What’s not to love about avocados? Not only are they incredibly creamy and delicious, they have a whole host of health benefits too. Studies show that avocado eaters tend to have healthier diets than those who don’t eat them. They eat more fruit, vegetables, good fats and dietary fibre. They also get more nutrients like 23% more vitamin E, 13% more magnesium, 16% more potassium and 48% more vitamin K. Avocado eaters also tend to eat less added sugar.
But avocados aren’t just great for eating; they can be used in many other ways too. We share our top five ways for using them.
ALSO SEE: Chilled Avocado And Cucumber Soup Recipe
We cannot begin this list without guacamole. It’s one of the best snacks to have during lockdown, and since avocados are now in season, the supply should be plentiful.
Studies prove that avocados can help to keep you satisfied which in turn cuts down on unnecessary snacking. Alarmingly, more than half of women and one third of men in South Africa are overweight or obese. But, including rich and creamy avocados in your diet may help lower this risk.
When comparing the risk of becoming overweight or obese in those who ate avocados compared to non-avocado eaters, researchers showed that avocado eaters with a normal weight gained significantly less weight compared to those who did not consume avocados.
Take a look at these three ways with guacamole shared by the South African Avocado Growers Association:
Guacamole 3 ways
Spicy corn, black bean & chipotle guacamole
• 3 large ripe avocados
• ½ red onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 jalapeño, deseeded and chopped (optional)
• 1 teaspoon chipotle paste (optional)
• ½ can sweet corn, drained
• ½ can black beans, drained and rinsed
• Juice and zest of 1 lime
• Pinch of salt and ground black pepper to taste
1. Peel and roughly chop the avocados. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
2. Serve immediately.
• 2 large ripe avocados
• 1 large ripe tomato, deseeded & diced
• ½ red onion, finely chopped
• 1 small red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
• 1 tablespoon coriander, chopped
• Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1. Peel and roughly chop the avocado. Mix with the remaining ingredients, serve with a big squeeze of lemon and season with salt and black pepper.
Pomegranate & lime guacamole
• 3 ripe avocados
• 2 limes, juice and zest
• ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and finely diced (optional)
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• ½ cup pomegranate seeds
1. Peel and roughly chop the avocado, mix with the remaining ingredients, reserving half the pomegranate seeds for garnish.
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2. A Moisturising Hair Mask
Dry, brittle and limp hair will be a thing of the past after using this simple leave-in hair mask.
In a medium bowl, beat one egg and then add a half cup of olive oil and a third a cup of yoghurt. Mash one avocado in a separate bowl, add to the yoghurt mixture and stir to combine; it’s okay if the mixture is chunky. Apply to dry hair and massage into roots. Leave on for 25 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner as usual.
3. An Exfoliating Face Mask
Extra time at home is perfect for getting your skin back on track and to take a break from make-up. And yes, avocados can work wonders for your skin! Use it as an exfoliating mask for dry skin: Mix together one avocado, one egg white, two tablespoons of oatmeal, and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Apply liberally to the face, leave on for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Do this twice a week for softer, supple skin.
4. A Healthy Frozen Treat
Have you heard of nice-cream, the healthy alternative to ice-cream made from blended up frozen bananas? Well this is a different take that provides the same creamy satisfaction. It’s the perfect frozen confection for those following special diets. Whether you’re following a paleo, vegan or gluten-free diet, avocado ice-cream is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Follow this video on how to make it:
SEE ALSO: Easy Avocado Chocolate Mousse Recipe
5. A Treatment For The Driest Of Hands
With all the hand washing we’re currently doing, it’s safe to say that our hands are probably looking as dry as the Kalahari desert.
Try this ultra-moisturising avocado formula to soften and rejuvenate your hands and nails. Mash a quarter of an avocado in a small bowl. Add 1 egg white, 2 tablespoons oatmeal, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice and stir to combine. Apply the mixture to your hands and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.
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By Features Writer Andrea Cresswell
Person of faith. Features writer. Lover of baked goods (Mary Berry is one of her heroes). A curator of really great Pinterest boards. She also loves to stay up to date with the latest health trends. If she was lost you’d probably find her perusing the cookbook aisles of Exclusive Books, sipping on a cortado.