Sometimes we get so used to doing things in a certain way that we forget that there might be alternatives we can pursue. This is particularly applicable to our usage of cooking oils. Most of the cooking in Indian households is done with mustard or coconut oil and ghee; while these do have their advantages, sometimes it is useful to look beyond customs and traditions to focus on something that adds a new dimension to your diet.
Sunflower oil is extracted from the seeds of the sunflower plant. Because the sunflower plant doesn’t grow naturally in India and is a native of the Americas, it has largely been ignored in this country. Despite that, it is hard to ignore its nutritious qualities as it is one of the healthiest edible oils in the market today.
High Quality Organic Sunflower Oil is well-known for its fatty acid content; these include oleic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid. Besides the fatty acid constituents, it harbours a rich source of poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats which makes it far healthier than any other vegetable oil.
All these constituents of sunflower oil make it a wonderful addition to your diet. To fully explore the richness of sunflower oil, let’s list out the numerous ways it can improve your health –
- Helps the Heart
Due to the presence of mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats in sunflower oil, it helps in reducing the overall cholesterol level in the body. Also, it is rich in phytochemicals like phenolic acid and choline which help to keep the heart in a healthy shape.
Although the linoleic acid present in sunflower oil is typically considered bad cholesterol, it is still required to maintain nutritional balance in the body. It is therefore advised to consume sunflower oil in moderation and not overdo it (even the healthiest food, if consumed in great amounts can be unhealthy).
- Fights Asthma
Regular consumption of sunflower oil has been shown to lessen the severity of asthma attacks and sometimes even reduce their frequency. The reason behind this is the potent anti-inflammatory properties of sunflower oil due to the presence of useful fatty acids and vitamins.
- Gives Relief to Arthritis Patients
Patients of arthritis suffer from severe stiffness and pain in their joints, the root of which is inflammation. Due to its anti-inflammatory powers, sunflower oil can reduce the pain and stiffness that arthritis patients experience on a daily basis.
The vitamin E found in sunflower oil contains a compound known as Tocopherol which is a powerful anti-oxidant. This compound helps in oxidizing the free radicals in the body before they can convert from healthy cells to malignant tumour cells.
- Protects Infants
Infants that are born pre-term with a low birth weight are susceptible to a wide range of infections due to their underdeveloped immune system which is incapable of fighting infections off on its own. Sunflower oil can protect infants in such cases, boosting their immunity and lending a helping hand in keeping infections at bay.
- Promotes Healthy Skin
As mentioned above, sunflower oil is rich in vitamin E. By neutralizing free radicals, vitamin E protects the skin from their degrading effects and helps in maintaining a healthy skin. Moreover, it can also shield your skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, reduce scarring and promote quicker healing of wounds.
- Gives an Energy Boost
As sunflower oil is rich in fats, it is also a great source of energy for the body. But unlike certain oils which contain fats that make you feel slow and sluggish (saturated fats), sunflower oil is rich in unsaturated fats which means that all you get is lots of energy without the sluggishness.
Sunflower oil is undoubtedly a great addition to the diet. It has myriad uses and advantages and can keep the body healthy and fit. As we warned earlier, a touch of moderation is necessary when consuming sunflower oil. If you stay within the moderate range, there will be no side-effects and all you will observe are the wonderful benefits of sunflower oil.
For more information about sunflower oil, click here.