Ah, the magic of avocados. We know this yummy green fruit makes a delicious bowl of guacamole and adds a bit of pizazz to your morning toast. But avocados can actually be used for a lot more.
Here are nine things you never knew you could do with avocados:
I was pretty skeptical when my friend mentioned making "avocado smoothies" a few years ago. But, I'm always down to try new things, so I gave it a go. And it was delicious, and so simple to make. Just take an avocado, a couple cups of milk, a handful of ice and sugar to taste.
When I first tried it, I couldn't wait to share it with everyone I knew. Even some family members of mine who aren't fans of avocados couldn't get enough of this smoothie. (Although I guess it's more of a milkshake.) It's a smooth, sweet treat that's perfect for warm, summer days.
Avocado seeds have a wide variety of health benefits, but one of their greatest beauty hacks is helping with pesky dandruff. Grate the seed and make sure it's raw, not toasted. Then, mix the avocado seed pieces with castor oil and let it sit for a day. After 24 hours, rub the mixture into your hair and leave it for about an hour before washing it out. It will also help give your hair some extra shine!
3. Soothing sore muscles and joints
Whether you have arthritis or you're sore after going for a run, avocado oil can help treat those symptoms.
Studies have shown that the oil reduces the need for anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat osteoarthritis (OA). It's not completely proven that avocados reduce OA symptoms, but the research is promising.
4. Preventing aging
Eating avocados won't necessarily make you immortal, but it can definitely help prevent age-related degeneration like deteriorating eyesight. The fruit contains a plethora of antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which helps with that whole aging thing.
Avocados are chock-full of lots of good fats - fats that we don't get enough of in a fat-free-obsessed society. They are high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which reduce cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease.
Avocados also have B6 vitamins and folic acids, which help regulate high levels of the amino acid homocysteine - an acid associated with higher risks of heart disease.
6. Reducing cancer risks
A study found that avocados contain phytochemicals, which encourage cancer cells to stop growing and die. The fruit's antioxidants and anti-inflammatory characteristics also help fight to fight the risk of cancer.
7. Nourishing your skin
Avocados contain a wide variety of vitamins we need to be healthy. The vitamin C and vitamin E found in the fruit not only help keep your skin healthy and glowing, it can also be helpful in treating skin conditions like psoriasis.
Avocado face masks have recently been all the rage, and you can find simple DIY recipes here. Most recipes call for products you probably already have in your home, like honey and oatmeal.
Unlike any other fruit, avocados are sugar-free. They've got lots of good fats and fiber, which helps you feel fuller faster. And you don't have to feel guilty for feeling full because there are only 230 calories in one fruit! They also have plenty of potassium (an electrolyte) so they make for a great post-workout snack.
9. Treating sunburns
We've talked about all the wonderful vitamins in avocados that nourish your skin, but did you know you can even use them to soothe your sunburn? Simply mash up the avocado and apply it to your skin. If you want, you can mix it with a bit of aloe vera or olive oil for extra moisture.
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.