Sunflower or Surajmukhi is a flower with many benefits. One of the best usages of this flower, other than in decorations , is perhaps as an edible oil, extracted out of either the seeds or the whole Sunflower. Packed with Linoleic acid, Sunflower oil also finds its place in cosmetics. Other components that enhance Sunflower oil are oleic acid and palmitic acid, lecithin, carotenoids and vitamins A, D and E .
With so many qualities, inherent in the oil, it is, therefore not surprising at all, that Sunflower oil is quoted as one of the best oils, to be used for cooking. However it is interesting to note that not all Sunflower seeds can be used for extraction of oil. Sunflower seeds are classified into two categories : Edible or confection seeds and non edible or non oil ones. The edible Sunflowers are used in whole or just for its seeds, for oil extraction. The inedible one are used as bird feeds.
Here are some benefits that of Sunflower Oil that we should all know about.
1. Skin Nourishment: Linoleic acid, which occurs in abundance in Sunflower oil, is a naturally occurring fatty acid in the body. It belongs to the Omega acid 6 group. It aids in reversing conditions like hair fall, clogged pores, dry skin etc. Being a oil, packed with Vitamin A and E, it is a naturally light in its density. Hence it gets absorbed into the system easily and moisturises the skin, naturally.
2. A buddy for Your Heart: One of the best characteristics of Sunflower oil is its thin density. It is light on the heart. Since Sunflower oil is almost devoid of any saturated fat content it is one of the healthiest choices when it comes to choosing a cooking oil. Monosaturated fats are heart freindly fats and hence essential.
3. Gut Friendly: After a good hearty meal, it is common for us all to feel, full and bloated sometimes. One of the reasons, not understood by most of us, is the oil, used in cooking. A dense cooking oil is difficult to digest. This occurs especially due to the fact that, oils with saturated fats in them often makes food feel heavy once eaten. However, Sunflower oil is devoid of saturated fats, and is made up of 80% monostaurated fat.
4. Infant care: Infants are the bundle of joy that each parent cares for to the best of their abilities. Sunflower oil, with its nourishing and skin protective characteristics , should ideally be one of the choices parents, especially of pre term infants, should make. With skin nourishing abilities in built in this oil, Sunflower oil used as a lotion and for massages, shields the skin from falling prey to infections. It also acts as a natural moisturizer.
5. High Heating Temperature: Deep fried food is an inevitably on menu, at home or in the restaurants. With the Indian festivities, upcoming in a row now, Fried food will be a regular feature at homes and restaurants. Sunflower oil, therefore, should be the choice of every household since this oil has a high heating point, when it comes to fried food. While its extremely high heating point nullifies any chances of food getting burnt, it also negates the chances of trans fat formation in fried foods..
6. Crusader Against Cancer Causing Radicals: Perhaps one of the most dreaded ailment today is cancer. Free radicals in our bodies, are promoters of the same. One of the best way to fight cancer, is to avoid the very reasons that cause cancer : unhealthy diet. Other then avoiding sugar and a strict exercise regime, it is essential to be cautious about ingredient that makes the food that we intake. Here is where the necessity to zero-in on Sunflower oil comes in. This oil is an anti-oxidant, which is why, it fights the cancer causing free radicals in the body. Free radicals are carcinogenic in nature.
7. Lowers Inflammation: Internal inflammation in the body causes Asthma. It is the inflammation of the airways, which occurs due to various reasons. Sunflower oil, being rich in anti-inflammatory properties, aids in reducing symptoms of inflammation, thereby helping people suffering from this ailment.
8. Energy Level Booster: When it comes to energy levels in our bodies, carbohydrates is the fuel. It could be in the form of rice, wheat breads or any other. However, foods cooked in light and nutritious oils, like Sunflower oil, accentuates the energy releasing aspect. Moreover, the oil in itself, being light in its viscosity, keeps the body active, unlike heavier oils that tend to make people lazy and sluggish.
9. Helps Improve Digestion: Feeling bloated and too full spoils the enjoyment of a hearty meal. However, what is often blamed on overeating, as the cause may not always be true. Sometimes, when we overeat we still do not feel as bloated? Ever wondered why? This might be a time for a little revelation! Cooking oil plays a major role in making your meals healthy, nutritious and light. Sunflower oil is one such oil: Light, nutritious and full of goodness.
10. Makes Your Immune System a Fortress: Sunflower oil is considered one of the best cooking oils, not only because of its nutritional value but also due to the properties it has, which makes the body stronger. One of the most essential functions that our bodies perform is to fight infections. Sunflower oil fortifies the body against any such infections, with the help of the protein content in the oil. Sunflower oil makes the membranes of the body cells stronger while helping the system to repair damages also.