Safflower Oil for the Inside and Out

Did You Know…that a daily dose of safflower oil may protect against heart disease, help regulate blood sugar levels, and keep your skin youthful no matter your age?

Extracted from the seeds of the safflower, safflower oil has been hailed as a heart protector, diabetes stabilizer, and wrinkle fighter.  Let’s peer into the kernels of the safflower, deep into the oil, where a wealth of healthy goodness lies.

Insurance against Heart Disease 

Safflower oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, which are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.  Monounsaturated fats protect against the buildup of harmful LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream.  When LDL accumulates, plaque can develop on your arteries.  If plaque breaks open, it can cause a blood clot, immediately instigating a heart attack or stroke.  By helping to reduce LDL, safflower oil shields against a life-threatening cardiovascular event.

Safflower oil is a potent source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements, may be a key player in keeping your arteries plaque free.  Vitamin E is also essential for cell signaling and a healthy immune system.  It defends against free radical damage from environmental pollutants and sun damage, thus protecting you from premature aging.

 

Dealing with Diabetes

A 2011 study published in Clinical Nutrition suggests that safflower oil may be a viable option for diabetes management because it naturally regulates blood sugar levels.  Researchers from Ohio State University treated obese, diabetic women with 8 grams (1.6 teaspoons) of safflower oil for 16 weeks.  Daily treatment lowered blood glucose and inflammation markers.  It also raised insulin sensitivity (allowing insulin receptors to properly take in glucose from the bloodstream).


Smoothing the Skin 

Not only is safflower oil high in skin-saving vitamin E, but it’s also loaded with linoleic acid.  According to a 2007 study, middle-aged and older women with diets high in linoleic acid showed fewer lines, wrinkles, and other markers of aging.

You, too, can invest in your youthfulness by adding safflower oil to salads, marinades, and even baked goods.  Even better, combine safflower oil with foods concentrated in vitamin B-complex, like leafy greens, nuts, and grains—all of which aid in absorption.  Keep in mind that safflower oil is high in omega-6, a pro-inflammatory fatty acid, so balance with other oils rich in omega-3, like cod liver and fish oils.  Because of its high sensitivity to heat and light, refrigerate safflower oil in a brown bottle.

What’s good for the inside is good for the outside.  Safflower oil makes a wonderful skin moisturizer.  It forms a hydrating barrier that keeps moisture locked in tight.  It’s even appropriate for use on acne-prone skin.  A study published in Clinical Experimental Dermatology showed that skin treated with linoleic acid for one month exhibited fewer blackheads and whiteheads.

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