cause of disability.9 In France, an extract made from avocado and soybean oil is used to relieve symptoms caused by knee and hip osteoarthritis.10 Considering it has anti-inflammatory properties, avocado oil is worth adding to your diet.
5. Avocado Oil Speeds Up Wound Healing
Coconut oil is known for its effect on the skin. But avocado oil is just as powerful! In a 2013 animal study, researchers found that the oleic acid speeds up wound healing. It also increases collagen density, reduces inflammation, and strengthens the skin.11
6. Avocado Oil Prevents Skin Cancer
Is avocado oil the new sunscreen? According to Archives of Dermatological Research, it very well might be. In the skin, sun exposure triggers inflammation. It also sparks cellular reactions that may lead to skin cancer. However, applying avocado oil before sun exposure can actually prevent damage from ultraviolet radiation. Even DNA is better repaired.12
7. Avocado Oil Relieves Psoriasis
Avocado oil is natural treatment for psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disorder of the skin. The immune system mistakenly activates T cells, a type of white blood cell. In turn, skin cells are rapidly produced, causing inflammation and thick, red patches.13 In a 2001 study in the journal Dermatology, a vitamin B12 cream with avocado oil showed benefits. It may even be used as a long-term remedy,14 offering a natural approach to harsh medicine.
Avocado oil is the best choice if you’re concerned about heart health. Otherwise, use coconut oil in moderation, and reach for avocado oil more often.
|↑1||Dreher, Mark L., and Adrienne J. Davenport. “Hass avocado composition and potential health effects.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 53, no. 7 (2013): 738-750.|
|↑2||Kritchevsky, David, Shirley A. Tepper, Scott Wright, Susanne K. Czarnecki, Thomas A. Wilson, and Robert J. Nicolosi. “Cholesterol vehicle in experimental atherosclerosis 24: avocado oil.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 22, no. 1 (2003): 52-55.|
|↑3||Carvajal-Zarrabal, Octavio, Cirilo Nolasco-Hipolito, M. Guadalupe Aguilar-Uscanga, Guadalupe Melo-Santiesteban, Patricia M. Hayward-Jones, and Dulce M. Barradas-Dermitz. “Avocado oil supplementation modifies cardiovascular risk profile markers in a rat model of sucrose-induced metabolic changes.” Disease markers 2014 (2014).|
|↑4, ↑6||Salazar, M. J., M. El Hafidi, G. Pastelin, M. C. Ramírez-Ortega, and M. A. Sánchez-Mendoza. “Effect of an avocado oil-rich diet over an angiotensin II-induced blood pressure response.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 98, no. 3 (2005): 335-338.|
|↑5||Heart Disease Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑7||Sales-Campos, Helioswilton, Patricia Reis de Souza, Bethanea Crema Peghini, Joao Santana da Silva, and Cristina Ribeiro Cardoso. “An overview of the modulatory effects of oleic acid in health and disease.” Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry 13, no. 2 (2013): 201-210.|
|↑8||Abdel-Aal, El-Sayed M., Humayoun Akhtar, Khalid Zaheer, and Rashida Ali. “Dietary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids and their role in eye health.” Nutrients 5, no. 4 (2013): 1169-1185.|
|↑9||What Is Arthritis? Arthritis Foundation.|
|↑10||Angermann, P. “Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables in the treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis.” Ugeskrift for laeger 167, no. 33 (2005): 3023-3025.|
|↑11||de Oliveira, Ana Paula, Eryvelton de Souza Franco, Rafaella Rodrigues Barreto, Daniele Pires Cordeiro, Rebeca Gonçalves de Melo, Camila Maria Ferreira de Aquino, Paloma Lys de Medeiros, Teresinha Gonçalves da Silva, Alexandre José da Silva Góes, and Maria Bernadete de Sousa Maia. “Effect of semisolid formulation of persea americana mill (Avocado) oil on wound healing in rats.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).|
|↑12||Rosenblat, Gennady, Shai Meretski, Joseph Segal, Mark Tarshis, Avi Schroeder, Alexandra Zanin-Zhorov, Gilead Lion, Arieh Ingber, and Malka Hochberg. “Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols derived from avocado suppress inflammatory response and provide non-sunscreen protection against UV-induced damage in skin cells.” Archives of dermatological research 303, no. 4 (2011): 239-246.|
|↑13||Psoriasis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.|
|↑14||Stücker, Markus, Ulrike Memmel, Matthias Hoffmann, Joachim Hartung, and Peter Altmeyer. “Vitamin B12 cream containing avocado oil in the therapy of plaque psoriasis.” Dermatology 203, no. 2 (2001): 141-147.|