Almonds are a satisfying food with many potential health benefits.
The oil that comes from these delicious tree nuts is commonly used as a natural ingredient in skin and hair care, but few people realize that it may also be good for your health.
This article uncovers how almond oil may benefit your health and how it can be used as a multipurpose, non-toxic beauty treatment.
What Is Almond Oil?
Nearly half of a dried almond’s weight is oil. Ripe almonds are pressed to extract the oil with minimal heat.
This unrefined almond oil protects the nutrients and the flavor of the oil. High heat and sometimes chemicals are used to create refined almond oil.
While refined almond oil is more heat-tolerant, it may lack the nutritional value of unrefined varieties. Almond oil, which is also called sweet almond oil, is not the same as bitter almond oil.
Bitter almond oil is made from a different variety of almonds. It is refined to remove toxins that are naturally present in the skin of the almonds.
Almond oil general benefits
Almond oil is full of vitamin E, and it’s a great source of magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. The antioxidant-rich oil is known for its free radical fighting abilities. It’s also anti-inflammatory and boosts immunity.
Containing Omega-3 fatty acids, almond oil might help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels and improve your memory. It may help lower your risk for diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Exploring The Goodness Of Almond Oil
- Makes The Skin Healthier
- Reduces Dark Circles
- Delays Signs Of Aging
- Removes Impurities And Dead Skin Cells
- Cures Psoriasis And Eczema
- Reduces Tan
- A Good Substitute For Hand And Foot Cream
- An Ideal Makeup Remover
- Treats Chapped Lips
- Reduces Wrinkles And Fine Lines
- Makes Your Hair Long And Healthy
- Gets Rid Of Split Ends
- Can Substitute Shine Enhancers And Leave-In Conditioners
- Treats Dandruff
- Reduces Scalp Inflammations
- Prevents Heart Ailments
- Regulates Blood Pressure And Maintains Cholesterol Levels
- Boosts Immunity And Aids Digestion
- Boosts Memory And Strengthens Nervous System
- Enhances Blood Circulation And Baby’s Bone Development
- Relieves Pain And Muscles Stress
- Promotes Healthy And Strong Nails
- Rich Source For Vitamins And Minerals
- Carries Anti-Inflammatory Properties
- Provides Instant Energy
- Prevents Cancer
- Excellent For Pregnant Ladies
- Aids Weight Loss
- Treats Constipation
- Promotes Long Flirty Eyelashes
- Ideal For Massage And Skin Care Products
- Stretch Marks Treatment
Below is the nutritional breakdown of 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of almond oil:
- Calories: 119
- Total fat: 13.5 grams
- Saturated fat: 1.1 grams
- Monounsaturated fat: 9.4 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat: 2.3 grams
- Vitamin E: 26% of the RDI
- Phytosterols: 35.9 mg
Potential Health Benefits of Almond Oil
Whole almonds are thought help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and aid in weight loss, and almond oil may be good for your health as well.
In fact, almond oil has been linked to a wide range of potential health benefits, including lowering the risk of heart disease and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Help Keep Your Heart Healthy
Almond oil consists of 70% monounsaturated fat, which has been researched for its effects on heart health. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
HDL is a type of protein that carries cholesterol away from the arteries and transports it to the liver, where it is broken down and excreted from the body. Healthy levels of HDL cholesterol have been shown to help protect against heart disease.
Both almonds and almond oil have also been shown to lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol.
High levels of LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol are considered risk factors for heart disease. Lowering these levels can help keep the heart healthy.
In one small study, a diet rich in almond oil significantly lowered both LDL and total cholesterol levels, while raising HDL cholesterol by 6%.
High in Antioxidants
Almond oil is a great source of the potent antioxidant vitamin E. In fact, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of this nutty oil delivers 26% of the recommended daily intake.
Vitamin E is a group of eight fat-soluble compounds that have antioxidant properties. These compounds protect cells from harmful substances called free radicals.
While free radicals are necessary for health, they can cause damage if their numbers grow too high in the body. Free radical overload leads to oxidative damage and has been linked to a number of chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Studies have shown that higher intakes of vitamin E can help lower the risk of heart disease, age-related macular degeneration and cognitive decline in the elderly.
Beneficial for Blood Sugar Control
Adding almond oil to your diet may help keep your blood sugar stable. This oil is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, both of which have been shown to help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
In fact, replacing carbs with unsaturated fats has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance and levels of HbA1c, a marker for long-term blood sugar control.
