Golden, light and healthy, sunflower oil contains more Vitamin E than any other vegetable oil. It is naturally extracted from sunflower seeds and bears a subtle taste. Vegetable and plant based oils are cholesterol-free, low in saturated fats and rich in polyunsaturated fats. Sunflower oil, particularly, is loaded with Vitamin E and omega 6 fats which makes it a healthy choice.
“While choosing cooking oil for your daily needs you must make sure that it is a good source of both monounsaturated fats and poly unsaturated fats. Bear in mind that oils that are liquid at room temperature consist mostly of unsaturated fats which is why plant and vegetable based oils are the healthiest,” says Dr. Rupali Datta, Chief Clinical Nutritionist, SmartCooky.
It’s also important to note that while polyunsaturated fats are good for you too much of them may not be. According to the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), it is best to have a mix of oil. “Don’t fear trying different oils. It is suggested to have a good blend of various types of oils in your diet. You could juggle olive oil, mustard oil, soyabean, sesame, sunflower oil or even groundnut oil for different meals. You should rotate your oils regularly to get a good mix of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in the right proportion” says Dr. Shikha Sharma.
As per NIN, sunflower and mustard oil is a good combination. It also recommends that not more than 20% of your daily calories should come from oils and fats both visible and invisible. An adult would need about 5 teaspoons of oil in a day.
Sunflower oil is known for its high smoke point which is why it is mostly used as frying oil. But that’s not all; sunflower oil has some amazing health benefits that you may have not known of. Have a look.
1. Promotes heart heath
Sunflower oil contains more than 80% of monounsaturated fats which makes it good for your heart. The impressive fatty acid content in sunflower oil helps in maintaining a balance in your body. Furthermore, it does not contain any saturated fats which help in controlling the cholesterol levels in your body.
2. Good for your skin
Sunflower oil is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin E which help in promoting skin health. These vitamins act as antioxidants. They help in regenerating damaged skin cells and getting rid of the acne causing bacteria. The oil is light and non-greasy and thus, it gets absorbed in the skin easily without blocking the pores. Sunflower oil also acts as a natural moisturizer and helps in treating dry, sensitive skin.
3. Energy booster
While saturated fats can make you feel lethargic, unsaturated fats energize you. It helps the discharge of glycogen into the bloodstream from the liver. Glycogen is a type of sugar that provides an extra boost of quick energy.
4. Gives beautiful hair
Sunflower oil helps to soften dry, frizzy hair and adds a beautiful shine. It has a very light texture and acts as a conditioner. You can massage it on your scalp once a week for soft, silky hair. Sunflower oil is also rich in gamma alpha linolenic acid (GLA) which prevents hair loss and is often used as a treatment.
5. Strengthens your immune system
Sunflower oil is rich in antioxidants and also strengthens the cell membrane barriers which make it harder for bacteria and viruses to enter the body. It increases the body’s ability to defend infections. Sunflower oil also contains protein that helps in building and repairing tissues and various enzymes required for healthy functioning.
6. Improves digestion
You may have not known but your cooking oil could be the reason for your digestive problems. A healthy cooking oil is one that is rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs). Sunflower oil is extremely light, easy to digest and better absorbed in your digestive tract. Sunflower oil also has mild laxative properties which can help prevent constipation.