Safflower is a thistle-like plant and for thousands of years, extending back to the Ancient Egyptians, a useful oil has been extracted from its seeds. Large-scale production of safflower oil began in the 1950s and, as many people begin to become more health conscious, it has become a good replacement for less beneficial vegetable oils. Scientists continue to review the benefits of safflower oil and have found these include:
1. Helps with Weight Loss
Safflower oil can help maintain a healthy weight, and even encourage weight loss, by reducing the appetite, providing the body with important levels of good fat and blocking fat storage within the system. It is a rich source of linoleic acid which makes the oil very calorie dense, containing 120 per tablespoon. This high calorie level helps to make individuals feel fuller for longer periods of time and encourages eating less overall. The best way to use safflower oil for fat control is to take between 4 and 5 teaspoons per day, based on the number of calories consumed. Using it together with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) increases the rate at which the person loses weight, and many dietary products combine these ingredients.
Safflower oil is rich in Omega 6 fatty acids which, along with Omega 3 fatty acids, are necessary for a balanced diet. These are found in safflower oil and help the body to burn fat instead of store it. Many people who take regular doses report that it helps to reduce fat and build lean muscle, as well as balance out fat reserves throughout the body especially decreasing the amount stored around the abdomen. The use of safflower oil has been shown to improve overall health because it also raises serotonin levels which cause individuals to feel happier, while decreasing the appetite.
2. Helps Maintain Heart Health
Omega 6 fatty acids are important for our heart health and help to balance the cholesterol in our body. This in turn decreases our chances of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), as well as lowers the risk of having a heart attack or stroke which can be caused by high cholesterol. Taking safflower oil on a regular basis will keep adequate levels of omega 6 fatty acids in the system, and maintain heart health.
3. Manages Blood Sugar Levels
It is very important for people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels under control and linoleic acid can help with their regulation. In addition, safflower oil can also be used to prevent diabetes, as well as limit diabetic related conditions.
4. Helps Maintain Healthy Skin
Many people suffer from acne, which can be caused by an over-production of oil under the skin. This gets trapped within the pores, and bacterial overgrowth then causes the formation of blackheads and painful cysts. Safflower oil has anti-bacterial qualities that help to reduce the growth of bacteria, and its linoleic acid content helps to control oil production within the body. It also encourages the regeneration of cells, helping to eliminate scars and keep the skin looking youthful.
5. Promotes Healthy Hair
In addition to linoleic acid, safflower oil is rich in oleic acid that helps promote healthy hair and scalp. It increases the scalp’s circulation and, therefore, hair growth and shine. There are many hair products which contain safflower oil, and Chinese women have been using it to massage their scalp for centuries. Safflower oil is also useful to help minimise hair loss and, in some cases, can even reverse it. In addition to topical application, the benefits for the hair can also be gained by consumption.
6. Promotes a Healthy Reproductive System
Many women get terribly uncomfortable or feel a lot of pain during menstruation. Saffron oil helps reduce PMS symptoms and ease the pain, as the linoleic acid regulates prostaglandins which are responsible for hormonal changes. In addition, it also helps to regulate their cycle.
Safflower oil is also beneficial for the reproductive systems of both males and females, improving fertility and aiding men in controlling premature ejaculation. It also helps to reduce pregnancy associated pains, by improving the flow of blood to the pelvis and controlling cramps.
7. Boosts Immunity
The good fats contained in safflower oil help to produce prostaglandins, as well as regulate them. These help the body to function well in all areas, including the immune system. Safflower oil also helps to treat symptoms associated with respiratory illnesses such as asthma and whooping cough. It does this by loosening the phlegm in the respiratory system, therefore, allowing the individual to breathe better.