Sunflower oil is a storehouse of essential nutrients, and it is considered one of the healthiest oils available today. But did you know that sunflower oil can do much more than cooking? The health benefits of sunflower oil will surprise you in more ways than one.
What is Sunflower Oil?
Sunflower oil is a type of cooking oil made from sunflower seeds. It has a mild, nutty flavour and can be used in place of other oils in many recipes. It also contains vitamin E, which helps keep your skin healthy and strong. Sunflower oil can be used for sautéing, frying, and baking.
Sunflower oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy fats because they lower bad cholesterol levels in your blood. However, it should not be used for cooking at high temperatures because the high level of polyunsaturated fats will break down at high temperatures.
Different Types of Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is one of the most popular cooking oils in the world. It's healthy, delicious, and widely available—but did you know there are actually several different types of sunflower oil?
Here's a little guide to help you navigate the world of sunflower oil.
#1: Mid-Oleic Sunflower Oil
Mid-oleic sunflower oil, which contains a balance of oleic and linoleic acid, is a healthy alternative to other cooking oils.
This variety of sunflower oil is considered standard, making it one of the most common varieties available in the world. It provides health benefits at a reasonable price point and works well with other seed oils.
Mid-oleic sunflower oil is composed of 65% oleic acid, 25% linoleic acid, and approximately 10% saturated fats. This type of oil is used by snack manufacturers like those of potato chips and crisps because it is affordable and yet will not go bad in storage without hydrogenation.
#2: High-Oleic Sunflower Oil
High-oleic sunflower oil is an excellent solution for customers who want trans-free oil. High oleic sunflower oil is usually defined as having at least 80% oleic acid. The oil has a very neutral taste and provides excellent stability without hydrogenation.
#3: Linoleic Sunflower Oil
Linoleic sunflower oil is the original sunflower oil and was the most common type of sunflower oil before oleic varieties were developed.
This sunflower oil is mostly monounsaturated fats—oleic acid at 21%—and has a low saturated fat level of 11%. It is a healthy and delicious choice for your vegetable oil needs.
Because of the polyunsaturated fats in linoleic sunflower oil, it can become oxidized during commercial usage. This means that it can become rancid—mainly when it is used for frying. To make the oil less susceptible to oxidation, manufacturers can hydrogenate it, which makes the oil more stable.
Linoleic sunflower oil is used in margarine, shortening, and salad oils. It is available as a liquid salad oil and can be used for making dressings, frying, and baking at home.
Sunflower Oil Extraction
Sunflower oil is a staple of most kitchens, but did you know that it can also be extracted? Let's discuss what goes into extracting sunflower oil and how it's done.
#1: Cold pressed
Cold-pressed sunflower oil is the purest form of any seed-extracted oil. Cold-pressing is a process by which the seeds are broken out of their hard shells and then slightly crushed. The resulting tear-shaped kernels are run between piston-shaped cylinders that roll the seeds between them and extract the oil.
#2: Warm pressed
To extract more oil from sunflower seeds, the warm press works better than the cold press. The seeds are warmed slightly and then undergo an almost identical extraction process as cold pressing. The heat simply serves to reduce the viscosity of the oil, so it flows more freely from the seed, giving it a tinge of nutty, roasted flavour.
Why You Should Be Using Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is more than just a delicious and versatile cooking oil. It has a number of health benefits, and using it in your diet can help you feel better, look better, and overall improve your quality of life.
#1: Improves Skin Health
Sunflower oil is packed with nutrients that promote skin health. It has vitamin E, which can help prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging, as well as linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps keep skin moisturized.
Sunflower oil also contains antioxidants that fight free radicals and protect against sun damage. Sunflower oil is also high in omega-6 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation.
Sunflower oil is particularly beneficial for dry skin. It's easily absorbed by the skin and can help replenish moisture levels in the epidermis.
#2: It Fights Against Asthma
Sunflower oil does prevent asthma, though it is not a cure.
Asthma is caused by the inflammation of the airways in your lungs.
The lining of your throat and mouth contains cells that produce histamine, which causes inflammation. When you have an allergic reaction to something like pollen, these cells release histamine into your body, causing it to become inflamed.
The body's natural response is to produce mucus as well as other chemicals that try to reduce inflammation and prevent further damage.
Sunflower oil provides relief from asthma symptoms by reducing inflammation in the body. It contains vitamin E, which helps reduce swelling in the lungs and thus reduces asthma symptoms.
In addition, sunflower oil contains essential fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation throughout the body by preventing white blood cells from leaking out of their blood vessels and into surrounding tissues or organs (known as leukocytes).
Sunflower oil also helps prevent asthma flares by lowering blood pressure levels in people who suffer from high blood pressure—a condition known as hyperlipidemia—which can exacerbate asthma symptoms by increasing spasms within airways during an attack or flare-up.
#3: Good for Heart Health
Vitamin E in sunflower oil has been found to lower cholesterol levels, and linoleic acid has been shown to reduce blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
#4: Boosts Immune System
An impressive property of sunflower oil is that it can improve the immune system.
As you know, sunflower oil also contains linoleic acid, which is an essential fatty acid that can help you stay healthy. This acid is necessary for many processes in the body, including digestion and absorption of nutrients. It also enables you to maintain a healthy weight and keeps your heart healthy by lowering cholesterol levels.
Sunflower oil can help boost your immune system by increasing your body's ability to fight off infections and heal wounds faster. This makes it an excellent option for anyone who wants to stay healthy all year round!
#5: Helps Aid Digestion
Sunflower oil is a popular dietary supplement used to help aid digestion.
In order to determine whether or not sunflower oil helps aid digestion, we must first understand what exactly "digestion" means.
Digestion is the process by which the body breaks down food into nutrients that can be absorbed and used by the body. There are two main types of digestion: mechanical and chemical.
Mechanical digestion occurs when food is physically broken down by chewing, grinding, and churning in the mouth and stomach. Chemical digestion involves enzymes that break down food molecules into smaller units that can be absorbed.
Sunflower oil contains linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid that has been shown to increase lipase activity (an enzyme involved in fat digestion). This means that sunflower oil may help aid digestion by improving the chemical digestion of fats.
#6: Resists Cancer
Sunflower oil contains many compounds that have been shown to help prevent cancer, including vitamin E, linoleic acid, and polyphenols. These compounds prevent inflammation in the body and reduce oxidative stress. They also promote cell death, which is a significant part of what keeps cancer cells from growing out of control.
Risks Associated with Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil has a few risks associated with it.
The first risk is that the oil may be contaminated with mycotoxins, which are toxic compounds produced by fungi (like Aspergillus flavus). This can happen if the seeds are not appropriately cleaned before they are processed into oil.
Also, if you're allergic to nuts or seeds like sesame seeds or cashews then you might want to avoid sunflower oil because it can trigger an allergic reaction in some people who are sensitive to these foods.
Is Sunflower Oil Good for Cooking?
Sunflower oil is a vegetable oil that can be used in cooking because it can withstand high temperatures without becoming rancid. It has a neutral flavour, so it won't overpower the taste of whatever you're cooking.
Great for sauteing and baking, sunflower oil is also a good choice for frying because it doesn't absorb odours as some other oils do. It's also used as an ingredient in many salad dressings and marinades, as well as for adding flavour to baked goods and sauces.
Sunflower oil is actually a great source of healthy fats, which is why it has so many health benefits. It can help your skin stay soft and supple, and it can also treat dry hair and brittle nails. Sunflower oil is also good for your heart, and it can even reduce inflammation in some people.
If you want to take advantage of all these benefits, just remember that moderation is essential—you don't want to overdo it with the sunflower oil.