Sunflowers are native to America and have been widely used for the extraction of cooking oil since ages. Sunflower oil is a non-volatile oil extracted from the seeds of sunflowers. It is commonly used as a cooking oil as well as in cosmetic formulations due to its emollient properties. Its nutritious composition makes it one of the healthiest oils for consumption as well as application on the skin and the hair. The main component of sunflower oil is linoleic acid. Its other components include oleic acid and palmitic acid. In addition to these, it contains lecithin, carotenoids, tocopherols and appreciable quantities of vitamins A, D and E.
Sunflower oil is one of the cheif poly-unsaturated cooking oils in currnet usage. 100 g oil provides 884 calories.
It is one of the cooking oils with high smoke point; 495 °F, similar to peanut oil. The property which can be employed in setting oil temperature while deep frying food items.
Sunflower oil has a very good lipid profile. It has saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (SFA: MUFA: PUFA= 16: 24: 58) fats in healthy proportions.
It is one of the stable cooking oils; having a long shelf life.
Sunflower oil is rich in Vitamin E and low in saturated fat. Besides, it is rich in certain phytochemicals like choline and phenolic acid that are beneficial for your heart.
Sunflower oil is the ultimate solution for those having worries about developing arthritis. Sunflower oil helps in the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis.
The saturated fats found in other oils are difficult to break down completely during metabolism. Consequently, they are carried to different parts of the body by the blood and get deposited, thus increasing the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels.
Sunflower oil acts as an antioxidant as it is rich in Vitamin E or tocopherols that help in neutralizing the cancer-causing free radicals. The free radicals damage the cells and the immune system.
Sunflower oil also contains proteins, which are vital for building and repairing tissues and the production of hormones and enzymes. Our body requires high amounts of proteins. Since the body does not store proteins, they have to be consumed, and sunflower oil fulfils this requirement.
Sunflower oil is useful in reducing the risk of infection in pre-term infants having low birth weight. The infants are more likely to suffer from infections because of underdeveloped immune system and organs such as the skin. Sunflower oil acts as a protective barrier and prevents such infection.