Safflower Oil: Side Effects, Benefits, Types And Properties

Safflower oil is being used by more and more people due to its properties. Safflower is a plant native to the Middle East that is now grown throughout Europe and the United States. Its deep root allows it to survive in the driest climates.

Due to their resemblance to sunflower they were originally used as a dye for cosmetics and fabrics. It is also used as a spice similar to saffron to flavor various dishes.

Currently, the cultivation of safflower is destined for the extraction of oil from its seeds . This oil is rich in unsaturated fats that have been shown to be good for your health. Safflower oil has gained notoriety and has recently been used as a dietary supplement for many health benefits .

Types of safflower oil and what are its properties

There are two types of safflower oil: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated safflower oil

The oil is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid , also known as omega-9, which is a fatty acid, it is also resistant to high temperatures by not losing its nutritional value when heated so it can be used both in the preparation hot and cold food.

It is a good alternative to other cooking oils, such as soybean, olive, sunflower and other hydrogenated oils that are less healthy or not as resistant to high temperatures. It has virtually no taste, color or odor, which is an advantage in its use in the kitchen.

Polyunsaturated safflower oil

Polyunsaturated safflower oil is rich in linoleic acid, also known as omega-6, a polyunsaturated fatty acid. It is more sensitive and should not be heated , since it is susceptible to oxidation and becomes rancid. It should be stored in cold places, preferably under refrigeration and protected from light. This type of oil is commonly sold as a nutritional supplement and has the highest levels of linoleic acid among all the vegetable oils available on the market.

Omega-6 is an essential fatty acid for the functioning of the human body, but it must be obtained through food since the body cannot produce it.

The fatty acid composition of an oil can be an indicator of stability, physical properties, and nutritional value. Safflower oil, in its polyunsaturated version, is composed mostly of linoleic acid, approximately 82% of all oil is omega-6 fatty acids . It also has approximately 11% oleic acid (omega-9), palmitic acid 5% and small percentages of stearic acid as well as linolenic.

Properties of safflower oil for health

Studies have shown that consuming a daily dose of safflower oil as a nutritional supplement can reduce inflammation, bad cholesterol, and body fat; as well as improving heart health and helping to gain muscle mass.

Despite its benefits, its use should be moderate, although its caloric value is equal to other oils and fats (108 kcal per 12 grams or a teaspoon), it is proportionally very high compared to other foods rich in nutrients, such as carbohydrates. carbon and protein.

Safflower oil is very rich in vitamin E , a powerful antioxidant . Many scientific studies confirming the properties of this product are still ongoing, but researchers say it has great potential.

Top 7 Benefits of Safflower Oil

1) Helps in weight loss

Although to date, no studies have consistently shown that simply adding safflower oil to your diet helps with weight loss, many factors contribute to it being an excellent ally, which is why it has gained so much fame.

It is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to stimulate the burning of body fat. Contrary to what many believe, fat consumption is essential in weight loss diets. The key is to choose good fat sources and in the correct amount, that there is a balance of all the macro and micronutrients. A sudden lack of fat intake slows down the metabolism and affects the results of the diet. Therefore, the moderate consumption of safflower oil, substituting other types of fats and following a regimen with an optimal distribution of energy between carbohydrates, proteins and fats, can be a very effective means to accelerate the metabolism, burn fat and, consequently, lose weight.

Additionally, studies have shown that safflower oil is capable of increasing serotonin levels in the body. This neurotransmitter is closely related to mood, reduces anxiety and promotes well-being. These conditions help reduce appetite and calorie intake.

Other research indicates that safflower oil supplementation is capable of leading to increased serum levels of adiponectin , a hormone secreted by adipose tissue that is involved in glucose regulation and fatty acid catabolism. Its blood levels are directly related to weight loss and low body fat percentages in adults. So this is a third mechanism by which safflower oil can aid in weight loss and improving body composition.

2) Fight against abdominal fat

Weight gain is usually accompanied by an increase in abdominal fat, which when around the organs (visceral fat) becomes very dangerous . Patients with elevated levels of visceral fat tend to remain in chronic inflammatory states, developing insulin resistance and other signs of the so-called metabolic syndrome, a risk factor for heart disease, myocardial infarction, and certain forms of cancer.

A study published in 2009 by the Ohio State University in the USA , tested the supplementation with safflower oil in a group of postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes. A decrease in abdominal fat and a gain in muscle mass were observed. The hypothesis is that there is a reorganization of the composition of the adipose tissues distributed in the body.

