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Amazing Health Benefits Of Argan Oil And How To Use It

Plant oils have a long history of health benefits in culinary, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. Among many of the essential plant oils, argan oil, extracted from the argan tree (Argania Spinosa L.) has remarkable therapeutic properties with great botanical, bioecological and social value.

Argan is an endemic tree in Morocco (North Africa) and is being used for centuries in the country as a cosmetic oil. However, its benefits are not only limited to the skin; argan oil is also known to have multiple health benefits related to the heart, liver and stomach. [1]

This article will take you through the amazing health benefits of argan oil, which is also the highly competitive international edible oil in the market. Take a look.

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Nutritional Profile Of Argan Oil

Argan oil is packed with healthy mono-unsaturated fats (80 per cent) along with active compounds such as polyphenols, sterols, tocopherols, triterpene and squalene, xanthophylls, carotenoids, oleic acid and other potent antioxidants. Argan oil also contains nutrients such as protein, fibre, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids.

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Health Benefits Of Argan Oil

1. Protects the heart

Argan oil helps balance cholesterol levels in the body. Regular consumption of this oil can lower the level of bad cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol levels. This helps prevent atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes and other serious cardiovascular issues caused by cholesterol. [2]

2. Good for the skin

Argan oil helps boost the hydration of the skin, brighten the skin and reduce wrinkles along with stretch marks, dark spots and acne. It helps in the treatment of varieties of skin infections and prevents ageing of the skin. The presence of vitamin E and a large number of antioxidants helps reduce any kind of damage caused due to oxidative stress to the skin. [3]

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3. Helps with digestion

In many countries, argan oil is used as a dipping oil and salad dressing or drizzled over grilled meat products. When consumed orally, the organic compounds in argan oil can help increase the pepsin level in the stomach and thus, boost the gastric juices promoting an efficient digestive process.

4. Have chemoprotective effects

The antioxidants, saponins and triterpenoids, present in argan oil can influence the level of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are known to cause oxidative stress at a cellular level and increase the risk of cancer. The anti-proliferative effect of argan oil due to the presence of the aforementioned compounds may inhibit the growth of cancerous cells and thus, prevent the condition.

5. Prevents Alzheimer's

Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's are mainly caused due to 7KC induced oxidative stress that tends to cause inflammation and cell death. Dietary oils such as argan oil has antioxidative and cytoprotective effects due to the presence of oleic acid, linoleic acid, polyphenols and tocopherols. These active compounds prevent the loss of cells and improve their growth and functioning thus, preventing the condition. [4]

6. Benefits the liver

The liver is one of the most important parts of the body. It helps to flush out the toxins from the body. The antioxidants such as vitamin E present in argan oil can boost liver health when used on a regular basis. Also, the anti-inflammatory effects may help reduce inflammation-related damage to the liver

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7. Promotes wound healing

Argan oil helps assist in the wound-healing process. It may speed up the healing process and prevents further infections. One can either apply some argan oil topically on to the skin or consume it, as both ways are effective in healing the wounds. However, argan oil works extraordinarily when applied topically for skin-related problems.

8. Helps in hair growth

As argan oil helps keep the moisture intact, it acts as a great conditioner for hair. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil also help with soothing itchy scalp, reducing dandruff and improving blood circulation in the scalp. The oil also helps bring shine and smoothness, add a sun-protective layer and encourage the growth of hair.

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9. Helps with diabetes

Argan oil possesses an anti-diabetic effect due to the high content of phenolic compounds tocopherols and unsaturated fatty acids. It may help prevent the glucose spike upon consumption and manage sugar levels in the body effectively. [5]

10. Helps relieve pain

Argan oil is used as a traditional medicine to treat joint pain issues. The carotenoids, sterols, vitamin E, oleic acid and polyphenols in the oil may help improve pain-associated osteoarthritis symptoms and help relieve them effectively. [6]

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How To Use Argan Oil

  • For skin conditions, first, apply a very small amount of argan oil on your skin and wait for a few minutes to watch for any adverse reactions. The oil is mainly added to cosmetic products such as face creams, lotions or hair conditioners.
  • For hair, one can either use an argan oil-based shampoo or conditioner or apply the oil directly on the hair.
  • Argan oil used for cooking can be confusing. If you are using market-based argan oil, make sure it is made only for cooking purpose as those made for the skin and hair may have some other added ingredients that can be harmful when consumed.
  • Argan oil is not used as a frying oil as it burns easily. Therefore, it can be used to sauteing foods, dressing salads, spreading over bread, mixing with rice and drizzling over fish or meat products.