There is increasing interest in the use of argan oil. This is because diverse and amazing benefits have been associated to it. The oil is particularly popular for its usefulness for removing wrinkles and boosting the look and feel of the skin.
Although many know this oil more, or only, for its uses in cosmetic products, it also makes a nice, worthy addition to dishes. Learn about its composition and some of the benefits you can enjoy from eating it.
Argan Oil Overview
Argan oil is the product of a tree that is exclusively grown in Morocco. However, its use is not limited to that North African country.
The oil is widely used across the world. Its importance has become so great enough to make the UNESCO declare the area where it is grown in Morocco a biosphere reserve.
Argan oil is composed roughly 80 percent of fatty acids of the unsaturated kind. It is very rich in linoleic (omega 6) and oleic (omega 9) fatty acids. The latter is usually in higher concentration.
In addition, the oil is a rich source of vitamin E – about three times the amount in olive oil. It also has a high amount of vitamin A. Plus there are a number of other useful components, including phytochemicals and sterols.
Its constituents, especially the fatty acids and vitamins, explain why manufacturers often include it in their skincare products.
How Does Argan Oil Consumption Benefit Your Health?
Argan oil has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This is why it makes sense to consider including it in your diet. We discuss below some health benefits you can get by doing that.
Blood sugar control
If you are someone having issues with your blood sugar levels, you may get help in dealing with that by eating argan oil. It has the potential to help stabilize insulin and glucose levels. Evidence from research suggests it could be a useful addition for more effective management of type 2 diabetes.
High blood pressure prevention
Presence of oleic acid and plant sterols in argan oil makes it potentially helpful for guarding against hypertension. This is in connection with how these constituents assist in controlling cholesterol in the blood. They help to improve the levels of “good” cholesterol relative to those of the “bad” variant.
It has been found that consumption of argan oil may help ensure good heart health. Researchers have found that it reduced triglyceride levels, in addition to cutting cholesterol.
In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, people who included a little amount in their breakfast daily for a month showed improved cardiovascular markers. They had lower bad and total cholesterol levels as well as improved antioxidant profile and plasma vitamin E concentrations.
Flavonoids, tocopherols, triterpenoids and some other compounds in argan oil produce anti-inflammatory effects. They also support good circulation.
When you factor in the oil’s perceived ability to improve prostaglandin production, you have something that could help with arthritis and other rheumatologic conditions.
Argan is thought to aid digestion and support the nervous system and brain, among other benefits.
Choosing and Eating Argan Oil
The method of processing matters when thinking of choosing this oil for consumption. It is advisable to go for a type processed using the traditional approach.
The production of the kind for culinary purposes starts with the extraction of kernels from the argan tree fruit. The kernels are then roasted slightly before being ground using a stone grinder or cold-pressed by a machine to obtain the oil.
The main difference between regular offering (for cosmetic uses) and the culinary variant is that the latter involves the use of roasted kernels while the former doesn’t. Modern processing method is also highly mechanized, which may not really be a good thing.
Usually, you will have to pay more when getting argan oil for eating. This is probably due to the amount of work that goes into the production. The fact that the tree grows only in one area doesn’t help either.
It is important to state here that argan oil isn’t ideal for frying. You should think more about using it to add flavor to your dishes. It is best when served at room temperature.