Benefits of Safflower Oil

Safflower is a plant. The flower and oil from the seeds are used as medicine. Safflower seed oil is used for preventing heart disease, including “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis) and stroke. It is also used to treat fever, tumors, coughs, breathing problems, clotting conditions, pain, heart disease, chest pain, and traumatic injuries. Some people use it for inducing sweating; and as a laxative, stimulant, antiperspirant, and expectorant to help loosen phlegm. Women sometimes use safflower oil for absent or painful menstrual periods; they use safflower flower to cause an abortion. In foods, safflower seed oil is used as a cooking oil.

This oil contains healthy fats and may even help prevent cardiovascular disease. All oils are pure fat, however, which means they're high in calories. Use safflower oil sparingly to help avoid unwanted weight gain.

Safflower oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, which may help protect against heart disease. Unlike saturated fats from meat and dairy, which are linked to unhealthy cholesterol levels, monounsaturated fat may help reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream that can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, narrowing the passageway. Sometimes, the plaque can break open, causing a blood clot that completely blocks the artery. This may cause a heart attack or stroke, which is why cholesterol management is vital for your cardiovascular health.

Safflower oil is also an excellent source of vitamin E, as each tablespoon provides 4.6 milligrams of this nutrient, one-fourth of the daily value. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from free-radical damage from sun exposure, cigarette smoke and other pollutants. You also need vitamin E for a healthy immune system and cell signaling, and the nutrient may even play a role in maintaining plaque-free arteries, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.

Not only is safflower oil good for you, but it's versatile enough to fit into just about any recipe that calls for oil. It has a mild flavor, and it works well in baked goods as well as salad dressings or marinades. The refined variety has a high-smoke point -- meaning you can heat it to high temperatures before it burns -- so it's suitable for sauteing or frying. Just look for "high heat" on the label, as some safflower oils don't hold up well in the frying pan.

Safflower Oil is possibly effective for:
Reducing cholesterol. Taking safflower oil as a dietary supplement seems to lower total and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. However, it does not seem to lower other blood fats called triglycerides or raise “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.




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