We hear a lot today about products that will make us lose weight, look better and younger. With so many coming at us all at once, it’s hard to decide what to use and for.
Sunflower oil is known for its many health and beauty benefits. Continue reading to learn about this amazing product and what it can do for you.
Sunflower oil is described as being non-resilient oil extracted from sunflower seeds. The plant is originally from North America, but was commercialized in Russia.
Sunflowers were cultivated by Native Americans and were very important to their diet. They extracted the oil from the plants to use in making bread.
I’m sure you remember eating sunflower seeds as a child. It was both a healthy and delicious snack. They took the place of unhealthy snacks if eaten in moderation.
My Top 5 Best Sunflower Oil Brands In 2019
*The companies chosen above are based upon my personal opinion based upon me giving them a try and testing their quality.
What can you use sunflower oil for?
Sunflower oil has many beneficial uses. We will look at some of them now.
When sunflower oil is refined, it can be used as frying oil. In Eastern European cuisines, it is used as a salad dressing. In addition to being an ingredient in sunflower butter, it is also used when cooking snack foods such as potato chips and French fries.
Below are two recipes for cooking with sunflower oil.
Honey Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry
Simply Sunflower Oil's high smoke point and nutty flavor make it the perfect oil for this delicious stir-fry recipe.
- Heat Simply Sunflower Oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add bite-sized chicken chunks to the pan. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add broccoli, carrots, garlic, honey, soy sauce, and chicken broth.
- Combine water and cornstarch in a small cup and add mixture to pan.
- Bring the pan to a boil. Turn down heat and let simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens and vegetables are tender.
- Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds before serving.
- Serve hot over rice or noodles.
Roasted Garlic Parmesan Zucchini
Healthy comfort food! The aromatic garlic compliments the flavorful parmesan cheese and Simply Sunflower Oil.
- Cut Zucchini into ¼ inch round slices.
- Mix Simply Sunflower Oil, salt, and pepper with the sliced zucchini.
- In a small bowl, combine panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, oregano, and garlic powder.
- Coat zucchini in dry mixture and place on cooking sheet.
- Bake at 450ºF for 20-25 minutes, flip halfway so slices are evenly cooked.
- Serve hot with ranch dressing.
Sunflower oil can also be used for baking because it is healthy cooking oil. Its high smoke point along with its mild flavor makes it very suitable for high temperature baking and will complement your baked goods.
The following recipes show you how to bake using sunflower oil.
5 Minute Raspberry Mug Cake
- In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients; flour, sugar and baking powder. Whisk together the eggs, milk and oil with a hand mixer.
- Pour batter into a microwave-safe mug. Mine was a 14-ounce mug. You must have enough head space for the cake to rise without pouring over.
- Place raspberries on top.
- Center your mug in the middle of the microwave oven and cook on high for 4-5 mins, or until it has stopped rising and is firm to the touch. Watch it rise as it cooks! Serve with icing sugar on the top.
Orange Cake Without Butter
- Preheat oven to 320 F (160 C).
- Grease a 12-inch (30-cm) long cake tin.
- Sift flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar in a bowl.
- Add baking soda to the yogurt.
- Beat eggs with the sugar in another bowl.
- Add yogurt, grated orange zest and sunflower oil.
- Mix in slowly the dry ingredients.
- Pour batter into the tin and bake for 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for some minutes, then turn onto a wired rack and cool completely.
I don’t know about you, but all this food is making me quite hungry.
Lower’s Bad Cholesterol
Because sunflower oil contains properties high in omega 3 fats and monounsaturated fat, it can help lower your bad LDL cholesterol. You will also see your good HDL cholesterol go up.
Sunflower oil is used along with other ingredients to made medications. Below is a listing of some of those drugs and their uses.
- Folcal DHA 30-1.2-265mg (multivitamin, prenatal) – This drug can be used as a supplement during pregnancy all the way through the lactation period. It belongs to the drug classes of iron, vitamins and minerals.
