Sunflower oil has a large number of benefits that help in keeping the body healthy and strong. Though it is included in the list of high fat items, it is gaining popularity as cooking oil due to its wide variety of health-enhancing nutrients. The health benefits of using sunflower oil is such that it helps in providing cardiovascular benefits, prevents Arthritis, prevents of colon cancer and other cancers, lowers Cholesterol, helps in repairing the body, prevents Infant Infection, provides healthy nervous system, reduces inflammation, provides skin care, reduces premature signs of aging, controlls Frizzy Hair and reduces cardiac problems.
Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil compressed from the seeds of sunflower (Helianthus annuus). It is a monounsaturated (MUFA)/polyunsaturated (PUFA) mixture of mostly oleic acid (omega-9)-linoleic acid (omega-6) group of oils. The oil is of light amber color with a mild and pleasant flavor; refined oil is pale yellow. Refining losses are low and the oil has good keeping qualities with light tendency for flavor reversion. The oil contains appreciable quantities of vitamin E, sterols, squalene, and other aliphatic hydrocarbons. Sunflower oil is commonly used in food as a frying oil, and in cosmetic formulations as an emollient. The world's total production of sunflower oil in 2014 was nearly 16 million tonnes, with Ukraine and Russia as the largest producers.
1 cup (i.e. 218g) of Sunflower oil serves 1927 calories of energy. The saturated fat content is 21.3g, monounsaturated fat is 182g and polyunsaturated fat is 8.3g. The total Omega-3 fatty acids is 419mg and total Omega-6 fatty acids is 7860 mg. The oil is a rich source of vitamin and the content of vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) is 89.5mg and Vitamin K is 11.8mcg.
Sunflower oil is rich in Vitamin E and low in saturated fat. Besides, it is rich in certain phytochemicals like choline and phenolic acid which are beneficial for the heart. It also contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats along with vitamins that makes it one of the healthiest oils for consumption. High oleic sunflower oils contain 80% or more monounsaturated fats. Thus, sunflower oil helps in lowering cardiovascular diseases and chance of heart attack.
Sunflower oil is a very good solution for those having worries about developing arthritis. Sunflower oil helps in the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis.
Sunflower oil contains more Vitamin E than any other cooking oil. Thus, incorporating this oil in our diet provides protection against colon cancer. The carotenoids found in sunflower oil help in the prevention of uterine, lung and skin cancers. The Vitamin E or tocopherols found in Sunflower oil help in neutralizing the cancer-causing free radicals. The free radicals damage the cells and the immune system.
The saturated fats found in other oils are difficult to break down completely during metabolism. As a result, they are carried to different parts of the body by the blood and get deposited, thus increasing the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels. This causes health problems like embolism, atherosclerosis, joint pains and birth defects. Sunflower oil being rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats provides energy besides maintaining an ideal LDL/HDL (good cholesterol) ratio in the body. Sunflower oil also contains lecithin which helps in lowering cholesterol level. This is because it sticks to the nerve and cell linings, thus prevents fat and cholesterol from sticking to the cell.
Sunflower oil contains proteins, which are vital for building and repairing tissues and the production of hormones and enzymes. A human 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.
The Vitamin B content of sunflower oil promotes a healthy nervous system, proper digestion and is a great source of energy.
Sunflower oil contains selenium that is beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiac problems and hepatic degradation. A high level of selenium in your blood is also instrumental in reducing the risk of lung and skin cancers.
Sunflower oil, rich in vitamin E is specifically related to improving skin health and regenerating cells. This means that the skin is better protected against damage from the sun, as well as the natural degradation of age that occurs when free radicals are present in the body. Antioxidants like vitamin E neutralize free radicals, keeping them from destroying or damaging healthy cells. An increased reduction in scars, quicker healing of wound, and a healthier naturally glowing skin is seen. This is a major reason why sunflower oil is commonly used in cosmetic applications.
The antioxidant properties of sunflower oil help in preventing premature signs of aging. The exposure to free radicals and sunlight increases the rate of aging of skin, causing the occurrence of wrinkles and fine lines at an early age. The antioxidants in sunflower oil lower the risk of developing premature signs of aging.
Due to its light texture and mild flavor, sunflower oil softens the hair and adds a delightful sheen to it. Sunflower seed oil helps to control frizz, tackles dryness and damage and makes the hair manageable. This versatile oil maintains the hair’s luster and texture and can be used as a natural conditioner. Sunflower oil can be applied and massaged on the scalp before a bath once a week for maximum benefits.
