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Ingredient of the week: Avocado oil

Food By Wambui Kuria

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Avocados contain about 30-40 per cent oil in them, making them a healthy source of natural oil. Avocado oil is pressed from the avocado flesh and is unrefined, making it the highest quality extra virgin oil you can buy. It should be green, thick and heavy. It barely has a smell but produces a faint and distant fresh fruity aroma when heated.  

I use it for cooking and also as a dressing, drizzled over a salad or to make oil-based salad dressing (depending on my taste bud craving at the time).

Avocado oil, just like the fruit, has important anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that refined oils lack. One of the reasons it is considered unrefined is because it’s not altered by temperature or treated with chemicals.

High in Vitamin E, avocado oil enhances the absorption of carotenoids and other nutrients and is high in monounsaturated fats. It reduces cholesterol and improves heart health and may reduce symptoms of arthritis. It helps prevent gum disease and is beneficial for the eyes because it is high in lutein. It also improves skin and enhances wound healing. 

Avocado oil can be used as a hair and body oil and is produced in Kenya. It is available in health shops and with online vendors at Sh500 for a for 100mls.

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