avocado-oil
Nutrition, All posts

Why You Should Start Using Avocado Oil

Medically review by Irena Ilic

Benefits of Avocado Oil

For the last few years, coconut oil has been stealing the limelight on the real food centre stage, but it's time to shift your attention to another impressive performer - avocado oil.

With a list of impressive health benefits and uses both in the kitchen and in your skin and hair beauty routine, avocado oil is a fantastic ingredient to add to your shopping basket.

We use coconut and olive oil a lot, but like with fruits, vegetables, protein and all food, it's important to include variety.

This ensures that you get a wider range of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and all that good stuff.

The same goes for cooking oils, and it doesn't hurt to have a few options handy. Here's why we're all about avocado oil lately.

Health benefits of avocado oil

Avocados

Oleic acid. This stuff is one of the reasons why olive oil is considered an incredibly healthy food, and avocado boasts the same benefits.

First of all, it helps avocado oil stay fresh so it has a long shelf life much like coconut oil. It also makes it fantastic for high temps like frying and roasting.

Finally, oleic acid can lower the risk of some cancers, prevent flares of some auto-immune diseases, and reduce inflammation. Additionally, this monounsaturated fat can help improve fertility of women.

Vitamin E. Not many foods contain significant amounts of vitamin E, but avocado oil boosts a hefty amount.

Your body simply doesn't absorb much when you only get it from supplements, so cooking with this oil or using it as a salad dressing is superior to your multivitamin.

Healthy fats in avocado oil improve absorption of this fat-soluble vitamin. In turn, vitamin E protects your cells, keeps your immune system strong, and improves skin and eye health.

Carotenoids. Considering the fat content of avocado oil, it makes a plethora of valuable nutrients more available to the body. Carotenoids (found in carrots and many fruits and veggies) are one of those.

Taking these nutrients reduces your risk of many diseases, including vision problems. In fact, avocado oil increases absorption of carotenoids by 6.7 to 17.4 times.

That's a huge difference! The easiest way to take advantage of this is to add avocado oil to your salad.

Antioxidant-rich. Antioxidants help the body detox naturally and protect against free radical damage. This contributes to a whole lot of stuff you want to avoid.

Like olive oil, which is associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases, avocado oil has almost the same antioxidant benefits that protect against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Digestive health. Most people can afford to improve their digestion, and avocado oil is an amazing addition to the diet if so.

The combination of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids is food for the gut. A daily dose in your cooking could help keep you regular.

Weight management. Oleic acid (mentioned above) can help boost weight loss or keep you at a healthy weight in combination with a well-portioned, real-food based diet.

Since avocado oil contains loads of healthy fats, it's very satiating which helps you feel full and avoid overeating.

How to use avocado oil

Cooking with avocado Oil

Cooking with avocado oil. Considering its high heat tolerance, avocado oil is an incredibly versatile cooking oil for just about anything involving fire. 

It also boasts quite a mild flavor unlike coconut oil which can taste a bit like coconut, naturally. This makes it ideal for salad dressings and homemade mayonnaise.

Avocado oil for skin. While coconut oil works well for moisturizing, it's best mixed and diluted with other substances to give it a more viscous texture.

Avocado oil rubs in quicker, much like lotion, leaving you feeling a little less greasy. It gets better; you can also dab a bit under your eyes to get rid of dark circles or bags.

Avocado oil for hair. While coconut oil makes a great hair mask for an all-over treatment, you can use avocado oil daily to reduce and prevent split ends by rubbing a little on to the ends of your hair and washing it out, keeping your locks hydrated and healthy.

After washing, you can apply a bit more to tame frizz and fly-aways. Keep a small bottle in your bathroom!

How avocado oil and coconut oil stack up

Benefits of Avocado
  • While both oils are heart healthy, coconut oil consists mainly of saturated fats while avocado oil is comprised of mostly monounsaturated fatty acids. Both are healthy for the body, but it's necessary to have a balance.
  • Coconut oil and avocado both have a high smoke point making them versatile in the kitchen whether you're frying or roasting. Still, avocado oil can take temperatures up to 520 degrees Fahrenheit while coconut oil comes in around 350.
  • Both oils are suitable for homemade beauty products, but coconut oil is solid, so it's better used in combination with other liquid oils and essential oils, while avocado oil can easily be used on its own.
  • We're not saying avocado oil is the new coconut oil, but it's certainly worth adding to your pantry. It contains a whole new set of benefits, nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you simply won't get by limiting yourself to one or two oils.
  • Both oils are unrefined and unprocessed made from whole foods that are anti-inflammatory, friendly to weight loss, contain healthy fats, and keep your gut happy.

This article was fact checked for accuracy by Dr. Irena Ilic. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Which oil do you prefer, or do you choose to use both? Share your experience with us! 

