White, creamy and very very yummy — open a fridge in any household and there has to be a jar of mayonnaise. It is one of the most misunderstood food items around, with the image of it being a killer food persisting in most minds. In this article, take a look at some mayonnaise benefits and its uses.
Benefits of Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise has a high Vitamin E content. This member of the vitamin family has many benefits, such as helping the heart and lung function properly, as well as aiding in blood circulation. Recently, mayonnaise has been recognized as a valuable agent against the occurrence of strokes in postmenopausal women, due to the presence of Vitamin E in it. Mayonnaise has moderate levels of other vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, phosphorus, Vitamin K, and calcium.
Mayonnaise isn’t the horrific bad guy against good health, like it has been portrayed in the recent times. There are pros and cons to consuming all food items and the high calorific value of mayonnaise is just one con in this condiment’s nutritional content.
Yes, mayonnaise is fatty but it is made up of vegetable oils like canola and soybean and is free of any trans fats. Canola and soybean oils are sources of omega-3 fatty acids. So eating mayonnaise is actually healthier for your heart. And the presence of such omega-3 fatty acids in food, reduces the chance of heart attacks.
Uses of Mayonnaise
Along with its respective benefits, having a bottle of mayonnaise around the house can be a lot more advantageous than you think. Mayonnaise is a very versatile item, as proved by the following uses:
I. The most well-known use of mayonnaise is as a culinary embellishment in food. Mayonnaise is so much more than just a dipping or spreading sauce. Its rich, thick and distinct flavor compliments the food item’s taste yet, adds a subtle hint of its own taste. Food uses include:
- Served as a dip with french fries, hard-boiled eggs or onion rings.
- Used as a spread in deli sandwiches, burgers, wraps, hotdogs, subs, etc.
- Used as a mixing ingredient to thicken and add taste to salads, such as tuna, chicken and egg.
- Used to make tartar sauce, thousand island dressing, Russian salad dressing and ranch dressing.
- Can be added to other sauces and condiments as a base thickening ingredient, such as to ketchup and hot spicy sauce, mustard and brown sugar or just plain ketchup.
II. This use is bound to be a shocker. Did you know you can use mayonnaise as a beauty product? For the hair and the face? Don’t worry, you will not smell like a tempting sandwich! Mayonnaise is a highly versatile and unique beauty aid. Some uses are:
- As a hair conditioner: After applying and rinsing off regular shampoo, use a tablespoon of mayo in your hair. Massage it in deep, from the scalp to the tip of each hair strands. Leave it on for 1 hour and then rinse it off. Wash your hair again with shampoo, to get rid of any odor. Mayonnaise can turn your hair silkier and softer, with a sheen to it.
- As a treatment to sunburn: For those painful, sunburnt skin patches, spread some mayo on the affected area, for a cool and soothing effect, that moisturizes your skin.
- As a dead skin remover: Dry and flaky skin at the elbows and feet can be banished with some mayonnaise. Rub some mayo over a rough patch of skin, leave it to soak in for 5-10 minutes and then wipe with a damp cloth.
- As a facial product: Oh my! How your face glows! Which skin product are you using? L’Oreal, Dove? Nope, just good old mayo from my fridge! This is not a joke, you can use mayonnaise as a cleansing product for your face. Apply some over your face, spread it uniformly and leave it on for 20 minutes. Then wipe off and rinse, to feel smooth and soft on your face.
- As a nail strengthener: For cute cuticles and preventing cracked or bruised fingernails, dip them into some mayonnaise for a little while, then rinse.
- As a head lice treatment: Lice are pests, any treatment that can get rid of the little itchy buggers is a help. Mayonnaise being oily and thick, drowns moving lice. Apply mayo on the hair, coat it well and then cover it with a shower cap or plastic wrap. Keep this mixture on for 8 hours, then take a lot of shampoo showers to get the dead lice and mayo out. Unfortunately mayo does nothing for lice eggs but applying vinegar on the scalp should help.
III. Around the house, mayonnaise is handy for those oft-forgotten but small household tasks like:
- Getting rid of tar and grease patches on a car or bike.
- Removing the gluey residue of bumper stickers from cars.
- Cleaning the leaves of house plant, to make them all glossy and shiny.
- Cleaning the ivory keys on a piano.
- Cleaning crayon marks and water rings from furniture.
- To get rid of gum from hair and remove rings stuck on fingers.
In most of the above uses, real or whole mayonnaise should be used. The low or reduced fat versions are simply not oily enough. For weight-watchers and dieters, mayonnaise can be a mortal enemy. And those allergic to egg, stay away from mayo! But vegetarian versions of mayo as well as low or reduced fat versions can be substituted and used. The bottom line is that as long as your diet is balanced, eating mayonnaise in moderation with salads or as a dip can do you no harm.