Sunflower oil has a large number of benefits which help in keeping the body healthy and strong. It is gaining popularity as cooking oil due to its wide variety of health enhancing nutrients. The perfect balance of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats makes it perfect for reducing the levels of bad cholesterol.
Sunflower oil is considered as one of the healthiest oils due to its variety of health enhancing nutrients. This oil is rich in:
- Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats
- Vitamins like A, E, B1, B5, B6 and C
- Minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron
- Sunflower oil is rich in Vitamin E and low in saturated fat. Besides, it is rich in certain phytochemical like choline and phenolic acid which are beneficial for your heart. Thus, sunflower oil helps in lowering risk of cardiovascular diseases and chance of heart attack.
- Sunflower oil helps in the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Sunflower oil contains more Vitamin E than any other cooking oil. Thus, incorporating this oil in your diet provides you protection against asthma and colon cancer.
- Carotenoids found in sunflower oil help in prevention of uterine, lung and skin cancers. In addition, they provide a good source of Vitamin A and aid in preventing cataracts.
- Sunflower oil is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which provide energy besides maintaining ideal LDL/HDL (bad and good cholesterol) ratio in the body. Sunflower oil also contains lecithin which helps in lowering cholesterol level. This is because it sticks to your nerve and cell linings, thus preventing fat and cholesterol from sticking to the cell.
- Sunflower oil acts as an antioxidant as it is rich in Vitamin E or tocopherols which help in neutralizing cancer-causing free radicals. Free radicals damage the cells and the immune system.
- Sunflower oil also contains proteins, which are vital for building and repairing tissues and production of hormones and enzymes.
- Sunflower oil also contains zinc which helps in maintaining a healthy immune system and in the healing of wounds. Another benefit of zinc is that it maintains your sense of smell and taste.
- The Vitamin B content of sunflower oil promotes a healthy nervous system, proper digestion and is a great source of energy.
- Sunflower oil contains selenium which is beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiac problems and hepatic degradation. High level of selenium in your blood is also instrumental in reducing the risk of lung and skin cancers.
- Folate or folic acid found in sunflower oil helps in the regeneration of cells.
- Magnesium is concerned with preventing muscle cramps
- Tryptophan relaxes the brain and promotes sleep by aiding in the production of the neurotransmitter, serotonin.
- Sunflower oil is a natural and healthy way of maintaining a great skin because of its calming and emollient (moisturizing) properties. It is found to be effective against acne, eczema, inflammation, general redness and irritation of the skin. It also slows ageing.
- Being extremely light, sunflower oil helps in conditioning greasy hair. It nourishes the hair and prevents breakage.
Directions for use:
You can use it in a number of dishes and cooking methods, like:
- As a cooking oil for sautéing, stir-frying, grilling, and baking
- In salad dressings, sauces, and marinades
- To coat your pans for nonstick baking
- Instead of solid fats (such as margarine and butter) in recipes