As an incredible source of nutrition, avocado is loaded with heart healthy fats, fibre and potassium, and has been found to lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, reduce inflammation, improve your skin and protect your liver, amongst other things. One lesser- known fact, though, is that it isn’t just the avocado fruit that you can benefit from. In fact, other parts of the avocado plant are just as important for good health especially avocado leaves.
If you usually throw away your avocado leaves if you ever get a couple attached to your fruit, it’s time to reconsider. Avocado leaves contain a large quantity of vitamins and healthy acids, which can be used at home for natural health purposes.
What is avocado?
If you’ve somehow managed to avoid avocados so far in life, they’re most recognisable for their deep green skin. They’re similar in shape to pears but they don’t taste at all similar. Avocados have a large round seed in their centre, which you’ll need to remove before eating.
Avocados grow on avocado trees, which, like all trees, also consist of roots, branches and leaves. Avocado leaves usually grow separately from the fruit, although you can sometimes get a fruit with a couple of leaves attached to the top. When toasted, avocado leaves produce a hazelnut aroma and a mellow liquorice flavour.
So what specifically are the Benefits of avocado leaves
1. Aids in weight loss
One of the best benefits of avocado leaves is their ability to aid in weight loss. Avocado leaves contain limonene, a substance which acts as an appetite suppressant, filling you up and helping you to control your food intake and prevent unnecessary weight gain.
2. Decreases anxiety and insomnia
Experts think that avocado leaves are particularly effective at reducing anxiety and preventing insomnia, thanks to their effects on the receptors in the brain that produce serotonin. Serotonin plays an important role in regulating mood, controlling appetite, and helping you to get a good night’s sleep. Aside from serotonin, the limonene content of avocado leaves is also thought to reduce anxiety effectively.
3. Prevents and treats diarrhea
If you’d rather not take an over the counter medication, an avocado leaf tea is a good natural method of treating diarrhea. The limonene found in avocado leaves can maintain a healthy digestive balance and improve intestinal function. Avocado leaves can even protect against bacteria and viruses that can later cause diarrhea, preventing you from falling ill.
4. Acts as a detoxing agent
Avocado leaves contain a compound called flavanol, which helps purify the blood from any toxic substances, encouraging the body to remove them naturally when we go to the toilet. Avocado leaf tea is a particularly good detoxing agent when drunk on a daily basis, and can help your body to eliminate toxins at a faster rate.
5. Treats diabetes
Some studies show promise that the glycoside content of avocado leaves makes them effective in treating diabetes. Glycoside can replace the sugar that the body needs, helping to give you a fuller, satisfied feeling after eating. Try drinking avocado leaf tea rather than going for your usual sugary snack, and you’ll most likely find you’re no longer hungry.
6. Reduces cholesterol
Again, it’s the limonene compound in avocado that make it particularly useful in lowering cholesterol and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Experts say that limonene may lower your risk of heart disease by reducing certain risk factors aside from cholesterol, including blood sugar and triglyceride levels
7. Reduces itching and swelling.
Avocado leaves contain quercetin, which scientists think might help reduce inflammation. One study found that quercetin prevented both acute and chronic inflammation, as well as showing anti-arthritis properties. It’s thought that quercetin can minimize inflammatory substances, especially when applied topically to the skin. A tea of avocado leaves can also help to reduce skin itching caused by irritation, insect bites or an allergic reaction. This is due to the anti-allergic substances found in avocado leaves.
8. Improves skin health
Avocado leaves are a fantastic source of antioxidants, which can help to keep the skin clean, supple and healthy. In fact, antioxidants are some of the most important ingredients for skin health, which is why they’re listed as ingredients in so many skincare products.