- Nexa Plus with DHA – Prenatal Multivitamins with Folic Acid .25mg and docusate.
- Sunflower oil is often used as a placebo in clinical trials examining the effect of other oils.
- For tinea pedis (athlete's foot), Oleozon®, commercially available ozonized sunflower oil, has been applied to the affected area twice daily for six weeks.
- 25 grams of sunflower oil can be taken by mouth daily for four weeks for blood clotting disorders.
- For cardiovascular risk reduction, 15 grams of sunflower oil has been taken by mouth daily for 12 weeks. A diet consisting of 20.3% monounsaturated fat (MUFA), rich in high oleic acid sunflower oil, has been used for five weeks. Six grams of sunflower oil has been used by mouth daily for 12 weeks.
- For chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease, 30 milliliters of sunflower oil has been taken by mouth twice daily for three weeks.
- For diabetes mellitus type 2, a dose of 30 milliliters of sunflower oil by has been taken mouth daily for two weeks.
- For high cholesterol, a diet containing 30% fat in the form of NuSun, commercially available mid-oleic acid sunflower oil, has been taken by mouth for four weeks. Replacement of 21.4 grams.
The rich properties in sunflower oil make it an excellent choice in making beauty products. Below is a listing of a few.
- Eve Lom’s Morning Time Cleanser – Using this product in the morning will have your skin glowing all day. It cleans, exfoliates and brightens without leaving your skin feeling dry.
- Korres Body Butter – The combination of shea butter and sunflower oil will leave your skin smooth, soft and saying “thank you”.
- The Eminence Pumpkin Latte Hydration Masque – Applying this mask at night will leave your face feeling smooth and radiant in the morning and will last all day.
- Jane Iredale Circle Delight Concealer – While this product is covering your skin’s imperfections, it is also giving it a great conditioning treatment.
- The Night Recharge Youth Enhancing Cream by Phytomer – If you’re ready to take on those visible signs of aging, this product which contains both sunflower oil and glycolic acid is the one for you.
- Sunday Riley’s Crème Gloss – This lip gloss will last for hours while giving your lips sparkle and shine.
- Bumble and Bumble’s Let It Shine Shampoo – This shampoo contains natural sunflower seed oil which compliments your hair’s natural shine. It will also help repair each of your strands’ natural protective layers.
- Kiehl’s Sunflower Color Preserving Deep Recovering Pak – If you have color treated hair, this hydrating mask which is silicone free will leave your hair feeling and looking renewed.
What are the benefits of sunflower oil?
Sunflower oil is so beneficial in so many ways we will look at 10 ways sunflower oil is used to benefit people.
This condition is also called tinea pedis. It is a fungal infection which begins between the toes. Athlete’s foot is contagious and causes burning and itching.
Applying sunflower oil to the affected areas will not only help cure it, but will also prevent it from coming back. It should be applied for six weeks.
Sunflower oil improves your heart health by preventing clogged arteries, high blood pressure, and will decrease your chances of having a stroke or heart attack.
These key properties in sunflower oil play a key role in helping to keep your heart healthy.
- Phenolic acid
- Monounsaturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats
Enhances your Immune System
Sunflower oil contains Vitamin E which helps to fortify your immune system. This is possible because sunflower oil is free of cholesterol sodium and Tran’s fats. Your entire body is protected when your immune system is strengthened.
The fatty acids in sunflower oil fortify the body’s ability to fight off attacks by infection. The membrane barriers of the skin are strengthened which decreases the body coming under attack by bacteria and viruses.
Vitamin E which was talked about above contains compounds called tocopherols. As a powerful antioxidant, it can prevent healthy cells from mutating into cancerous cells by stamping out free radicals. Colon cancer can be prevented by using sunflower oil.
Reduces Asthma Attacks
Because sunflower oil is rich with alpha-tocopherol, people who use it have improved lung function because inflammation is reduced.