Although more studies are needed to corroborate these results, with the participation of even other population groups, safflower oil appears to be an ally in the fight against abdominal fat .

Check out what Brown Rice can do: to reduce abdominal fat and lose weight.

3) Reduce bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol for the heart

Studies also conflict on this point, but evidence indicates that safflower oil appears to have the ability to raise levels of HDL , which is good cholesterol, and lower levels of LDL , bad cholesterol.

Cholesterol levels are directly linked to cardiovascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and cerebrovascular problems. Bad cholesterol can build up on the walls of blood vessels and form plaques that block blood flow, while good cholesterol helps reduce the deposition of these plaques. Therefore, safflower oil could improve the blood lipid profile.

4) Control blood sugar levels

The same study of postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes has shown that consuming 8 grams of safflower oil per day for 36 weeks was able to lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity .

Therefore, this product could help people with diabetes to control the disease or prevent it in healthy individuals.

Blood glucose levels are extremely important for those who want to gain muscle mass or lose fat as it determines the release of insulin, which in turn is a hormone that promotes the accumulation of fat.

More conclusive studies are needed to investigate the influence of safflower oil on this metabolic parameter.

5) Improves skin and hair

Being rich in linoleic acid, safflower oil is an excellent ally for the skin, improving appearance, hydration and reducing acne due to its antibacterial properties . As it also contains vitamin E, it fights free radicals and thus wrinkles, fine lines, other signs of aging and the skin stays younger.

This oil is non-comedogenic, that is, it does not clog pores, which is why it is used in a number of cosmetic formulations and some experts recommend that it be applied directly to the skin , mixed with a few drops of essential oils or with other moisturizing lotions.

Research has also shown an improvement in the skin of people suffering from follicular hyperkeratosis, a disease characterized by the accumulation of keratin in the follicles. The patients took the oil for eight weeks. The results are due, according to the study, to the combination of linoleic acid and vitamin E present in the product, because one of the causes of the disease may be the nutritional deficiency of this vitamin.

It is also very beneficial for the roots of the scalp and hair , because it stimulates the growth of stronger hairs, check our article on how to use it in homemade moisturizing hair recipes .

6) Helps the immune system

Prostaglandins play a fundamental role in our immune system, ensuring biochemical signals that lead to defense against microorganisms and other injuries. However, they are not produced by the human body, but rather are synthesized from a derivative of linoleic acid, in this case, safflower oil.

7) Natural antioxidant

Safflower oil is a source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects the cells of the body against free radicals both internally, formed by cellular metabolism, and externally due to exposure to UV rays and pollutants. This helps overall health, fighting premature aging, and even protects against various diseases.

Supplementation with safflower oil or its inclusion as a substitute for other oils in food helps to achieve the recommended daily intake of this vitamin.

Safflower oil contains another antioxidant, a compound derived from serotonin, which further increases its advantage against free radicals.

Tips, contraindications and side effects to have with safflower oil

Despite all the benefits of safflower oil, some indications should be taken into account before starting its consumption:

  • The people with impaired blood clotting, gastrointestinal ulcers or will undergo surgical procedures should avoid the intake of safflower oil as this has anticoagulant properties.
  • Some people are allergic to safflower plants, including ragweed, daisy, carnation, and chrysanthemum, among others . In these cases it should not be consumed, as there is a risk of serious reactions.
  • Pregnant women should also avoid consuming safflower oil as it can trigger uterine contractions and induce labor.
  • To confer a protective and nutritionally balanced effect, experts recommend that the ratio of the intake of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids be 5: 1 to 10: 1. Safflower oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, so the ideal is to also include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna, trout, herring and mackerel), walnuts , canola oil, flaxseed and green vegetables.
  • Safflower oil should be kept in the dark , in a sealed container and under refrigeration.
  • The recommended daily dose is generally 8 to 20 g per day , but the ideal is to adjust the amount to the nutritional and energy requirements according to age, gender and the desired weight goal.

Where to buy safflower oil

In this link we show you the list of all available products. and then we leave you the most important ones below:

  • Lienzos Levante 0310442001 – Safflower oil in 250ml bottle
  • Organic Safflower – 100% Pure Cold Pressed Carrier Oil – Certified Organic – 100ml
  • Organic Safflower – 100% Pure Cold Pressed Carrier Oil – Certified Organic – 1 Liter
  • Organic Safflower Oil, High Heat, 16 fl oz (473 ml) Can – Spectrum Naturals

Almost all essential oils

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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