Asthma affects millions of people around the world, and this respiratory condition can range from mild to life-threatening. Sunflower oil has been positively correlated with a lower amount and severity of asthma attacks because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, which are derived from its vitamin content, as well as the beneficial fatty acids sunflower oil contains.
Sunflower oil, which is pressed from the seeds of sunflower plant, finds its use as cooking oil as well as in medicines and cosmetic products. Sunflower oil is used for constipation and for lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol. Some people apply sunflower oil directly to the skin for poorly healing wounds, skin injuries, psoriasis, and arthritis; and as massage oil.
Sunflower oil is likely safe when taken by mouth or applied to the skin in appropriate amounts. However, Some side effects of using sunflower oil include allergic reactions among people who are hypersensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Moreover, a diet that is high in sunflower oil seems to increase fasting insulin, blood sugar levels and also increases the after-meal blood fats, which might increase the chances of developing atherosclerosis in people with diabetes.
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is one of the few crop species that originated in North America (most originated in the fertile-crescent, Asia or South or Central America). It was most likely domesticated by Native Americans around 1000 BC, who the carried it eastward and southward of North America. (Putnam, et al, 1990).Sunflowers were probably first introduced to Europe through Spain. The crop, spread through Europe as a curiosity until it reached Russia, where it was readily adapted. In Russia, selection for seeds that were high in oil began in 1860. This selection for high producer varieties was largely responsible for increasing oil content from 28% to almost 50%. The high-oil lines from Russia were reintroduced into the U.S. after World War II, which rekindled interest in the crop. However, it was the discovery of the male-sterile and restorer gene system that made hybrids feasible and increased commercial interest in the crop. Production of sunflowers subsequently rose dramatically in the Great Plains states because of new niches for the seeds, including oil, snack food, and birdseed. Production in these regions in the 1980s has declined mostly because of low profit margins as well as pests. Sunflower acreage is now moving westward into dryer regions; however, 85% of the North American sunflower seed is still produced in North and South Dakota and Minnesota.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune disorder which induces inflammation in the joints. What causes the condition is not exactly clear, but a lot of studies have been done to establish a connection between various factors such as, diet, exercise, etc., with this condition. These studies have come up with correlation between foods and rheumatoid arthritis. There are some foods which should be a part of your diet, and some that should definitely be avoided if you have to keep the joint inflammation under control. Read on to know the top 5 foods to eat and to avoid.
What to eat?
What to avoid?
A healthy lifestyle improves not just the overall quality of life, but also reduces the severity of symptoms of RA.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Roti, rice and diabetes
Without controlling the sugar that goes through your mouth, trying to control the blood sugar with injections and tablets is utter nonsense. Throw away your roti and rice, sir!’ the bank manager was taken aback, did not expect this harsh comment from me. Here is the full story.
He was my distant relative, had come to invite me for a family function. He had been a diabetic for the past 15 years. Recently there was an increase in his blood urea and creatinine levels suggestive of ongoing damage to the kidneys. He requested me to suggest a good nephrologist for the same.
‘I am following my doctor’s advice religiously. Taking the drugs very regularly. I walk daily and am on a proper diet. Yet, why does this happen?’
‘is your sugar level under control?’
‘Hmmm. Reasonably. It is about 220 to 250 or so…’
‘That means, it is not under control’
‘The number of injections or tablets you take doesn’t count at all. If the blood sugar is not under control, you will have problems in your kidneys, eyes and even your nerves’.
That is what I am worried about. I don’t understand what’s happening. I just eat one or two rotis or idlis in the morning, some rice as lunch and one or two chappatis for supper. I avoid all fatty food’
‘Who told you that this is the right thing to do?’
‘You have to reduce the sugar in the diet. The amount of visible sugar used for tea or coffee is not that large. But most of the hidden sugar is in your staple food, rice or wheat, which are heavily loaded with sugars’’
‘What. Rice and wheat are bad for me?’
‘‘Undoubtedly. Without controlling the sugar that goes through your mouth, trying to control the sugar in your blood by injections and tablets is foolish. Abandon your rice and rotis, sir. Right now.’
‘But, my doctor said wheat is better for me…isn’t it true?’
‘Rice or wheat, sugar is the major ingredient, forming about 80-90%. Is your wife diabetic?’