Reduces the Intensity of Arthritis
Sunflower oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which contain anti-inflammatory properties. These along with monounsaturated fats are highly recommended for those with arthritis.
Some people have applied sunflower oil directly to their skin to relieve the pain associated with arthritis.
Sunflower oil is very effective in treating acne because it contains vitamins A, C, D along with healthy corotenoids and waxes. When applied these properties form a protective barrier on the skin and gets absorbed quickly because it is light and non-greasy.
This also keeps the pores open. The skin cells get regenerated due to the vitamins and fatty acids acting as antioxidants. This aids in getting rid of the bacteria that causes acne.
This condition also referred to as atopic dermatitis is successfully treated with sunflower oil. Skin barrier bolstering fats called ceramides are naturally produced in our bodies. Sunflower oil acts as a natural stimulator for the ceramides which help to improve our skin barrier.
People suffering from the inflammation of eczema find the treatment of sunflower oil beneficial because of the oil’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Sunflower oil is a natural emollient and therefore improves your skin’s ability to retain moisture. If your skin is dry, dehydrated, or sensitive, you will find the use of sunflower oil most beneficial.
Mixing sunflower oil with castor oil can be used as a moisturizer to remove dead cells and soften the skin.
As we age, we naturally lose collagen and elastin in our skins. The vitamin E in sunflower oil helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The antioxidant properties in sunflower oil also help protect the skin from sunlight.
There’s nothing worse than gorgeous hair at 8 am which turns into a nightmare by 10 am. Sunflower oil with its airy texture and smooth flavor leave your hair soft with a beautiful shine to it.
Sunflower oil controls frizz by conquering dryness and damage.
Now let’s take a look at a few studies on sunflower oil.
One study was conducted by Mihaela Stoia and Simona Oancea from the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu in Romania. Their human studies concluded that there were health benefits as well as cosmetic benefits to using sunflower oil directly on the skin.
Another study was conducted on how sunflower oil acts as a skin barrier to benefit the skin. Part of the study was done on 497 pre-term infants at high risk of sepsis. After the sunflower oil was applied as a skin barrier for 31 days, sepsis was reduced by 49% with the mortality rate dropping by 26%.
This same study concluded that sunflower oil also was a successful skin barrier in children with atopic dermatitis.
The Nutrition Profile of Sunflower Oil
The overall nutrition profile of sunflower oil is broken down as follows:
High oleic sunflower oil is considered to be premium with 80% levels and above of monounsaturated sunflower oil. This type of oil is used in food and industrial applications where there is a requirement for high levels of monounsaturated oil. Linoleic sunflower oil.
This oil which is found on grocery store shelves is high in polyunsaturated or linoleic acid. A light clean taste, high smoke point and a low level of saturated fat make this sunflower oil superb for home cooking and a salad dressing.
NuSun is new to the market and is mold oleic sunflower oil. It was developed by standard hybrid procedures. NuSun’s monounsaturated level is between 55-75% and has an average of about 60-65%.
According to initial tests, NuSun works very well when applied to commercial frying. The concern for Trans fatty acids is eliminated because hydrogenations not required. NuSun has a very pleasing taste due to the presence of the 25% linoleic.
Is Sunflower Oil Good or Bad for You?
Sunflower oil has many positive uses with great benefits to go along with them. Sunflower oil is used for cooking, health, and beauty.
There are different types of sunflower oil and there are pros and cons to each one.
- Sunflower oil high in oleic is great for home use i.e., cooking, and health and beauty.
- Sunflower oil can withstand high cooking temperatures.
- Sunflower oil contains no saturated fats and therefore helps to control cholesterol.
- Used in food manufacturing of potato chips.
- It doesn’t contain high Tran’s fats.
- High Oleic sunflower oil is high in monounsaturated fats and lower in polyunsaturated fats which are healthier for you to cook with.
