The Benefits of Avocado Oil in a Paleo Diet

What is Avocado Oil?

On one of our recent trips up to the North of New Zealand we came across a wonderful addition for our shop - Evergreen Extra Virgin Avocado Oil.
Avocado oil is made by a similar extraction as olive oil. The flesh of ripe avocados are pressed and the liquid or oil is collected. This oil has a smooth, silky texture and is mild in flavour. It compliments other foods without overwhelming them, and interesting enough, the avocado oil does not actually taste like avocados.
It's no secret that avocados fit into the 'one of nature's healthiest foods' category and avocado oil obviously follows suit. It isn't just a recent food fad either, as History affords us the knowledge of the 16th-century Spanish historian/traveller Bernabé Cobo, who in 1596, reported the use of avocado oil in cooking.
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Extra-virgin avocado oil has most of the benefits that the fruit offers and has even received prescription drug status in France under the product name ASU. ASU is an extract made from a combination of avocado and soybean oil extracts, which is used as a treatment for knee and hip osteoarthritis. 
It has been examined in vitro and in animal studies, both of which have shown an anti-inflammatory effect and a stimulatory effect on molecules in connective tissue. Four randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials have been published, and these studies indicate that ASU has a positive effect on the symptoms of knee and hip osteoarthritis.

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So what are the other benefits of avocado oil (besides packing a powerful nutrient punch)?

 Firstly, because avocado oil has a high smoke point (of at least 400 degrees), it is highly suitable for cooking that requires high heat. Simply swap out a highly processed oil with organic avocado oil and you will see an increase in the nutritional value of your diet.


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 Benefits of avocado oil

Maintain a Healthy Heart
Avocado oil contains 'good' fats such at monounsaturated oleic acid (omega-9 fatty acid). This particular acid has several health benefits including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. It also works as an anti-inflammatory meaning it can help to prevent damage to arterial walls which in turn may lower the risk of heart disease.
According to a recent study in rabbits that compared avocado oil to olive, corn, and coconut oil, avocado oil had greater effects on reducing cholesterol levels. 

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Reduce Arthritis Symptoms
As mentioned above, researchers have conducted several studies on the health benefits of avocado oil, and have found that it can reduce the pain and stiffness  in the joints or muscles caused by arthritis.
Improves Skin Health
Avocado oil contains fatty acids that are very beneficial for the skin and it is a natural moisturising agent.
It is also great at reducing itching and inflammation of the skin and people who suffer from very dry skin, psoriasis or eczema find avocado oil to have soothing properties.
Avocado oil is also a rich source of vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant and prevents cells from damage caused by free radicals. 
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Helps with Nutrient Absorption

Some nutrients need fat in order to be absorbed by your body. Among these are the carotenoid antioxidants, which are pigments found in many plant foods. However, fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids are typically low in fat. One small study found that adding avocado oil to a salad increased the absorption of carotenoids. The increase was substantial when compared to a salad without fat.

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