Sunflower oil, let's get to know it better

From June to September our countryside and our cities become yellow and we can enjoy the blooming of sunflowers along entire fields, often also at the edges of roads or in gardens.

Many people compete to take a few pictures in these places to share on social media or to keep for themselves. The sunflower makes you happy, invites you to smile and that’s why you probably gave or received it as a gift . You may have also kept it indoors to beautify the place where you live.

In addition to being very beautiful, from this cute flower is obtained an extraordinary oil, used both for cooking that in cosmetics. It helps our body and delights the palates.

Are you curious? Get comfortable and follow us … Let’s find out together!

Sunflower oil, what it is and how it is obtained

The sunflower gets its name from its resemblance to the sun and its ability to turn the flower in its direction.

The plant is an annual herbaceous that belongs to the Asteraceae family and is native to the Americas, but today it is also widespread in Europe. The stem reaches an average of 2 meters in height but it can even reach 4 meters.

What we commonly identify as its flower looks like a large yellow crown that can reach 85 cm in diameter connected to a dark center with brown and black shades. It is actually an inflorescence made up of numerous small flowers called “fruscoli” and they give rise to fruits with a seed inside them.

The sunflower and its seeds are used in many and various applications; they are an excellent floral gift to decorate our homes with a touch of color that brings joy, a useful, versatile, healthy food and they are a cosmetic product rich in beneficial properties for our skin.

Sunflower oil can be obtained in two ways from seeds:

  • by pressing, hot to cold,
  • with the use of solvents.

The crude oil obtained is adjusted in color and acidity to make it edible and pleasant. The final product has a delicate taste and aroma.

Composition of Sunflower Oil

As for all vegetable oils, its composition can vary based on various factors such as:

  • cultivated variety,
  • environmental conditions, harvesting
  • the processing.

The composition of sunflower oil is essentially unsaturated fatty acids, about 32% oleic acid (monounsaturated) and 52% linoleic (polyunsaturated) precursors of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

The fatty acid distribution of medium oleic sunflower oil is relatively similar to that of olive oil or argan oil. Sunflower oil typically also contains sterols, lecithin, tocopherols, folates, carotenoids, and waxes.

An important element present in sunflower oil is vitamin E which works as an excellent antioxidant and it is present up to 5 times more than in olive oil (28 mg per 100 ml of sunflower oil). The antioxidant power is amplified by the presence of ascorbic acid.

The list of vitamins present continues with B6, B5 and B3. Certainly there is no shortage of minerals either; in fact we can find copper, iron, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and manganese.

Benefits and contraindications of Sunflower Oil

Because of its composition and consistency, sunflower oil would seem to be a good remedy to reduce the levels of cholesterol commonly called “bad” in the blood. Consequently, it’s an aid against cardiovascular and atherosclerotic diseases.

Sunflower oil is often used for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is used as a rinse of the oral cavity in case of inflammation of the gums and to soothe swelling. It also appears to be a good ally against constipation.

Due to its delicate taste and beneficial properties, sunflower oil is often used instead of other oils and fats both raw and for the preparation of doughs and dishes cooked at high temperatures. For this reason, and because of the good “smoke point”, sunflower oil is often used to have delicious fried foods.

However, sunflower oil must be used with care by people sensitive to plants of the Asteraceae family of which the sunflower is part (together with ambrosia, daisy etc.) because it could cause allergic reactions.

Furthermore, the consumption of sunflower oil is not recommended for those suffering from diabetes because its influence has resulted on fasting insulin and blood sugar levels.

This vegetable oil is a real resource for the skin and it is often used in cosmetics. Let’s explore together how and why ..

Sunflower oil in cosmetics: a true cure-all of nature

As we have said, sunflower oil has a strong presence of vitamin E in it. It guarantees its antioxidant characteristics and it becomes an anti-aging ally for our skin. It is suitable for anti-aging creams and it smoothes wrinkles. It is considered the anti-aging oil par excellence and it is used for the formulation of treatments to keep the skin toned, compact, elastic and hydrated.

Another aspect that makes it useful for skin rejuvenation is its ability to eliminate damage caused by the sun (photoaging).

Combined with other oils it is perfect as a remedy for dry, chapped and dehydrated skin, it is excellent for the regeneration of skin, nails and hair. Due to its emollient and soothing characteristics it is generally suitable for all skin types and it is suitable for the treatment of acne, stretch marks and scars.

Sunflower oil can also be used as a base for massage oil and in the treatment of rheumatic or muscular pains.

As you may have understood, sunflower oil is a fantastic ally for our skin!

The information given is not medical advice. The contents are for illustrative purposes only and do not replace medical advice