‘Both of you are eating the same diet. Her sugar level is normal, because her body is metabolizing the sugar well. Your body does not know how to handle the sugar, hence blood sugar increases. It is as simple as that’
‘I am not sure if I understood well…….’
‘Suppose somebody is allergic to fish, what would you advice? avoid fish, isn't it. Or, would you advice him to take anti allergic drugs and eat fish? apply the same here. Your body is not able to handle the sugars. So, you have to give as less sugar as possible. Instead, you feed mainly on sugary foods and expect the body to behave well. Is it logical?’
‘Oh…getting your point doctor. So, what kind of food should I take?’
‘Take those which are rich in protein and fat’
‘What, you are advising me to take fat? are you serious?’
‘Ok. Just listen. When we say balanced diet, it should contain 50-60% carbohydrates, 15-20% protein and 15-20% fat. But the current diet pattern in the entire world, especially in india, has nearly 85% as carbohydrates. Because of the unjustifiable fear on the fat, we have replaced it with carbs. This is one of the most important reason for so many obese and diabetic patients in our country’
‘I don’t get you, doctor’
‘What happens when you eat roti or rice? they are converted to sugars. Body cannot save sugar as such. It has to be either used and burnt or it would be converted to fat and saved. Most of the bad cholesterol in the blood is derived from sugars. If a person is fat, its all derived from high sugar intake and not fat intake’
‘Oh. What should I do doctor?’
‘Simple. Reduce carbs and include fat so that it makes at least 30% of your calories. We can’t avoid carbs. I am going to ask you to eat lot of greens, vegetables, fruits, milk products, lentils, pulses etc. All of these have carbs. However, they are complex carbohydrates, will be absorbed more slowly into the body. Moreover you can’t eat them in large amounts as you do with rice and roti’
If we avoid rice and roti, what else to eat doctor, nothing!’
Take a full bowl of greens for lunch, a lot of cooked or uncooked vegetables and good quantity of curd’
Is it possible for anyone to follow this diet?’
Quiet. I am neither diabetic nor obese. Yet, I am following this eating pattern. If you have doubts, feel free to open my lunch box and check it out’
What about dinner?’
Today you take eggs. Only eggs, nothing else. It could be two or three. Tomorrow some panneer curry. Third day any other vegetable or a bowl of fruits. Do you want to eat fish or chicken? fine, take as much as you can, say 250-300g. But, you have to eat only that, no question of having roti/chappati or rice. You can plan any dish that suits you. To put it simply, whatever you have been eating as side-dish till now should become the main dish.
Will this satisfy our calory- needs?’
Yes, it will. And will also bring in lots of vitamins and minerals. Because you are forced to avoid rice and roti, you will eat good amount of greens, eggs, dhals, fruits and vegetables. The dishes which we discussed for dinner can be taken as lunch and vice versa’
What about break fast?’
You could take your coffee with a spoon of butter added to it. Take one or two eggs or some fruit or some nuts like badam. Or just take curd as much as you can. You can design yourself, there is no hard and fast rule. In case you are taking idli / dosa or roti, take as less as possible but with added ghee or butter’
You are telling everything just the opposite of what I do. I am really afraid….’
In that case, we can stop this discussion’
No…no…please go ahead. What about oils?’
‘most of the oils are good for the body, provided the foods prepared from the oil are taken fresh. Use the oil of the soil. We, tamilians should use gingely oil, our kerala friends should use coconut oil. These oils are safe for deep frying too. So, don’t worry in taking fried items whether it is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Light oils like sunflower oil and other vegetable oils get denatured when heating. Hence avoid these oils. However, any oil in any fried item, if stored, is not good. So, things like chips, murukku and for that matter anything fried and crispy should be taken only once in a while. Many have the habit of storing that at home and taking regularly which is very dangerous’
But, will these be enough? what if I feel hungry?’
You can feel free to eat any amount of natural foods to fill up your stomach. All nuts, cucumber, carrots, plain coconut kernel etc can be taken anytime. These foods can be stored in multiple small boxes and should be readily available at home and at work place’
What about breads, biscuits and oats?’
Throw them away’
Hmm…let me see.’
He left appearing reasonably satisfied with my advice on diet. However, he returned within two days. This time, his wife had accompanied him.
Doctor, I told her everything. But she thinks I am lying.’
This is natural. For the past 50 years or so, we have ingrained so much of wrong information about the food that our mind will not easily accept if someone tries to challenge the long held beliefs. However, my task was easier with her as she had already listened from her husband. They met the nephrologist and got some advice for his kidney problems and left, only to come back 10 days later.
