Safflower oil benefits in cooking, health and more
Safflower oil is oil made from pressing seeds from the safflower plant, which is in the sunflower family. Since the 1960s, safflower oil has been gaining in popularity for many reasons from cooking to health and even to its usage in many commercial endeavors such as painting.
What kinds of Safflower Oil are there?
Safflowers oil comes from safflower seeds, which come from safflower plants. These plants can grow in many types of climates, but don’t usually do that well in areas that freeze over. The flowering heads of the safflower plants are where these valuable seeds are harvested from when the yellow petals fall off after they mature.
There are two different kinds of safflower oil: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated safflower oil has a high content of oleic acid and is used in cooking because it is heat stable. Polyunsaturated oil has a high content of linoleic acid and is employed as cold oil.
How is Safflower Oil made?
Safflower oil is made two different ways: chemical and mechanical. When the chemical process is used, the oil is extracted and refined by the addition of certain kinds of chemicals. This method ruins the nutritional value of oil, so this is not the kind of safflower oil used in edible products.
The other method is mechanical and it retains all the nutritional value of the oil. The oil is pressed from the seeds using an expeller instead of chemicals. So, when buying this oil it is imperative that you read the label to be sure which type that it is and buy this one if you are going to use it for cooking purposes.
What are the uses for Safflower oil?
While monounsaturated oil is not very helpful to our health, polyunsaturated safflower oil has a high nutritional value and so it’s good to use in things like making salad dressings. It is colorless and has no taste and should be kept in the refrigerator because it can spoil very easily and it can’t be subjected to heat.
Monounsaturated safflower oil on the other hand, is shelf stable and just has to be stored in a cool and dry location out of the light to stay good. It can also be used in high heat styles of cooking such as deep frying while polyunsaturated safflower oil can’t be used this way. If you tried to do so, it would make the food taste bad and would be rancid.
Why does the edible kind of safflower oil have so many benefits?
This oil has nearly 79 percent of polyunsaturated fatty acids or linoleic acid. Plus, it has 13 percent monounsaturated fatty acids or oleic acid and eight percent saturated fatty acids. Its other ingredients include omega-6 fatty acids, cis-linoleic acid, as well as vitamin E and K and choline.
What benefits to health does Safflower Oil Have?
Safflower oil that is high in polyunsaturated fats aids the body in making prostaglandins, which are hormone like products that help the cells become strong and to function properly. It also helps the body get rid of excess fat, so is helpful in weight loss, especially in getting rid of what is called brown fat. This oil has cis-linoleic acid in it that the body turns into gamma linolenic acid or GLA and this element helps to burn fat.
This oil is also said to help reduce cholesterol, so it aids in preventing heart disease. Plus, it strengthens the immune system so makes the body more disease resistant in general.
There have also been studies done that show that this oil is beneficial for people with diabetes. A study with older women who had diabetes had them used this oil for four months and it showed that the women lost fat and their blood sugar levels went down. This proves it is helpful for diabetics.
It is also useful in treating premenstrual syndrome or PMS in women and to treat irregularities in the menstrual cycle. It also helps people to have healthy hair and skin. Studies have shown that people who had dry and brittle or color treated hair who used this oil were able to get healthy and shiny hair in only a short period of time after using it on their scalps. When it was massaged into their scalps it also helped to improve blood circulation and to prevent hair loss.
Another usage of this oil was in treating acne and other skin problems like reducing scars and wrinkles. Studies have suggested that it can help in treating cystic fibrosis, hypertension, or Freidreich’s ataxia as well, but more tests are needed to confirm or deny these results.
All in all, safflower oil has many valuable benefits and can be used in many versatile ways. It is a valuable and useful crop for farmers who can make a good profit off of it since it can be used in so many ways. The bottom line is that safflower oil is a product that already has many benefits and is being studied to see if it can be used in even more ways to benefit people everywhere.