The Potent Benefits of Avocado and Flaxseed Oils

The words “oil” and “fat,” in the context of both cooking and health, have always had an undeserved bad reputation.

This can be attributed to the fact that for the longest time, people were unaware of the important roles that many cooking and other edible oils play as part of a healthy and balanced diet. For example it’s only been recently discovered that several of the components, such as fatty acids, that make up most healthy, edible fats and oils are actually needed by the body to fulfill several functions, such as the natural production of energy and maintaining the optimal absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins. [1]

Experts, however, say that not all oils are equally nutritious -- some are actually healthier than others. Some, such as unsaturated and saturated fats, are considered healthy when consumed in moderate amounts, whereas trans fats are not.

So, what makes certain types of fat healthy? According to experts, it all lies in their respective structures.

Fast facts on healthy fats

There are two basic types of healthy dietary fats, according to experts: Saturated and unsaturated.

Saturated fats, as their name implies, are fats whose molecules are “packed,” due to the presence of high levels of hydrogen. This high concentration of hydrogen molecules ensures that the fat typically remains solid, even at room temperature.

Saturated fat can be found in animal products such as butter, ghee, cheese and meat, as well as tropical oils, like coconut oil. [2]

Despite incurring quite a bad rap among nutritionists a few decades back, saturated fats have since been proven to be not as unhealthy as previously assumed, with studies even noting that several saturated fatty acids, when consumed in moderation, may in fact be beneficial to one’s overall health.

Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are fats that are loose in structure and tend to remain in liquid form at room temperature.

Unsaturated fats come in two forms: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated fats are found in plant-based foods, such as nuts, avocados and vegetable oils. This is in stark contrast to polyunsaturated fats, which can be found in animal products such as fatty fish, as well as plant-derived food items such as nuts and seeds. [3]

According to experts, adding monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as moderate amounts of saturated fats to one’s diet can greatly benefit one's health.

Which oils should you use?

There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing which oils and fats to include in your diet, aside from choosing the ones that best fit the dishes you plan on cooking.

Want something to cook your grandmother’s beloved roast chicken recipe with? Get some avocado oil! Planning to cook vegetable stir-fry? Use organic extra virgin coconut oil. Want to prepare something Italian for dinner? Whip up a quick pesto sauce using extra virgin olive oil! Want a more healthful and creamy smoothie? Add a teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil to your favorite fruit mix!

It’s important to use the appropriate oils when cooking, especially since different oils have different smoke points, or the temperature at which an oil starts to burn and break down -- a process that actually releases free radicals into the oil. [4]

According to experts, this means that when you cook with an oil that's been heated well past its smoke point, you’re actually doing much more than just imparting a nasty, burnt flavor to your dishes: You’re adding dangerous and harmful substances into your meals.

To make things easier, a good rule of thumb when it comes to oils is that the more refined it is, the higher its smoke point will be. This is because the refining process removes impurities that can cause the oil to smoke. In contrast, unrefined oils will have much lower smoke points, as they still have impurities that can affect their reactions to high temperatures.

The drawback, however, is that the refining process removes not just impurities, but also several important nutrients. The refining process introduces chemicals such as bleaching agents into the oil as well. It’s a good thing then that several oils still have relatively high smoke points, even in their unrefined state, such as organic coconut and organic peanut oils. These are the oils you can use for recipes that call for extended cooking periods, or high temperatures.

Some oils are best suited for light or even minimal cooking, such as extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil.

Two oils you need to add to your kitchen stocks though are organic avocado oil and organic flaxseed oil.

Here’s why:

Fascinating organic flaxseed oil

Flaxseed oil, also known as linseed oil, is extracted from ground and pressed flax seeds.

Flaxseed oil is considered to be one of the best edible plant-based oils on the market, as it possesses abilities that can help support one’s healthy immune system. [5]

In addition to its immune-supporting properties, flaxseed oil is known to support optimal cardiovascular and cognitive function, as well as support healthy digestion and sensible weight management goals when accompanied by a healthy diet and proper exercise routine.

An extremely potent oil, flaxseed oil has also been linked to promoting healthy, glowing skin, as well as maintaining optimal joint and tendon health.

Organic flaxseed oil, according to studies, also contains health-promoting nutrients that can support one’s vitality and energy, thus making it a perfect oil for those who live active lifestyles.

Based on multiple studies, flaxseed oil’s health-supporting properties** stem from its incredibly high alpha-linolenic acid content, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acids found in plants.

Avocado oil: An amazing organic oil

Extracted from the pulp of the avocado fruit, this oil is known for containing high levels of oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid that, coincidentally, is also the main component of olive oil, and is believed to be partly responsible for its numerous health benefits**.

