Avocado oil is the natural oil pressed from the pulp of an avocado.
Almost 70% of avocado oil consists of heart-healthy oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.
This fatty acid is also the main component of olive oil, and believed to be partly responsible for its health benefits.
Additionally, around 12% of avocado oil is saturated fat and about 13% is polyunsaturated fat.
While avocado oil has a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio (13:1), this shouldn't be of concern as the total amount of omega-6 is relatively low.
Avocado oil is a relatively good source of lutein, a carotenoid that's naturally found in your eyes.
It functions as an antioxidant that has benefits for eye health.
Eating plenty of lutein may reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common age-related eye diseases.
Your body doesn't produce lutein, so you must obtain it from your diet.
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 with carrots, romaine lettuce and spinach, increased the absorption of carotenoids.
The increase was substantial, or 4.3 to 17.4-fold, when compared to a salad without fat.
Arthritis is a disease that involves painful inflammation of the joints. It's very common and affects millions of people worldwide.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is associated with the breakdown of cartilage in joints.
Numerous studies have found that extracts from avocado and soybean oil, called avocado/soybean unsaponifiables, may reduce the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis.
The extract seems to be especially beneficial for people who have hip and knee osteoarthritis.
Extracts from avocado and soybean oil may not only be beneficial against arthritis.
Some evidence suggests that this combination may also help prevent periodontal disease, also called gum disease.
This inflammatory disease can include symptoms like red and bleeding gums, bad breath and the breakdown of bone and tissue around teeth.
In worst case scenarios, it can cause tooth loss.
According to a study in bone cells and periodontal tissue, avocado/soybean unsaponifiables may block a protein called IL1B.
This protein promotes inflammation and is the main driver of tissue destruction and bone loss in gum disease.
Antioxidants fight cellular damage caused by free radicals, which are waste products of metabolism.
High levels of them can lead to oxidative stress, which may contribute to diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
By giving electrons to free radicals, antioxidants can neutralize them, preventing them from causing harm.
Many types of free radicals exist, but oxygen-derived radicals, known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), are the most concerning.
Mitochondria, the cell organs that produce energy, are major sources of ROS.
According to one study in diabetic rats, avocado oil can protect against the harmful effects of free radicals by entering the mitochondria.
Once there, it's able to neutralize free radicals and prevent them from damaging this important cell organ.
Avocado oil can be used in many ways. It can be added cold to salads or smoothies, and is also great for cooking, grilling or baking.