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Sunflower Oil

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is of vegetable origin and is obtained from the fatty kernels of sunflowers. Cold-pressed crude oil is light yellow, hot-pressed crude oil has a brown color and refined oil is colorless. Sunflower oil is a high-quality edible oil. The best oil is produced from shelled kernels.  In cold conditions, substances crystallize out of wholly untreated sunflower oil which, though physiologically harmless, considerably reduce the value of the sunflower oil. These days, crystallizing substances (mainly waxes from the skin) are generally filtered out prior to transport.
Sunflower oil is commonly used in food as a frying oil, and in cosmetic formulations as an emollient. Sunflower oil was first industrially produced in 1835 in the Russian Empire. Several types of sunflower oils are produced, such as high linoleic, high oleic and mid oleic. Mid-linoleic sunflower oil typically has at least 69% linoleic acid. High oleic sunflower oil has at least 82% oleic acid. Variation in unsaturated fatty acids profile is strongly influenced by both genetics and climate. In the last decade, high stearic sunflower lines have been developed in Spain to avoid the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in the food industry.
Sunflower oil also contains lecithin, tocopherols, carotenoids and waxes. Sunflower oil's properties are typical of vegetable triglyceride oil. Sunflower oil is produced from oil type sunflower seeds. Sunflower oil is light in taste and appearance and has a high vitamin E content. It is a combination of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with low saturated fat levels.

Nutrition Facts of Sunflower Oil:

  • Sunflower oil is extracted from the seeds of the sunflower plant. Sunflower oil contains a healthy amount of polyunsaturates. These polyunsaturates provide the body with the much-needed essential fatty acids which, in turn, help the body in the production of prostaglandins which are needed by the body.
  • Sunflower oil is rich in various minerals like calcium, manganese, phosphorous, copper and zinc. Iron and potassium are also found in plenty in this oil. Sunflower oil also contains palmitic acid, stearic acid as well as lecithin.
  • Folic acid is also present in this oil which facilitates the growth of new cells regularly in the body. Selenium, which helps in preventing cancer, is also found in abundance in the sunflower oil. The antioxidant properties of this oil, due to the high amount of vitamin E present in it, keep the cancer causing free radicals at bay.
  • Sunflower seeds are high in proteins and in calories.  However, as it is low in saturated and trans fat, this oil is a healthy choice over other fats. One tablespoon of sunflower oil contains about 120 calories. The sunflower oil calories in a cup of sunflower oil are around 1900. This was all about the sunflower oil nutrition facts.

Health Benefits of Sunflower Oil:

  • The shelf life of the sunflower oil is also better than the other oils and this definitely makes the sunflower oil desirable over the others. In addition to the above, sunflower oil is rich in minerals and vitamins and omega 6 essential fatty acids. The high amount of vitamin E present in the sunflower oil helps in keeping the cells of the body moisturized. Regular consumption of sunflower oil also reduces the likelihood of suffering from any heart diseases and reduces the chances of arthritis and asthma. These sunflower oil nutrition facts make sunflower oil a better choice than the other vegetable oils. This oil can be used in cooking, for frying as well as for making salad dressings.
  • There are several major known health benefits to consuming sunflower oil.  One of these benefits is the range of vitamins that sunflower oil provides. Vitamins D, A, and E are contained within the oil and are of rich nutritional value.
  • The high oleic variety of sunflower oil has been compared to olive oil for its cholesterol lowering qualities, this is due to its monounsaturated fat content. The linoleic acid variety is known to contain certain essential fatty acids (or EFAs) which aid in a number of functions within the body.
  • The presence of the phytochemicals, such as choline, phenolic acid makes sunflower oil, the favored oil for cooking. These chemicals are known to prevent heart diseases. The presence of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, along with vitamins in high quantity makes it a healthy oil.
  • It is found that in the preterm infants having low birth weight, sunflower oil is useful in reducing the risk of infections. In these babies, there is always a risk of infection because of their underdeveloped immune system and organs such as skin. Sunflower oil works as a protective barrier, when applied to the skin.
  • One of the benefits of the sunflower oil is that it acts as an antioxidant, due to the presence of vitamin E in it. As an antioxidant, it neutralizes cancer causing free radicals.
  • Vitamin E, in the sunflower oil, acts as moisturizer and helps the skin cells in retaining water. For this reason, sunflower is often used in cosmetic products. Sunflower oil, through vitamin E, also prevents rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and colon cancer. Folate or folic acid present in sunflower oil, helps the body in the manufacture of new cells. Magnesium helps in preventing muscle cramps, while tryptophan helps in relaxing the brain and promoting sleep by helping the body in the production of the neurotransmitter, serotonin.

List of all Sunflower Oil Articles

Sunflower oil for cooking

Sunflower oil for cooking

Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil expressed from sunflower seeds. This oil is more commonly ...
by Sana Azfar on 13 Sep 2012

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