In one study, participants who consumed a breakfast with added almond oil had lower blood sugar, both after the meal and throughout the day, compared to participants who did not eat almond oil.
What’s more, the participants who consumed almond oil felt fuller after their meal, leading them to consume less throughout the day.
May Aid Weight Loss When Paired With a Reduced-Calorie Diet
A diet rich in healthy fats may help you lose weight. Many people avoid fats when they’re trying to drop pounds, but consuming the right kinds of fats can be beneficial for weight loss.
A diet that includes a healthy amount of whole almonds has been shown to help people shed excess weight. Likewise, adding almond oil to your diet may help you lose fat.
Diets rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats have been shown to decrease body fat and promote weight loss. In one study, a diet high in monounsaturated fats improved weight loss and body composition in obese women.
Another large study including 7,447 people found that a diet high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats led to a greater reduction in body weight and belly fat, compared to a low-fat diet.
Almond oil is a popular ingredient in natural beauty products. This mild and soothing oil is beneficial for both the skin and hair. This is partly thanks to its emollient properties, meaning it helps prevent water loss from the skin.
This quality makes almond oil an excellent choice to keep the skin, hair, and scalp soft and hydrated. The moisturizing effects of almond oil may be especially helpful for people who have dry or sensitive skin.
Almond oil is packed with vitamin E, which may help protect the skin from sun damage and premature aging.
Animal studies have shown that when applied to the skin, vitamin E may help protect cells from sun damage. It does this by reducing DNA damage and chemical and structural changes in the skin that have been caused by the sun’s rays.
This makes using unrefined almond oil important in skin care as well, as unrefined oil is higher in vitamin E.
What’s more, this soothing oil may even help prevent the spread of stretch marks.
One study in 160 women found that the topical application of sweet almond oil reduced the spread of stretch marks in the abdominal area, as well as redness and itching.
This versatile oil makes a great choice for people looking for natural beauty products that have a limited number of ingredients and can be used in many ways.
It can function as a gentle makeup remover, a natural skin or hair moisturizer or a velvety massage oil.
How to Use Almond Oil
Almond oil is a multipurpose product that can be used as both a food and natural skin and hair care product.
In the Kitchen
Almond oil is a mild, nutty-tasting oil that makes a great addition to many dishes. Unrefined almond oil should not be used in cooking, as high temperatures can destroy its nutritional value.
Rather, this type of almond oil should be treated more as a finishing oil and added to foods after the cooking process is completed.
However, refined almond oil has a higher smoke point of 420°F (215°C) and can be used for cooking methods like roasting and sautéing.
It’s less expensive and more heat-tolerant than the unrefined kind, as the refinement process destroys much of the nutrients in unrefined almond oil.
Here are several ways to use unrefined almond oil:
- As a tasty salad dressing: Combine unrefined almond oil with apple cider vinegar and chopped herbs.
- To add a nutty flavor to meals: Drizzle almond oil over your favorite side dish to give it an extra kick.
- Over pasta: Add a bit of almond oil to your pasta to add a boost of healthy fats.
As Part of Your Beauty Routine
If you are looking to swap out some of your skin and hair products for more natural, non-toxic options, almond oil is a great way to go. Almond oil is less expensive than most commercially made moisturizers and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients.
Furthermore, it’s a multipurpose beauty product that can be used both on the skin and hair. Below are some ways to add almond oil to your skin or hair care routine.
- As a moisturizer: Almond oil is a perfect moisturizer for sensitive skin.
- Apply it to extra-dry spots: Rub almond oil on the elbows, feet and any other areas that tend to get dry.
- To make a homemade hair mask: Make a hydrating hair mask by mixing almond oil with mashed avocado and then smoothing it on damp hair.
- Combine it with essential oils: Use almond oil as a carrier oil to dilute essential oils when you’re applying them to the skin.
Though whole almonds will provide the most nutrition, almond oil can be a healthy addition to your diet.
Whether you’re putting it on your body or on your salad, look for unrefined or virgin almond oil. Unrefined oil retains more of the nutrients that are beneficial for your skin, hair, and health.
If you’re unsure if you have a nut allergy, it’s best to get tested first before eating almond oil or using it on your body.
If you don’t think you’re allergic, try a test small test patch of the oil on the inside of your wrist before using it in your skin care routine.
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