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Safflower Oil Benefits That are Too Good to Pass Up

Safflower Oil Benefits
Safflower oil is a type of vegetable oil that is becoming increasingly popular among people for the various benefits that it offers. It is healthy and beneficial for using- both internally and externally. Not only it keeps ailments at bay, but also it helps in maintaining a sound physique.
Deepa Kartha
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2018
Safflower Extraction Methods
Chemical: The oil is extracted and refined using chemicals. Traces of the chemicals may be left behind.

Expeller: Mechanical force is used to press the oil out of the seeds. This keeps all the natural constituents in the oil intact and is more beneficial.
Safflower oil, as the name suggests, is a form of oil that is extracted from the seeds of the safflower plant. There are two types of safflower oil; one is rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFA), and the other is rich in polyunsaturated fats (PUFA).

Although both types are used for cooking, the use of monounsaturated safflower oil is more prevalent. This is because this oil has a high smoke point and hence is ideal for deep-frying. In addition to this, it also has a long shelf life. Polyunsaturated safflower oil, on the other hand, has a low smoke point and becomes rancid when heated. It needs to be stored in a cool and dark place, and its use in cooking is limited to salad dressings and the like.
Why Safflower Oil Is Good For You
Safflower Oil Benefits
Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
A research from Ohio State University in 2011 inferred that linolenic acid, an Omega-6 compound present in safflower oil is one of the most heavily contributing factors to its health benefits, particularly in the case of cholesterol and blood sugar.
A study conducted by Ohio State University on overweight women, which involved the participants in consuming just over 1.5 tsp. of safflower oil, showed significant positive changes in their cholesterol and blood sugar levels (fasting). These changes were brought on without making any other changes in their dietary or lifestyle habits.
The study claimed that since cholesterol and blood sugar can be controlled by the regular intake of safflower oil, it can be of great help to people with diabetes, heart problems and by extension, obesity.
Weight Loss
Safflower oil contains both, MUFA and PUFA: the good fats that can help maintain cholesterol levels and reduce weight. People who are looking for ways to lose weight as well as maintain their weight can include as little as a tsp. of safflower oil a day in regular diet. Plus, the presence of Omega-6 acid in the oil helps reduce belly fat, if consumed regularly.
Ohio State University also confirmed about the effective properties of safflower oil in weight loss therapy, by their extensive research and studies. The results of the study have been debated with regards to the number of people used as subjects, their constitution, etc. Hence, while they may have found it to be true for their candidates, there may be variations depending on various factors.
PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome)
Safflower oil is also considered very helpful in curbing the discomfort caused by PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome). Prostaglandins, hormone-like substances, cause uncomfortable bloating and tenderness in breasts prior to a woman's menses. These prostaglandins are controlled and regulated by linolenic acid present in safflower oil. Consuming safflower oil instead of hormonal drugs also helps in regularizing menstrual cycles.
Safflower oil is one of the best oils to use to get healthy hair. It is light, odorless, and mild, and the scalp absorbs it easily. The oil is extremely rich in oleic acid and hence, does not leave your hair sticky and feeling heavy. Application of safflower oil on the scalp improves circulation. This stimulates hair follicles and enhances hair growth.
The oil also provides much-needed protection against the elements and pollution. Along with protection, it nourishes dry hair with its PUFA-enabled moisturizing properties.
Nourished and well-protected hair is obviously strong and healthy. Safflower oil is also touted to be one of the best oils to soothe hair that has endured damage from chemical treatments like coloring, perming, etc.
Apart from being good for hair, safflower oil benefits the skin in more ways than one. Dry skin can be easily combated with this oil. This is because of the high content of linolenic acid in it. Because of its light and non greasy texture, the oil is easily absorbed by the skin, making it soft, smooth, and supple.
The use of safflower oil is also recommended for treating acne, because the linolenic acid combined with sebum in the skin can help to unclog pores, and thus reduce acne and blackheads.
Safflower oil effectively helps in getting rid of other skin problems like scars, wrinkles and extremely dry and flaky skin. Because of its numerous benefits, safflower oil is very widely used as an ingredient in skincare products.
Important Constituents of Safflower Oil
Safflower Oil Benefits
  • Safflower oil has the highest source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) than that found in any other type of vegetable oil: almost 79 percent PUFA (linoleic acid).
  • It also contains 13 percent of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) (oleic acid) and only 8 percent of saturated fatty acids.
  • The other essential nutrients present in safflower oil are Omega-6 fatty acids, cis-linoleic acid, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
  • It also contains a small amount of choline.
How to Use Safflower Oil
In Your Diet
  • Substitute your cooking oil with MUFA-enriched safflower oil.
  • Drizzle it generously on your salads.
  • Instead of butter, use safflower oil in your cake and bread recipes.
  • Use it in dips, like hummus.
For Your Hair
  • You can choose to use safflower oil singly or in combination with olive oil and coconut oil, which are proven to be extremely beneficial to hair.
  • You may also choose to heat the oil till it is lukewarm, just to help the hair relax better.
  • Begin with the ends and then proceed to massaging the oil gently on the scalp.
  • Leaving the oil overnight is the best way to let the oil fully seep into the scalp and provide all the nourishment it is capable of. But, if you're strapped for time, leaving it on for an hour is enough.
  • If going outdoors with oiled hair, make sure you cover it so as to avoid dirt and pollution getting to it.
For Your Skin
  • Simply take a few drops of safflower oil in your hand, rub your palms together and apply generously on your face, arms, and legs.
  • While buying your skincare products, check the ingredients for safflower oil.
All these benefits are sure to prompt you to immediately substitute your cooking oil with safflower oil, right? Do it and indulge in the abundant advantages it has.
Safflower Oil