- Classic sunflower oil (linoleic) should not be beaten in excess because of its higher levels of polyunsaturated fats.
- Sunflower oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids, sometimes as high as 70%. Your body is put at risk for diseases due to the exacerbation of inflammation.
- Individuals who have allergies to ragweed or flowers such as daisies, marigolds, and chrysanthemums should consult their doctors before using sunflower oil internally or topically. There is a chance they may experience allergic reactions such as hives, nausea, itchy mouth or difficulty breathing.
- Diabetes sufferers should watch their sunflower oil intake. If they consume too much, there can be an increase of fasting insulin and blood sugar as well as fats in the blood after eating. Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes could end up with atherosclerosis.
Sunflower Oil Research and Facts
- Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil pressed from the seeds of sunflowers.
- Sunflower oil is a mixture mainly of monounsaturated fat, oleic acid (30% of total) and the polyunsaturated fat, linoleic acid (59% of total).
- As of 2017, genome analysis and development of hybrid sunflowers to increase oil production are under pressure to meet greater consumer demand for sunflower oil and its commercial varieties.
- Working out the problems with Sclerotinia remains crucial. A well coordinated research effort into this disease is in progress. Possible solutions ranging from wild accessions to fungicide trials and everything in between are being considered. Researchers are quickened to contemplate additional or new plans in Sclerotinia sunflower research.
- Blackbirds: Diligently seeking new and creative approaches to minimize the damage they cause and work on figuring out how to best apply new repellents.
- Components connected to achieving an acceptable plant stand. This might involve analyzing the sunflower plant early in the season for a stand, how deep to plant the seeds, the temperature and moisture of the soil, seedling drive, seed biology, and the affect insects and diseases have on the seeds.
- Working on establishing new methods, techniques or equipment for employing fungicides for the control of diseases, and also to improve yield. Issues involving the timing and tank mixing of the fungicides with insecticides/herbicides need to be worked out. There is an unyielding tendency for using fungicides with labels and the effectiveness of making this decision.
- Working to enhance the genetic improvement in the sunflower plant for the purpose of perfecting their competitiveness with other crops. Stabilizing yield and improving quality is a top priority.
- Analyzing the flexible rate for seeding and controlling fertility for the sunflower plant. This includes the implementation of new multi-hybrid technology.
- Work on determining the economic costs and benefits of using pesticide seed treatments to control major soil pests of sunflower. Also, work to establish their overall impact on production of sunflowers.
- Begin the process of Identifying how to manage the advancement of the sunflower plant. Also, address the surfacing financial issues associated with the production of the sunflower plant.
- Evaluate questionable insecticide showing signs of resistance in any insect pests of the sunflower plant.
- Evaluate hybrid and breeding substances to ensure there is no resistance to insects.
- Conduct examinations of the direct and secondary improvements of pollinators to include honey bees and native bees into the manufacture of the sunflower plant.
- Explore innovative weed control techniques as they relate to existing labels. Begin testing experimental or new-to-market herbicides for possible application on the sunflower plants.
- Phomopsis stem canker is the number one disease priority in sunflower plants. Proposals geared towards improving (or leading to the improvement) of tools for disease control will be strongly supported. In addition, cooperation with other product groups (such as soybeans) is encouraged.
- Identify and control rust by way of genetic resistance and fungicide application.
- There is an ongoing concern in regards to downy mildew with the creation of new races and fungicide efficacy. Proposals studying genetic opposition along with seed analysis with respect to multiple modes of action will be of interest.
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Final Thoughts About Sunflower Oil
You would never know from looking at those bright, beautiful plants that the oil extracted from them had so much to offer. Sunflower oil is a product that you can cook with positive nutritional value, use for many health-related issues, and also has many cosmetic uses.
There is a wealth of information on sunflower oil its uses, benefits and continued research and development. Even though there are cons associated with sunflower oil, the benefits derived from using it makes it worthwhile products to have.