Sunflower oil is extracted by compressing the seeds and kernel of Sunflower. Sunflower or ‘Surajmukhi’ as it is popularly called, is a yellow flower with yellow or maroon disc florets in the central portion and yellow ray florets around it. The plant grows to a height of about 50-400 centimeters. Sunflower oil is a polyunsaturated or monounsaturated mixture of group of oils, mostly linoleic acid (omega-6) and oleic acid (omega-9).
The sunflower seeds contain about 28% oil and the kernel contains about 45-55% oil. The oil is of amber colour with a pleasant flavor, but the refined sunflower oil is pale yellow in colour. Here are a few health benefits of sunflower oil.
Strengthens the Immune System
Antioxidants found in sunflower oil strengthen the general immune system of the body. This helps the body to fight away the attack by germs and infections. Sunflower oil strengthens the skin by strengthening the membranes which act as barriers against the bacteria and viruses which try to enter our body. Thus the body fights away the germ attacks in the initial most stage by preventing them from entering the body. Sunflower oil is very good for babies, particularly the premature ones, as they are highly prone to getting infections because of having a weak immune system.
Helps in maintaining Heart Health
The balanced percentage of fatty acids found in sunflower oil is supposed to be very good for health. A certain amount of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid which is found in sunflower oil is said be very good in maintaining a healthy body with a healthy heart. A healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 is considered essential in giving good health to a body. This can be provided by including sunflower oil in your diet. The absence of saturated fats in sunflower oil helps in reducing the amount of cholesterol in the body. This helps in staying away from problems of high blood pressure, blocked arteries, developing atherosclerosis and therefore staying away from heart attack and stroke.
Prevention from Cancer
Sunflower oil is rich in antioxidants. The Vitamin E content of sunflower oil has tocopherols which are strong antioxidants. These eliminate the free radicals found in the body and thus stop the healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells. Sunflower oil specially helps in preventing colon cancer.
The Vitamin content and the beneficial fatty acid content of sunflower oil gives it an anti-inflammatory property. Therefore sunflower oil is beneficial in inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. This oil also helps in reducing the severity of attacks of asthma, which a respiratory disease caused on account of inflammation of the air passage tubes in the lungs.
Keeps Skin Healthy
Vitamin E is very essential for a healthy skin. Vitamin E helps in keeping the skin healthy by regenerating cells. The good effects of Vitamin E of sunflower oil can be seen in sooner reduction of scars, quicker healing of wounds, bringing a natural glow to your skin etc. This is accomplished by the neutralization of free radicals by Vitamin E.
Thus sunflower oil is packed with health benefits and regular consumption gives you a healthier and a glowing body with the passage of time, while simultaneously reducing the chances of heart attack and stroke etc.