Avocado oil is considered one of the world's healthiest and most versatile plant-based oils. In fact, according to several studies, this unique, nutrient-rich oil can provide a wide variety of health benefits to the body, most of which are due to its high antioxidant and healthy fat content.

As pointed out in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, avocado oil was found to support good cardiovascular health by maintaining optimal levels of high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol, in the blood that are already within the normal range, as well as maintaining already normal blood pressure levels. [6] [7] [8]

Aside from its heart-supporting properties, several studies have noted avocado oil’s other healthful properties, including its ability to support good eye health, as well as fight oxidative damage.

However, where avocado oil really shines may be its ability to maintain optimal absorption of certain nutrients. Some carotenoids and fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K, require fat to be properly absorbed and transported by your digestive system. According to studies, avocado oil contains the right kind of healthy fats that can help optimize the body's nutrient absorption of certain nutrients.

How to incorporate healthy oils into your routine

Adding healthy, organic oils to your daily routine isn’t at all complicated. These healthy oils can just be added directly into existing recipes as a substitute for standard cooking oils.

An extremely versatile oil, flaxseed oil can be incorporated into many recipes: Want a nutritious and filling breakfast? Just stir about a tablespoon or so of flaxseed oil into your favorite scrambled eggs just before serving! Want to prepare a light, healthy and refreshing lunch? Use flaxseed oil such as Health Ranger Select Organic Virgin Flaxseed Oil, as part of your favorite vinaigrettes and dressings.

Keep in mind however that flaxseed oil does not possess a high smoke point and cannot be used for actual cooking since it degrades and releases harmful compounds when exposed to high heat for long periods of time.

Avocado oil -- especially the expeller-pressed and cold-pressed varieties -- is known for its relatively high smoke point. This means that you can easily swap out your standard cooking oil with this much-healthier option when you’re baking for extended periods of time.

Naturally rich and mildly flavored, you can use avocado oil such as Health Ranger Select Organic Avocado Oil, in other no-cook recipes as well: You can use it as a base for dressings, as well as spreads and dips such as mayonnaise and hummus; you can also add it to cold soups such as gazpachos, or as part of a basting liquid and marinade for barbecued meats and grilled vegetables.

Here are some recipes that use flaxseed oil and avocado oil that you can try:

Recipe: Organic Avocado Hummus

If you’re looking for the perfect dip for your favorite flatbreads, veggie sticks or baked chips, this tasty, rich and healthy twist on the classic Mediterranean dip is well worth a try.

Adapted from a recipe by Gimme Some Oven, we decided to add fresh avocados to the dish, making it even more silky and flavorful.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pre-cooked, organic chickpeas
  • 2 ripe organic avocados, cored and peeled
  • ⅓ cup tahini or sesame seeds, blended into a paste with salt and oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons Health Ranger Select Organic Avocado Oil, plus more for serving
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Himalayan salt, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Red pepper flakes, for garnish
  • Sliced organic vegetables (carrots, jicamas, cucumbers, celery)

Directions:

  1. Combine chickpeas, avocados, tahini, lime juice, garlic, avocado oil and cumin in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth or until there are no visible avocado chunks.
  2. Taste and check seasoning. Add more salt, if necessary.
  3. Pour mixture into a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro and red pepper flakes. Drizzle with more avocado oil if so desired.
  4. Serve as part of a vegetable platter with sliced vegetables such as carrots, jicamas, cucumbers and celery sticks.

Recipe: Berry and Flax Smoothie

When it comes to recipes for the busy working person, no other recipe comes close to smoothies, such as this one we adapted from Eating Well. Not only can you whip up most smoothies in less than 5 minutes, they’re also incredibly portable, making them the perfect meal for those who want complete and balanced nutrition even when they’re on the go.

A potent blend of organic berries, spinach and flaxseed oil, this smoothie packs a powerful antioxidant-powered one-two punch that’s hard to beat.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Put the frozen berries, spinach, prepared coconut milk and flaxseed oil in a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides and stir as needed.
  3. Once the mixture is smooth and creamy, pour into glass and top with organic hemp seeds.
  4. Serve and enjoy.

Now is your chance to stock up on these healthy oils. For a limited time only, the Health Ranger Store is offering an extra FREE bottle of Health Ranger Select Organic Flaxseed Oil or Health Ranger Select Organic Avocado Oil for every purchase of two bottles of the same oil.

Do you know any other organic, plant-based oils that can help maintain optimal wellness and overall health? Let us know in the comments below!

Share this article with your friends and tell us about your experience with these unique, healthful oils and how they have enriched your overall wellness!

**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose any diseases.

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