Sunflower Oil – sources, health benefits, nutrients, uses and constituents at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 by

Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil extracted from the seeds of sunflowers (Helianthus). This type of vegetable oil is commonly used in culinary and cosmetic applications, particularly as a frying oil due to its high smoke point. This has made it a good substitute for other vegetable oils like canola oil, olive oil, and corn oil.

List of known nutrients

Sunflower oil contains:

  • Lecithin
  • Oleic acid
  • Omega-6 fatty acids, including linoleic acid
  • Palmitic acid
  • Stearic acid
  • Vitamin E

Of all vegetable oils, sunflower oil is the one with the highest concentration of vitamin E: a single-cup serving can provide 89.6 mg of vitamin E, or 598 percent of the recommended daily value. This essential vitamin has several health benefits that include strengthening the immune system and protecting the skin from the degrading effects of free radicals.

Additionally, sunflower oil contains no saturated fats but has over 80 percent of monounsaturated fats, the most of any food. The impressive amounts of fatty acids include linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid. These monounsaturated fats can nourish the body in a multitude of ways, just like vitamin E.

Medicinal uses for sunflower oil

Sunflower oil can be used to treat:

  • Acne
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Athlete’s Foot
  • Eczema
  • High Cholesterol
  • Immune System Deficiency

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, sunflower oil can decrease the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. The anti-inflammatory qualities of sunflower oil can be attributed to its beneficial fatty acids and vitamin content.

Sunflower oil in moderate amounts can regulate cholesterol in the body by maintaining the optimal ratio of high- and low-density lipoprotein levels. However, people who struggle with obesity are advised not to consume too much sunflower oil because of its high omega-6 fatty acid content. Taking in too much omega-6 fatty acids without balancing it with omega-3 fatty acids can be dangerous.

Body systems supported by sunflower oil

Consuming or topically applying sunflower oil can benefit:

  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Immune System
  • Nervous System
  • Skin

Sunflower oil is notable for its positive effects on the skin. The abundance of vitamin E means it encourages cell regeneration, which in turn results in better protection from the sun, faster would healing, and even scar reduction. Furthermore, sunflower oil is well known for its emollient qualities which makes it a highly effective moisturizing agent.

The immune system benefits greatly from the high vitamin E content, becoming stronger and more efficient in battling infections.

Ways to use sunflower oil

Sunflower oil has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor that allows it to pair well with almost any dish. It can be used in baking, grilling, frying, and frying. Exposure to high temperatures won’t deplete sunflower oil of its nutritional value. However, reusing sunflower oil too many times can bring about the formation of harmful trans fatty acids.

Where to learn more

Summary

The health benefits of sunflower oil come largely from its concentration of vitamin E and monounsaturated fats. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and boosts the immune system and skin, while monounsaturated fats can greatly reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol.

People with obesity or cholesterol issues should minimize their intake of sunflower oil, or avoid it altogether, due to its omega-6 fatty acid content.

Sources include:

EatThisMuch.com
Food.NDTV.com
OrganicFacts.net
StyleCraze.com
SimplySunflower.com

Comments

comments powered by Disqus