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It’s no secret that the humble avocado is a healthy fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!) disguised as a creamy, tasty treat. But why are avocados so healthy, and what are some ways that it can benefit you?

Avocados are packed with about 20 vitamins and minerals. This includes potassium, fiber, Vitamins B, C, E and K; folate, and lutein. Although avocados are high in fat compared with other fruits, it’s mainly monounsaturated fat, which is a very heart healthy fat.

Heart healthy fats help lower your cholesterol levels and thus decrease your chances of heart disease. Still, the average avocado has about 250 calories so if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best to eat smaller portions of the fruit.

The Delicious Avocado

Avocados are found beyond guacamole. They’re in sushi, salads and that ubiquitous toast of course, but there are countless recipes that use avocados. Most people eat them raw, mixed in a dish but you can bake them, grill them, or even fry them. You can even drink them as a smoothie.

Vegan Substitute: Because of their creamy texture, avocados are used as alternative ingredients. For example butter, mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, and pudding in vegan recipes.

Avocado Toast: We can’t talk about avocados without mentioning this trendy snack. There are many different recipes out there, but we really liked these two in particular.

Stuffed Avocados: When you remove an avocado’s pit, it leaves a hole that’s practically begging to be filled with something else. Some people simply put in an egg and bake the whole thing, but you can stuff it with salad, diced chicken, etc. Get creative!

Avocado Smoothies: There are many versions of this drink, but the standard ingredients are avocados, ice, milk (or a non-dairy alternative), and a sweetening agent (sugar/honey/etc). Add a frozen ripe banana for a firmer, ice cream-like texture and/or spinach for a boost in protein and iron. We normally use the ever versatile NutriBullet blender for an easy, efficient and fast way to blend things up!

Baby’s First Food: Mashed, ripe avocados are a popular first food for babies. It’s not surprising since they’re creamy and have a mild taste. They also don’t need to be cooked, which is a nice bonus for exhausted parents.

Alternative Uses for Avocados

You don’t have to eat an avocado to benefit from its many vitamins. Avocados are often used in skin care and other beauty treatments. There are several beauty products out there with avocado or avocado oil as an ingredient—shampoo, lotion, hand soap, lip balm, face cream, etc.

You don’t need to purchase pricey products, you may simply use avocado and avocado oil to create your own DIY home treatment with just a few ingredients.

Hair Mask: Avocados are very creamy, which makes them an ideal natural moisturizer. Simply mash an avocado with a little olive oil or avocado oil, then apply to your hair. Wear a shower cap and leave on for at least 20 minutes, then shampoo and condition your hair as usual.

Face Mask: The vitamin E in the avocado helps dry skin. In fact, you can even use it to treat skin issues such as eczema or psoriasis. Just mash an avocado and apply to your face, or an affected area on your skin. Leave on for about 15 minutes then rinse off with water.

Puffy Eye Reliever: Forget putting cucumber slices over your tired, puffy eyes. Instead, apply avocado slices under each eye and lie down for about 20 minutes.

Bad Breath Remedy: As strange as it sounds, avocados can help remove bad breath. You can eat pieces of avocado, drink it as a smoothie, or consume as an ingredient in a dish.

There are many uses for avocados especially for beauty or dietary purposes. You don’t have to buy pricey products to follow a healthier life style.

Simply buy some avocados at the store and transform them to use in your daily routine!