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Why You Should Start Using Avocado Oil | HappyBodyFormula.com

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meditation-benefits
All posts, Health & Wellness

How Meditation Changes the Brain & Body

Medically review by Irena Ilic

meditation-benefits

The cat is out of the bag: meditation is something you SHOULD be doing.

There certainly aren't any drawbacks to carving out a little R&R time to the tune of pure silence.

After all, the stuff itself is golden.

Many people have some preconceived notions about meditation that deter them from getting in on a little of that magic zen action.

Rest assured, we're big believers that meditation is for anyone and everyone.

The hardest part isn't even learning how to meditate; it's making meditation a habit.

While we can meditate here and there, that's just not how you see the big changes take place.

A daily session - even just 5 minutes a day - can make a huge impact on both the brain and body.

The benefits of meditation

benefits-of-meditation

Better sleep. Meditation can be a natural cure to sleep-related issues such as insomnia, resulting in more restful sleep.

Only makes sense, right?

Timing your meditation sessions to be during the day when you're still energetic can lead to better zzz's later, so get on it!

You could potentially replace sleeping pills with a simple time-out.

If you're looking for more resources to snooze better, join our free 7-Day Sleep Challenge - you can begin whenever you'd like.

Don't worry, be happy. Practicing meditation helps to promote an overall positive mood and lessens distress in everyday life, even for those who don’t suffer from anxiety.

This has been studied in many situations, but it can be particularly helpful for those who experience anxiety and stress due to chronic pain or illness or even burnout at work.

While we don't always have control over certain health stressors, we can help to lessen the stress itself.

Mindfulness meditation decreases grey matter volume in the amygdala, a part of brain responsible for body's reactions to stress, whose dysfunction can lead to stress-related diseases, including depression, anxiety and pathological fears.

Pain management. Speaking of chronic pain, meditation has been shown to reduce physical symptoms of diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia when practiced over time.

Research shows that individuals who practice meditation experience less muscle aches and pains. Those suffering from migraines or low back pain can also experience significant reduction in pain by practicing meditation. 

Lowering blood pressure. Meditation can lower or stabilize resting heart rate and blood pressure in individuals without pre-existing conditions, but also in people with hypertension.

In conjunction with a heart-healthy diet, this can be used as a preventative measure or treatment.

Lowering your blood pressure

Easing addiction. According to studies, mindfulness can help those who turn to substance abuse to relax or “escape” by instead using meditation. 

Studies have shown that mindfulness training can help break the addictive loop. If you're looking to kick nasty habits or that evening glass of wine, the benefits of meditation may be something to consider.

Keep your brain strong. Meditation improves cognitive functioning, specifically visuo-spatial processing, memory, and executive functioning.

Exercising the brain and keeping these functions in tip-top shape can be incredibly vital to overall longevity, not to mention the daily changes you'll notice.

Those who practice meditation can reduce age-related decline in cortical thickness, which can mean improved cognitive function compared to people of their age who don't meditate.

Brain health

Less stress, of course. Meditation decreases levels of cortisol (hormone), which is secreted in excess when we are under stress.

Too much cortisol can sabotage weight loss efforts by throwing off hormones, interfere with sleep, and affect brain health long-term.

You can lessen the blow with daily meditation sessions.

Better mental health. Mindfulness meditation alleviates suffering associated with physical, psychosomatic and psychiatric disorders.

While it's not a replacement for medication, meditation can be used alongside other treatment since it can offer relief to minor symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve mental and emotional health.

Mood regulation for the chronically ill. Being diagnosed with a chronic disease can weigh on both the mind and body.

Research shows that increase in mindfulness in cancer patients leads to declines in mood disturbance and stress.

Focus, focus, focus. Just four days of mindfulness meditation can increase the ability to sustain attention, which can help overall focus.

The benefits of brief meditation sessions are seldom studied, but similar improvement can be seen compared to long-term meditation in terms of focus.

If you're having trouble keeping a one-track mind, you should consider a few zen sessions.

Increase your focus

Therapist-patient outcomes. Therapists who practice mindfulness have better results and outcomes with their patients and clients.

Yes, the benefits of meditation include making caretakers better at their jobs!

It could have something to do with creating empathy and caring connections with others which can benefit anyone who is seeking deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Should You Try Meditation?

All in all, it's important to remember that meditation is a form of active brain training.

To draw a realistic comparison, think of how your body changes in response to strength training.

The brain is a muscle, and it needs a little action sometimes! In the case of meditation, it needs a little less action sometimes.

Considering how hard the brain is working to help us function - even when we're asleep - it seldom gets the downtime it needs to focus on healing.

These benefits can be seen with meditation everyday. It's good to start small and work your way up into meditating for longer amounts of time continuously.

This article was fact checked for accuracy by Dr. Irena Ilic. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

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