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This month our Face and Figure series focuses on the creamy, delicious and nutrient dense Avocado. Evidence of the consumption of this special fruit, dates back 10,000 years and the domestication of the avocado by the Inca, Maya and Olmecs in Southern Mexico, goes back about 5,000 years. However, they really only started gaining popularity in the 1950’s.
Besides their pure yumminess, avocados are not only beneficial for nourishing our bodies from within, but should be part of an everyday, all over beauty regime as well, from top to toe, including our hair. They boast an impressive amount of benefits to the skin with their high percentage of healthy fats, potassium, lecithin, Vitamins C,E,K and B6, folate, phytochemicals, pantothenic acid, and and…… the list is long.
Avos are the richest known fruit in phytosterols, which means they are high in antioxidants. Phytochemicals are helpful for good vision and for the prevention of macular degeneration.
Vit K is essential for bone health as it helps with calcium absorption and is also thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Folate decreases the incidence of depression and is important for a healthy pregnancy. ( Is that why eating avos makes me feel happy?)
Fibre aids digestion and prevents constipation which in turn acts as natural detoxification. This has a knock on effect of lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke and hypertension.
Enough! Enough! If you are not convinced by the above well documented benefits of eating the humble avo, you never will be. Let’s move on to beauty now and see what we can do with fresh, mashed avocado pulp:
As a super deep cleanser, blend an egg yolk and mashed avo with enough milk to form a lotion. Smooth over your face then wipe off with a warm, clean cloth. Store any left overs in the fridge and use within two days.
Mix some mash with a little honey and yoghurt to a smooth paste and you have the perfect anti-aging face mask to liven up tired, dry or flaky skin while increasing your collagen production. This is also great for soothing itchy and inflamed skin.
Use your mashed avo mixed with honey and lemon juice to soothe and help heal sunburnt skin.
Mix it with some warm mayo or avocado oil and you will have a moisturizing hair mask for dry, damaged hair (just make sure it is smooth and lump free) cover with a shower cap and leave on clean hair for 20 -30mins, rinse thoroughly with warm water. Add a table spoon of cider vinegar to your rise water, this adjusts the PH and closes the hair shaft, giving you shiny, glossy locks.
The high natural nutritional content is also an excellent eye treatment. Instead of using the mash, a thin, crescent shaped slice of avo laid gently below the eye, will nourish the delicate skin while you lie down and chill out for 20-30 mins.
While you are doing one of the above treatments, pile the rest of your mash on toasted bread of your choice and enjoy a healthy snack, yum!
Thick, luscious avocado oil, which is readily available in you supermarket or health shop, is just as full of healthy, age defying nutrients and is:
Used in salad dressings, for roasting veges, for baking and of course for health and beauty products.
It is easily absorbed by the skin and not only moisturizes and nourishes the skin but encourages collagen synthesis as well.
It has a protective UV factor which helps to reduce the photo aging process and is an excellent anti-aging oil.
It relieves psoriasis, eczema, is helpful with acne problems and supports wound healing. It also softens rough, dry skin. It alleviates dry scalp and helps with dry, flakey skin on the scalp. It is one of the few oils that penetrates and strengthens the hair shaft.
Rest assured that in whatever form you use avocados, inside or out, you are doing your body and taste buds a big flavour. Here’s to our daily dose of avocados!