Health Benefits of Safflower Oil
Like many plant oils, safflower oil is nutrient-rich, healthy oil that is rapidly growing in popularity. Made from the safflower plant, safflower has a rich history of use and it’s versatility make it one of the most widely used plant oils available to most humans.
Safflower is a thistle-like annual plant primarily grown in the United States, Mexico, and India. Safflower is one of the oldest crops grown by humans and the oil pressed from safflower seeds is both highly nutritional and loaded with health benefits.
Because of this, Safflower Oil is highly sought after and it is a viable alternative to traditional cooking oils like coconut oil or olive oil. Let’s take a closer look into the benefits of safflower oil:
The safflower plant is very similar to the sunflower plant and it resembles a thistle that is yellowish-orange. The safflower seeds are extracted and pressed into oil because of the naturally bitter taste of safflower seeds.
Once safflower seeds are pressed into oil, the oil is either sent to be used in beauty products or as cooking oil. There are two types of cooking oils for safflower oil, which include:
Polyunsaturated safflower oil: Polyunsaturated oil has a very high concentration of linoleic acid and is commonly used as cold oil, which mostly means it is mixed in salad dressing. Polyunsaturated safflower oil cannot be used as cooking oil because the oil will instantly become rancid.
Monounsaturated Safflower Oil: Monounsaturated safflower oil is cooking oil that can be used in a deep fryer or to sauté vegetables. This oil has a long shelf like unlike its’ counterpart and is the more versatile of the two types of safflower oil.
Benefits of Safflower Oil
There’s a common debate about what type of plant oil is best to use. Safflower oil and its’ cousin sunflower oil have a higher amount of vitamin E than say olive oil or canola oil – but both oils lack Vitamin K. However, safflower oil has the highest concentration of omega-3 and omega-6 compared to any other oil.
The high nutritional content of safflower oil provides the body with many benefits. While these benefits are only currently being tested right now, there is enough data to make the assumption the claims are true.
There are many reported benefits of using safflower oil. Some of ways safflower oil can help you include:
As we mentioned before, safflower oil contains oleic acid, which has scalp and hair benefits. This micronutrient helps to stimulate hair growth and reduces inflammation in the scalp. It also helps to keep hair shiny and vibrant, which is why oleic acid is used in cosmetic applications. When added to the scalp, safflower oil has been shown to help moisturize and nourish the scalp, helping hair grow faster and healthier. In addition, safflower oil also helps shine and soften hair as well.
Although studies are slightly inconclusive, there is some evidence that safflower oil may help influence weight loss. Safflower oil contains several micronutrients that help to stimulate the body’s metabolism to influence the body to burn fat instead of storing it. Some evidence suggests safflower oil may help slightly increase lean muscle mass as well, which will also help with weight loss. Safflower oils contains omega-6 fatty acids that help fight obesity. Omega-6 fatty acids also help balance blood pressure, support immune system response, and control muscle contractions.
Anti Aging Benefits
Linoleic acid found in safflower oil combines with sebum to unclog pores and reduce blackheads. It also helps to regenerate new skin cells, which may help clear up your skin and leave you with youthful, glowing skin once more. If applied to the skin, safflower oil also helps to smooth, moisturize, and prevent free radical damage. This is why many of the beauty products found on story shelves contain safflower oil extract due to its’ healing and protective qualities.
Safflower oil may be especially useful for women going through menstruation because linoleic acid helps regulate prostaglandins in the body, which cause hormonal fluctuations during menstruation. It is said that safflower oil may help reduce the severity of PMS and the side effects that go with it.
Finally, studies have shown that safflower oil can help to increase HDL cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol and lower total cholesterol. The omega 6 fatty acids found in safflower oil are responsible for this and may significantly reduce cholesterol levels within a few days of use. Preliminary tests indicate safflower oil can help prevent coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and it can eliminate high blood pressure and cholesterol problems. Safflower oil also a high amount of Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radical damage and supports blood circulation and the immune system.
Nutritional Content of Safflower Oil
The average serving of safflower oil has roughly 120 calories, all of which come from fat. Nearly all of the fat in safflower oil is polyunsaturated fat, which is one of the two “good fats.” Since polyunsaturated fats do not thicken when chilled, safflower oil can be used to make salad dressings or other chilled condiments.
In addition to polyunsaturated fats, safflower oil is rich in vitamin E. In just one tablespoon of safflower oil, there is 4.6mg of vitamin E, which is about 30% of the daily recommended value.
Safflower oil also contains omega-6 fatty acids, which beneficial to help the brain and heart function properly. There is also oleic acid and linoleic acid, which are micronutrients beneficial for the skin and hair.
Side Effects of Safflower Oil
There is really only one concern with safflower oil and that is that safflower oil may slow blood clotting by thinning the blood. Therefore, if you are a person who has issues with blood clotting or are planning on going under the knife for any reason, then safflower oil is not recommended.
In addition, pregnant or nursing mothers should also avoid using safflower oil as a dietary supplement, although it can be used normally through cooking.
Final Thoughts On Safflower Oil
Safflower oil is one of the most beneficial oils you can find on the market. Safflower oil is incredible versatile and it’s health benefits are rivaled by none.
Safflower oil has a rich nutritional value and is loaded with skin, heart, and other health benefits. Safflower oil may be a great alternative to traditional oils like olive oil and coconut oil and it’s cheap and readily available. If you’ve been looking for something new to try, then give safflower oil a shot.