Sunflowers are native to various regions in the Americas. Sunflower oil, widely used as a cooking oil, is one of the best things the flower can provide. The oil extract is non-volatile, and it has been used for both cosmetic and culinary purposes for many years. This article will teach you everything you need to know about the different health benefits of sunflowers and their oil.
What is Sunflower Oil?
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Sunflower oil is a non-volatile oil easy obtained from the eponymous plant. Although most people know about sunflowers, many don’t immediately associate them with a health vegetable oil. That’s right, sunflower oil is a great substitute for less healthy cooking oils at the market. The oil is also useful for cosmetic applications. Today, the biggest producers of sunflower oil are Argentina, Ukraine and Russia.
One of the main reasons why sunflower oil is becoming more and more popular is its amazing fatty acid content. These fatty acids include linoleic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid and palmitic acid, and the combination of these is vastly important for maintaining various health elements. Sunflower oil, it can be said, helps keep balance.
Moreover, some of the fatty acids, as well as other organic compounds and vitamin E found in the plant, act as antioxidants. This means they can help ease a range of conditions. Sunflower oil also has more polyunsaturated fat than some alternative options. Touted as a perfectly balanced oil, sunflower oil can reduce irritation, redness, scarring, eczema and acne. We’ll dive further into that below!
Nutritional Value of Sunflower Oil
100 grams of sunflower oil may contain the following nutrients:
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total fat||100 grams||153%|
|Monounsaturated fat||46 grams||–|
|Polyunsaturated fat||36 grams||–|
|Saturated fat||13 grams||–|
|Total carbohydrates||0 gram||0%|
|Dietary fiber||0 gram||0%|
Sunflowers: Oils and Seeds
There are two types of sunflower seeds: confectionary sunflower seeds and non-oil sunflower seeds. Confectionary sunflower seeds are the edible ones, and they are what is used to extract the oil. Non-oil sunflower seeds are the ones that are used to feed animals. They are not appropriate for human consumption.
Cold-pressed sunflower oil has an amber color and a mild, pleasant taste. Refined oil is pale yellow in color. Due to its high polyunsaturated fat content, sunflower oil is frequently preferred over other oils such as olive, corn, safflower and canola oil.
Health Benefits of Sunflower Oil
Here are some of the best health benefits of sunflower oil:
- Helps prevent infections: sunflower oil is beneficial for infants due to its ability to protect them against harmful infections, especially when they are born premature and are more prone to infections.
- Helps protect body: sunflower oil has an amazing effect on the immune system, increasing the body’s ability to resist infection.
- Helps reduce inflammation: sunflower oil is essential in reducing the severity of asthma. This is due to its vitamin content and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Prevents cancer: the antioxidant properties of sunflower oil help avert the onset of cancer. Furthermore, the vitamin E in it helps eliminate free radicals before they mutating healthy cells.
- Helps boost energy: the fatty acid in sunflower oil gives the body an energy boost.
- Improves immunity: the vitamin E content of the oil helps improve the immune system.
- Boosts heart health: consuming sunflower oil in moderation may help boost heart health, thus preventing atherosclerosis and other conditions.
Sunflowers aren’t just beautiful flowers we see in gardens. The oil they produce is also astounding and definitely something to look out for.