Sorry sir. I am finding it very difficult. It does not suit me. I get constipated at times and I don’t get good sleep ever since I changed my diet’
Don’t be anxious over the results. It’s too early. Remember you don’t have a choice in this matter. Follow the diet for another 10-15 days. You’ll get used to it.’
He shook his head and went away. He was not seen for the next five months. Accidentally, I met him at a marriage function.
Doctor, my sugar levels are less than 200 now. My doctor has increased the insulin dosage. He also prescribed a costly medicine which is working very well’
It did not take a genius to guess that he was not following the diet regimen.
‘sorry sir, I could not follow your advice. Your explanation was wonderful. But it does not suit me. I shared your advice with my doctor. He was shocked but that does not matter now. My blood-sugar is under control now. That alone matters.’
One of your medicines reduces the absorption of sugars. Another costly drug encourages the absorbed sugar to get excreted in the urine. Is there any logic in allowing you to take the sugars by mouth and then prevent its absorption at intestine and excrete it in the urine. You would be spending 20 rupees to eat and 200 rupees to get it out’
Even if you control your sugar level with injections and medicines, it does not reduce the chance of a heart attack or stroke’
Then what’s the big deal in reducing the sugar levels in blood?
Why don’t you ask your doctor?’
My point is that if you reduce your blood sugar by by life style modifications and natural means, you can prevent a heart attack or a stroke.’
He was silent for a while and then took leave. His was not a one-off case. No amount of counseling can make the people change their diet patterns.
Few months later, he visited me at my hospital. He appeared unhappy.
‘recently I got re-evaluated. Sugars are slightly up. Salt levels are also on the rise. I am really worried about my kidneys. I don’t know what to do’
‘i repeat what I said earlier. Please change your diet pattern at least now.’
This time he had no other go. He was now ready to make a drastic change in his diet. I put him on to our hospital’s dietician for further guidance.
I forgot about him. Four months later, I saw him in a mall. I wanted to avoid him. I vowed not to ask him about his health. I tried to move away. A few minutes later he came running to me.
‘how are you doctor?’
‘hmm…’ it was a bland smile and a bland response.
‘my wife saw you entering the mall. She insisted that I should see you. We have got an appointment with you this wednesday. You know something?’
I could see that the couple was happy.
‘Thank you very much doctor. I was forced to follow your advice. My sugar levels started coming down. In two months down the line I stopped insulin. My doctor was surprised. Yes, I did not tell him about my modified diet-plan as I was worried that he could potentially discourage me.
I was just happily listening him.
Doctor. You won’t believe this, doctor. Even the urea levels are coming down which I was told as irreversible earlier. I don’t know how to thank you. Looking forward to seeing you this wednesday with my latest lab reports.’
He folded his hands towards me and walked away. His wife stayed for a couple of seconds more, gave a thankful facial expression and left. That made my day. What else can make a physician happier than to see his patient getting healthier!
Gone are the days when the sole purpose of having a salad was to lose the stubborn and unwanted body fats. Salads can be extremely healthy and nutritious. With salads around, the long and gruesome hours in the kitchen are a thing of the past. A bowl full of lip-smacking salad, well structured with fruits, vegetables and quality oils, will do your health a world of good. Preparing salads is no rocket science. Get all the ingredients together, and switch to the way of health and nourishment.
The benefits of salads are immense. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Seldom you will come across a person who is satisfied with their body weight. While some people try everything under the sun to lose the extra and unwanted kilos, other pray for some healthy weight gain. There can be a plethora of factors responsible for the weight gain (unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle, overeating, or medical condition such as Hypothyroidism) and the weight loss (chronic illness, depression, parasitic or viral infections, to name a few). However, leaving the condition attended for too long will further complicate things.
Ayurveda for effective weight loss
Ayurveda for weight gain
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The most common problem affecting the mouth is caries which happens as a result of bacteria acting on the food deposits on the teeth, which produces acid that attacks the tooth structure. The result is loss of tooth structure and formation of pits and cavities which allows more food deposits and causes more decay.
Decay development depends on a number of factors including heredity, tooth structure, oral hygiene habits, food habits, etc. There are certain simple things that can be done at home which can delay the onset of the decay and also reduce its progression and severity.
If that sounds interesting, read on to know more.
The next time you have a tooth ache, it is not always necessary to rush to the dentist. Try these home remedies to get some relief, which will give you time to go to the dentist.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!