Avocados (Persea americana) are also referred to as “alligator pears” due to their pear shape and bumpy skin texture. The trees are native to Mexico, South America and Central America and produce a green-skinned fruit that ripens after harvesting. Although avocados have a significantly higher fat content than most other fruits, it consists mainly of monounsaturated fat, which is considered to be a healthy component of the daily diet. Avocados also have 60% more potassium than bananas and are rich in vitamins C, E and K, as well as B vitamins. High avocado consumption may have health benefits by lowering blood cholesterol levels. Avocado oil extract is a common ingredient found in skin care products, as it is thought to stimulate the production of collagen. As well, its vitamin C content may further encourage collagen formation. Collagen is a protein that is an important structural component of connective tissues, such as skin, nail, joints, and bones. The inner layer of the skin (dermis) contains substantial amounts of collagen fibers that provide structure and volume to the skin. Other skin benefits include improving blemishes, anti-aging and sun damage repair due to sterolins present in avocados. Sterolins have been reported to enhance the body’s immune function, resulting in improved wound healing and scar repair. As well, the vitamin E content in avocados may have antioxidant effects that assist in eliminating free radicals and slowing the signs of skin aging. Furthermore, avocado oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which may offer protection from UV rays, thereby lowering the risk of skin cancer.

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