Fans of the tasty green fruit are always banging on about their health benefits, but what else can you do with avocados?

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1. Face mask

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iStockphoto

Avocados are renowned for their skin-healing properties, so if you’re looking for a chemical-free, homemade mask there’s no better ingredient. Combined with oatmeal it can be a fantastic exfoliator to help soften dry skin. Simply mix together one avocado, the white of an egg and two tablespoons of cooked oatmeal. Apply it to your face, lie back and relax for 15 minutes before washing off.

 

2. Banish eye bags

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iStockphoto

Many of us suffer from puffy, tired eyes. Finding the right under-eye cream can take a lot of trial and error, so why not use try this Aztec magical remedy instead? All you have to do is peel an avocado, remove the stone and slice one of the halves into quarter-inch crescents. Lie down with a few of the slices under each eye for 20 minutes and your eye bags will be gone!

 

3. Hair mask

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iStockphoto

Avocados don’t only make excellent beauty products for your face, they work well on hair too. For glossy, soft locks mash an avocado (or a half if you have short hair) and mix it with an egg yolk and half a teaspoon of olive oil. Massage into your hair and leave for 30-60 minutes before rinsing off and using shampoo and conditioner as usual.

 

4. Baby food

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iStockphoto

Avocados make excellent food for babies aged over 4 months, as a way of introducing them to solids. Their mild flavour is easy to handle and their velvety texture means babies can mash the food easily between their gums. They also contain Omega-3, excellent for brain development. For an easy recipe, click here.

 

5. Healthy dip

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iStockphoto

Avocados aren’t low in fat, however they contain healthy monosaturated fats, which can help trigger a hormone in the body called oleoylethanolamide, which can help curb hunger. This means out of all the dips you can have, guacamole is one of the best. It’s also packed full of nutrient-rich foods such as tomotoes, raw garlic, lime juice and onions. Get a recipe here. You can subsititue it for mayonnaise in a sandwich or use vegetables instead of tortilla for dipping if you want to make healthy changes to your diet.

 

6. Sleep aid

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iStockphoto

Having trouble nodding off at night? According to the NHS, a third of people in the UK suffer from some form of insomnia. Having a few slices of avocado at night can help you sleep better. The dense food will stop your tummy rumbling, but that’s not all. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can stop people getting a restful sleep, but eating some avocado can regulate this. They’re also high in magnesium, a powerful relaxation mineral which will help you catch your 40 winks.

 

7. Cooking oil

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These days avocado oil is available in most supermarkets and makes a great substitute for vegetable or sunflower oils. It has the highest smoke point of any oil, meaning it’s perfect for grilling or frying at high heat. Not only that, the monosaturated fats it contains are excellent for promoting heart health. The oil is high in lutein, an antioxidant which improves eye health. It also tastes great drizzled on salads or served as a dip with crusty bread.

 

8. Brownie ingredient

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iStockphoto

Believe it or not, avocados are a great ingredient to use in baking! The fruit tastes so mild, all it will add is a creamy texture. You use avocado in place of butter, meaning these brownies are a delicious and guilt-free treat, perfect for people with lactose intolerance. They’re also gluten-free too, so can be eaten by people with conditions like Coeliac disease. Here’s a recipe so you can make your own!

 

9. Delicious smoothies

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iStockphoto

Like in the brownie recipe, avocados will add a creamy texture to smoothies without changing the taste. You can even substitute them for milk if you’re lactose intolerant. They can bring substance to a smoothie, making them a good meal replacement or breakfast choice, and will add fibre and essential vitamins into your daily diet. Any combination works and we’d recommend this creamy, tropical-tasting coconut avocado smoothie. What a way to get your five-a-day!

 

Can you think of any other uses for avocados?