Everything You Need To Know About Sunflower Oil

Sunflower is the most popular cooking oil in India. But even though most of us consume sunflower oil almost every day, we know nothing about its origin, nutritional content, benefits, and uses.

This comprehensive guide on sunflower oil is going to cover everything you need to know about sunflower oil.  

 Contents

History of sunflower oil

  • Why Sunflower Farming Is Popular In India?
  • Nutrients in Sunflower Oil
  • Health Benefits of Sunflower Oil
  • Precautions To Take While Handling Sunflower Oil 

So let’s begin…

History Of Sunflower Oil

 Sunflower oil is extracted by a cold pressed method from the seeds of big, bright yellow and cheerful sunflowers, a botanical member of the same family as calendula, Dahlia, and Gerbera flowers. Several traces have been discovered proving that many ancient societies used sunflower plants and seeds for therapeutic and culinary purposes. Its dried leaves were used in many recreational substances in the same way as tobacco is used today. some cultures even revered sunflower plants as the sun and thus worshipped.

Native American Indians used sunflower roots in medicinal applications, such as infusions that treat snake bites. The oil derived from seeds was used as a cosmetic agent to restore the health of the hair. In Siberian countries, sunflower’s head and leaves were used to treat coughs, bronchitis, rheumatism and other health condition.

With various body and skin benefits, sunflower oil is used in both cosmetic therapeutic applications. Rich in vitamin E, the sunflower is used to restore your skin and hair health, improve the texture of your skin, etc.   

Why Sunflower Farming Is Popular In India? 

Sunflower cultivation is considered as commercial farming in India. Growing sunflower for oilseeds is the best opportunity. The reasons are many…

  • Sunflower cultivation is the most profitable venture among oilseed production.
  • The duration of the crop is short i.e. 90 to 120 days
  • Sunflower plants are resilient to changing climatic conditions and manage to grow without losing its yield.
  • Offer good resistance to weeds and pests. 

Nutrients in Sunflower Oil 

Sunflower oil is loaded with many essential nutrients benefitting our skin and hair. Let’s discuss these nutrients individually: 

Linolic Acid: 

  • Works as a moisturizing agent and promotes hair growth
  • Accelerate wound healing
  • Possess anti-inflammatory properties
  • Reduces the signs of early aging and wrinkles
  • Facilitates moisture retention in hair and skin
  • Soothes acne and prohibits future skin outbreaks 

Oleic Acid: 

  • Maintains the softness and radiance of the skin
  • Eliminates the reasons for dandruff
  • Boost immunity
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain

Palmitic Acid: 

  • Has emollient properties
  • Soften your hairs without leaving a greasy residue 

Stearic Acid: 

  • Have cleansing properties that remove dirt and sweat from hair and skin
  • Help sunflower products remain healthy for a longer shelf life
  • Softens skin
  • Have exceptional cleansing properties

The reason why sunflower oil is popular in cosmetic products is that upon absorption the sunflower oil creates a protective emollient layer that prevents the outer layer of skin from losing moisture. It rejuvenates the sensitive skin around eyes, ears, and face.

Rich in Vitamin E, the sunflower oil prevents the aging of the skin and exhibits smoothening properties. Especially in the summer season, the vitamin E repairs and also protects the damages due to overexposure to the sun. 

The thin consistency of sunflower oil gets easily absorbed by the skin and combats bacteria that encourage the development of acne. It heals the enlarged pores and bruising on the skin. Vitamin E promotes cell regeneration and enhances skin health.

When used in hair oils, sunflower oil is used to hydrate dryness, soften the strands and promotes easy manageability of hair. It is reputed to successfully cure thinning, loss and baldness.

Medicinally, sunflower oil creates a barrier and protects the body from potential infection. It soothes skin that is inflamed, irritated, calloused and rough. Reduces itching and addresses conditions like dermatitis and eczema.

Due to its mild scent, sunflower oil is used in treatments like sinusitis. When applied in massage therapy, it is reputed to treat leg ulcers. 

Health Benefits of Sunflower Oil 

  • Cardiovascular Health 

Sunflower contains a balanced proportion of monounsaturated acid and polyunsaturated acids that are beneficial to maintain your cholesterol level, making it one of the healthiest oil for consumption. It is rich in certain phytochemicals like choline and phenolic acid that are beneficial for your heart. 

  • Prevents Arthritis 

Including sunflower oil in your daily diet can be an ultimate solution in preventing arthritis. Sunflower oil helps in the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis. 

  • Fights Asthma and Colon Cancer 

Vitamin E helps in fighting asthma and colon cancer. Sunflower oil being rich in vitamin E among all best cooking oils provides you protection against asthma and colon cancer. 

  • Fights Free Radicals 

Sunflower oil is the best anti-oxidant in the form of tocopherols that helps in neutralizing cancer-causing free radicals. The free radicals damage the cells and the immune system. 

  • Repairs The Body 

Sunflower oil is high in proteins, which forms the building blocks of our body. Our body requires a huge protein intake daily. Since it doesn’t store proteins in the body, including sunflower oil products in your diets can fulfill this requirement. 

  • Prevention of infection in infants

Infants being weak due to premature birth have low weight and a weak immune system. This increases the risk of them being exposed to various infections. Sunflower oil can act as a protective barrier and prevent such infections from spreading 

  • Promotes Healthy Nervous System 

The vitamin B present in the sunflower promotes a healthy nervous system, helps in digestion and act as a source of energy. 

  • Other benefits 

Folic acid present in sunflower oil aids in the manufacturing of new cells. Magnesium prevents muscle cramps whereas tryptophan relaxes the brain and promotes sleep by aiding in the production of the neurotransmitter, serotonin.

Precautions To Take While Handling Sunflower Oil

 As with all the benefits of sunflower oil, there always comes some deficits and it is also true with sunflower oil. It is advised to consult an expert before using sunflower oil for therapeutic purposes. Especially with pregnant women, the usage of sunflower oil should be done by advising the doctor. Sunflower may cause some changes in the hormone secretion and it is still unclear whether these changes are transferable to babies in the development stage of a fetus. The oil should be kept out of reach of children below 5 years of age.

Those with the following health condition are supposed to consult a doctor prior to consuming sunflower oil: Diabetes, cancer, skin ailments & heart-related issues. Sunflower oil is beneficial in preventing these conditions but consuming it while you are facing these ailments may put you in greater risk. Individuals undergoing major surgery, currently under prescription medicines should consult their doctor before using the oil for any medical purpose.

Prior to using sunflower oil for external use, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-sized amount of oil on the insensitive part of the skin. At any condition avoid using sunflower oil in the inner side of eyes, nose and other sensitive parts of the skin. Potential side effects of sunflower oil include over-sensitization of the skin.       

Those seeking good health should rather use sunflower oil as a complementary boost than using at a medical treatment or prescription. In case of any allergies, immediately stop consuming sunflower oil and consult an allergy specialist for health assessment.

Conclusion        

 Sunflower oil possesses many health benefits when consumed daily and that’s the reason why it is so popular among Indian kitchens.  Besides some side effects when consumed under ill conditions, the sunflower is totally safe and healthy. I hope that this blog has successfully explained you the history, nutrient content, health benefits, and precautions to take while consuming sunflower oil. It is a key ingredient in many cosmetic products and the reasons are explained above. As long as you monitor your consumption, sunflower oil can be a beneficial addition to your diet.

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