Avocado's many health benefits

Avocados are packed with 25 essential nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, E and K, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium and phosphorus, which literally make them a nutritional powerhouse.

They also contain fibre, protein and phytochemicals like beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein, known to protect the body against a number of ailments.

- Avocados are rich in vitamin B6 and folic acid, known to regulate homocysteine levels, which if too high, can lead to heart disease. Vitamin E, glutathione, and monounsaturated fat present in avocados also ensure that your heart stays healthy.

- Avocados contain a compound called beta-sitosterol, which can lower blood cholesterol levels.

- The potassium present in avocados keeps blood pressure levels in check.

- Protect your eyes with avocados, which contain carotenoid lutein, known to fight against age-related macular degeneration and cataract.

- Want to put on some weight? Avocados are high in healthy calories, making them an ideal 'weight-gain food.'

- Since avocados have high levels of folate, studies say they decrease the chances of strokes.

- Battling dry skin? Avocado juice is perfect for those who want to get rid of dull, dry skin. Alternatively, if you don't want to drink the juice, you could apply avocado oil on your skin. The oil is absorbable, which makes it easy to penetrate into your skin, making it soft and well-nourished.

- Make a simple face mask at home using avocado, honey and yogurt. Make a thick mixture by mixing all three ingredients and apply liberally on your face. This is known to remove dead skin cells and give your skin a glow.

- Avocados also help bring the shine back in your hair. Peel a medium-sized avocado and mash it well till it becomes a smooth paste. Add the yolk of one egg and half a teaspoon of olive oil. Mix well till it reaches a fine consistency and apply it to your hair. Leave if for half an hour and wash it off.

- While cucumbers and tea bags are known to help treat puffy eyes, avocados can also work wonders. Place avocado slices under your eyes to remove undereye bags.

- Use the peel of an avocado as a moisturiser. Rub it on your face and let the oil remain for a few minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.

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