Safflower oil is extracted from seeds of safflower plants, which thrive in any type of climate. This oil is also one of the common ingredients in commercial products such as food flavoring or salad dressing. Although the oil is high in calories, it can help individuals lose weight because of the fatty acid components. However, the calorie-dense oil may overcome certain benefits of dieting, so you should consult your health care professional before taking this oil for weight loss purposes.
Types of Safflower Oil
Some people tend to confuse safflower oil with sunflower oil, although they are obtained from different sources. Moreover, safflower oil has a non-greasy and light texture that is absorbed easily by the body. It also contains similar nutritional benefits as olive oil, which makes safflower oil as the excellent choice for those who want to lose weight safely and effectively. This type of oil also offers other benefits such as healthy heart, hair, skin and other important body organs.
Safflower plants produce various types of oils depending on their varieties. For instance, there are varieties rich in oleic acid and these are excellent for cooking. Even when exposed to heat, the nutritional value does not decrease. Furthermore, safflower oil that is high in oleic acid is also rich in vitamin E and monounsaturated fat content. These qualities make the oil similar to olive oil in terms of the nutritional value and benefits.
Another common safflower oil variety has high levels of linoleic acid, and it is suitable for use as a salad dressing. You may also use the oil as a spread on sandwich breads or as a dietary supplement. Linoleic acids and other types of polyunsaturated fatty acids are fragile molecules, which tend to change or become denatured due to heat exposure. The oil may turn rancid when it is exposed to oxygen or light, so you should preserve its freshness by storing the oil in a cool and dark place.
Safflower Oil Nutrition and Health Benefits
Safflower oil is typically low in saturated fat content while high in unsaturated fat. Because of this quality, the oil is beneficial for those who suffer from cardiovascular and heart ailments. In fact, safflower oil is an excellent source of essential omega-6 fatty acid, which prevents fat deposits. Fatty acids also improve your body’s ability to burn fat efficiently.
Omega-6 fatty acids in safflower oil also serve as building blocks for hormone-like substances called Prostaglandins. They help in maintaining normal blood pressure, controlling muscle contractions, and guiding your immune system’s inflammatory response.
Aside from these benefits, safflower oil is rich in vitamin E and anti-oxidants, which prevent cell damage due to free radicals. Generally, free radicals can speed up aging and damages in cells, as well as increase health risks such as cancer and heart disease. With regular supplementation of safflower oil, you can protect your cells from damages and maintain the youthful appearance of your skin.
Some people apply safflower oil directly on their skin because of the outstanding benefits that this oil brings. When applied topically, the oil’s anti-oxidant and soothing properties help in treating inflammation and damages. It is also useful as a massage oil, and some skin products such as lotions, sunscreens, soaps and moisturizers contain safflower oil. This essential ingredient also minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as it smoothens and hydrates your skin. If you suffer from eczema, rashes and itchy skin, you may apply safflower oil to hasten healing and reduce inflammation.
You may also use safflower oil as a deep conditioning treatment for your hair. Before you apply shampoo, you may massage the oil on your hair and scalp. The oil helps in dilating the blood vessels in your scalp, and this stimulates the proper circulation of essential nutrients to hydrate the hair.
Most people also use safflower oil to help them lose weight efficiently. This therapeutic oil contains cis-linoleic acid, which is a special type of polyunsaturated fat. It stimulates the functions of brown fat that is commonly found in thin people. When cis-linoleic acid activates brown fat, it burns your abdominal fat at a quick rate. The recommended dosage is 2/3 teaspoon of safflower oil per day, so you can achieve its slimming effect.
While safflower oil offers numerous benefits, it is important that you consult your health specialist for the right dosage suitable for your particular condition.