Avocado Oil - Noteworthy Health Benefits & How to Make It

Avocado oil is one of the very few cooking oils you can easily extract at home. Coincidentally, it’s also one of the healthiest oils out there. For example, there is a lot of research backing the positive effect of avocado oil on joint health, eyesight, and skin health. People claim that avocado oil is comparable to olive oil in terms of its health benefits and uses. Learn why this healthy oil is a great ingredient to have in your pantry and how to make it at home.

1. Avocado oil is beneficial for arthritis

Avocado Oil joint pain
Arthritis is an umbrella term for a large group of inflammatory joint conditions. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It typically affects people over the age of 50 and comes with a lot of pain, discomfort, and stiffness caused by inflammation in the joints.
According to numerous studies, a type of extract called avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) can alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis. In the studies, participants were taking an ASU supplement by mouth for several months. This was found to reduce joint pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis.
People with severe osteoarthritis and those suffering from hip or knee arthritis were observed to have the best results. Avocado unsaponifiables are naturally present in avocado oil, so including the oil in your diet regularly may reduce arthritis symptoms as well.

2. How avocado oil helps your skin

Avocado Oil red skin
One of the most well-known benefits of avocado oil is related to the skin. You can apply avocado oil directly onto the skin like you would a moisturizer. Unlike thicker oils, avocado oil is absorbed quickly, and it doesn’t form a film over the skin. It is also non-comedogenic and non-irritating, so even those with very sensitive skin can use avocado oil.
Both people with acne and those with dry or red skin will be able to enjoy the anti-inflammatory and calming properties of avocado oil. According to studies, you can also use avocado oil topically to heal sunburned areas, minor wounds, or eczema and psoriasis flareups.
The skin benefits of avocado oil are attributed to its richness in oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid that’s also present in olive oil, as well as such nutrients like lecithin, vitamin D and E, and beta carotene.

3. The antioxidants in avocado oil help prevent age-related eye diseases

Avocado Oil glasses
Certain nutrient deficiencies are associated with decreased eye health and eyesight. Even those health conditions that we usually associate with age, such as macular degeneration and cataract, can begin or become worse in those deficient in nutrients like vitamin C and E, vitamin B12, and carotenoids.
Avocados are rich in both vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, and lutein (another carotenoid). Lutein, in particular, is linked to eye health. It is present in our eyes and serves as a protective shield to eye tissues from sun damage.

4. Avocado oil makes it easier for your body to absorb beneficial nutrients

Avocado Oil veggies
An interesting observation was made in a small study from 2005. The researchers looked at the ability of avocados and avocado oil to improve the absorption of carotenoids. The researchers hypothesized that the healthy fats present in avocado oil and fresh avocados would help the body absorb carotenoids from foods like lettuce, spinach, and carrots better.
Carotenoids are fat-soluble, but most vegetables do not contain any fats, which makes these nutrients more difficult to absorb. Adding just a smidge of avocado oil or some fresh avocado was found to improve the body’s ability to get more carotenoids from a vegetable salad.

5. Gum disease can be prevented with avocado oil

Avocado Oil smile
According to a handful of studies, the avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) extract used for arthritis can also be useful for preventing gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a common cause behind bleeding gums and bad breath. Over time, the condition progresses and may destroy the bone that’s supporting the teeth, which could ultimately result in tooth loss. In a test tube study, the ASU extract was found to slow down the production of inflammatory agents that cause gum disease.

6. You can strengthen your hair with avocado oil

Avocado Oil long hair
Those who suffer from a flaky scalp or have dry hair should consider using avocado oil. Avocado oil is a great anti-inflammatory agent and an even better moisturizer. Applying it to the hair can help reduce an itchy or dry scalp and strengthen brittle hair. You can use avocado oil as a hot oil treatment before you wash your hair.
To do so, pour 3-5 tablespoons of avocado oil into a glass or jar, and heat it by placing it into a bowl of hot water. It’s important to avoid heating the oil directly in order to preserve the beneficial nutrients. Once the oil is pleasantly warm, apply roughly half of the oil to the scalp and massage gently with your fingertips for a few minutes. Then apply the remaining oil to the length of the hair and leave it on for 15-30 minutes. Finish by washing your hair as usual.

7. Avocado oil is good for the heart

Avocado Oil stethoscope
It’s safe to say we all know that excessive fat consumption is bad for the heart. But not all fats are made equal. Trans fats and saturated fats are those more strongly associated with heart disease and cardiovascular issues. On the other hand, plant-based fats and omega-3 fats, such as those found in fatty fish, are actually beneficial for the heart.
Like olive oil, avocado oil is actually superb at regulating cholesterol levels and may even reduce triglyceride levels and blood pressure. Moreover, according to animal studies, avocado oil is better than olive, coconut, and corn oil for blood cholesterol levels. So, don't shy away from adding this healthy oil into salads or using it liberally in cooking.

How to make avocado oil at home

Avocado Oil avocados
Avocado oil is made from the pulp of ripe avocados, and it has superb properties like a neutral taste and a very high smoke point. Avocado oil is widely available in stores, you’ll surely find some of it at your nearest supermarket. However, you can also make your own avocado oil if you have some ripe or even overripe avocados at home.
To yield a standard 250 ml (8 oz) bottle of avocado oil, you’ll need 15-20 ripe avocados. However, you can make oil from just 1-2 avocados as well. Here’s how: 
1. Peel and remove the stone from your avocados. Then, mash the avocado pulp into a smooth paste.
2. Dry the avocado paste in a shaded but ventilated area for a few days, or heat it up for 40-60 minutes at the lowest setting in your oven (ideally, 45-50°C or 113-122°F). You might need to mix it from time to time until the entire paste becomes dark.
Test: When you press on the paste with a spoon, oil should come out.
3. Extract the oil by pressing the paste through a fine cheesecloth. Bottle it up and store it in the fridge for up to 8 months.
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