Avocados are nutrient-dense fruits full of monounsaturated fat (the good type) and packed with close to 20 vitamins and minerals. It’s no wonder that they are great for nourishing your body in so many different ways. We know that they are supposed to be excellent for maintaining healthy youthful skin, but what exactly do they do?
Skin ageing is caused by internal factors which we can’t control (ie. our age and genetics) and external factors which we can control (ie. sun exposure, environmental toxins, stress and diet). There are various lifestyle changes which can be made to help keep your skin looking beautiful and certain foods, like avocados, stand out as champions.
Here are 5 great reasons why eating avocados is a great way to make your skin look young and beautiful.
1 – Prevents the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by increasing skin density. From around the age of 25, your skin starts losing density and becoming thinner and therefore more susceptible to developing fine lines and wrinkles. Avocados are high in carotenoid antioxidants which improve your skin’s density so that it becomes thicker and therefore less likely to show fine lines and wrinkles. Most of an avocado’s carotenoids are located in the dark green flesh directly under the skin, so make sure you scoop it out well to get the best health and beauty benefits. Although many fruits and vegetables are high in carotenoids, avocados are unique in that they are one of the only fruits to also be high in monounsaturated fat. Why is this important? Well, carotenoids are fat-soluble which means that the body needs fat in order to absorb it properly. Most other fruits and vegetables are not high in fat so although the carotenoids are there, your body is not able to absorb them efficiently. Adding avocado (or some other good fat) into your salad, for example, will actually increase your body’s ability to absorb carotenoid antioxidants from all the other fruits and vegetables in your salad.
2 – Reduces sagging skin by helping your skin create elastin. Elastin is a protein in the connective tissue of your skin which allows your skin to return to its original position after stretching or contracting, much like an elastic rubber band. Young skin has plenty of elastin to keep your skin smooth. But as you age, your body produces less elastin which means that your skin is less able to ‘snap back’ to where to where it was, leading to sagging skin. The main antioxidant which your skin uses to create elastin is Vitamin C, something which avocados are high in. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it is not stored in your body so you have to make sure you eat sources of Vitamin C every day.
3 – Keeps your skin firm by helping your skin create collagen. Collagen, sometimes referred to as ‘cellular glue’, gives your skin strength, structure and firmness. Like elastin, collagen is a protein in the connective tissue of your skin which helps to maintain its shape. Your body produces less collagen as you age, leading your skin to lose some of its firmness. Again, Vitamin C is the main antioxidant which the body uses to create collagen, and avocados are high in Vitamin C. As mentioned above, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it is not stored in our bodies so we have to make sure we eat sources of Vitamin C every day.
4 – Protects your skin from the damaging effects of UVA and UVB radiation. While ageing skin is partly the result of genetics, excessive sun exposure is one of the major external factors which causes skin to start looking older. Sun exposure can cause your body to create free radicals, which are unstable atoms that eventually lead to cell damage. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your skin from harmful ultraviolet light, thereby reducing the occurrence of free radicals in your body. Avocados are the fruit with one of the highest levels of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is fat-soluble which means it is stored in your body, and the fat in avocados helps your body to absorb the Vitamin E more efficiently.
5 – Keeps your skin soft, nourished and hydrated. Environmental factors and age can make your skin become dry. Avocados are naturally high in oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated Omega-9 fatty acid that helps keep your skin soft and supple due to its high lipid count. Lipids are fat molecules which don’t dissolve in water. Oleic acid helps maintain moisture in the epidermal (top) layer of your skin to keep it hydrated and healthy looking. Cosmetics companies often add oleic acid to their products for its long-lasting nourishing and moisturising abilities.
Write your comment below: If you love avocados, share your favorite way to eat them. Do you like to eat avocados straight from their skin, mashed on toast, as guacamole, sliced into salads?