Almond is one of the most versatile fruit seed which contains the almond oil. Almond seed is a nutritious oilseed, rich in, protein, vitamins such as vitamin E, vitamin A, riboflavin (vitamin B2), also small amounts of vitamin K and minerals such as, calcium, phosphorus, copper, manganese and magnesium. The almond seed or kernel has been used as food by mankind for centuries due to its high calorie and rich oil content.
Almond oil is a plant based, heart healthy oil. It contains many antioxidants and vitamins, such as vitamin E. Almond oil contains more vitamin E than most other nut oils, phytosterols, unsaturated fatty acids, mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), calcium and magnesium. Almond oil is used as a food flavouring agent and in the cosmetics industry and medicines. In cosmetic industry it is used as a fragrance for perfume, in soaps, cosmetic creams, hair oils, balms, scrubs and massage oils.
Cold pressed almond oil retains its healthful properties and protective components as no or little heat is used to express the oil. This helps to keep its flavour and most of the nutrients intact.
Health Benefits of Almond Oil
Almond oil has many health promoting properties which include:
- Immunity-boosting, anti-inflammatory and anti-hepatotoxicity benefits.
- Almond oil also has been shown to improve bowel transit and reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
- Studies have shown that regular consumption of almond oil reduces incidence of colonic cancer.
- Almond oil also has been shown to have cardiovascular health benefits, such as improving blood levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol or “good cholesterol” and reducing ; low density lipoproteins or “bad cholesterol” levels.
- Almond oil has the emollient (quality of softening the skin) properties, and so it is used to improve complexion and skin tone.
- Almond oil is also used post-operatively for the reduction of scars and stretch marks.
Vitamins and antioxidants in almond oil provide many health benefits, for example vitamin E helps to protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are toxins, which are linked to many chronic diseases and also cell ageing. Therefore, high vitamin E content of almond oil may be helpful against heart and cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and certain cancers.
Almond oil contains monounsaturated fats (70%), that are heart healthy and is considered a good substitute for oils that have high amounts of saturated fats. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. This property is helpful in improving heart as well as the cardiovascular system.
Blood Sugar Levels
Studies have shown that oils rich in mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, such as almond oil help in better control of blood sugar levels in people with diabetes mellitus type II. One such study reported that a daily consumption of almond oil at breakfast, leads to lower blood sugar levels of the participants. Additionally, almond oil improved hunger control and made the participants feel more satiated throughout the day.
Helps to Lose and Maintain Weight
As almond oil improves hunger control and increases satiety, including almond oil in diet helps to maintain lost weight. Also, the monounsaturated fats found in almond oil promote weight loss.
Uses of Cold Pressed Almond Oil for Cooking:
Cold pressed almond oil works better as a finishing oil, meaning it is best used as addition to the dishes after cooking is complete since it has a low smoke point. Some ideas for cooking with almond oil are:
- Small quantities of cold pressed almond oil can be drizzled over pasta to increase healthy fats and to improve flavour.
- Cold pressed, unrefined almond oil can be used as the base for homemade salad dressings and dips for sandwiches.
- It can also be used to sauté or stir fry vegetables and chicken to add a nutty flavour to them.
Cold Pressed Almond Oil for Direct Consumption:
Add a teaspoon of Cold Pressed Sweet Almond oil to a glass of warm milk and drink twice a day. This will maintain your cholesterol levels, boost immunity and enhance vitality.
Benefits for the Skin
- Almond oil has moisturising properties and helps to soften the skin. It helps to soothe the skin and relive itching and dryness.
- Topical application of almond oil can help to ease the symptoms of eczema and dermatitis.
- Almond oil also improves skin tone and complexion.
- Applying almond oil may prevent damage caused due to prolonged exposure to sun.
- Regular application of almond oil on skin and face after shower has been shown to slow down ageing and prevent wrinkles.
Benefits for the hair
- Almond oil helps to moisturise the scalp and strengthen the hair.
- It helps to prevent hair fall.
- It may help to reduce frizz and heal split hair problems.
- It helps to relive symptoms of dry and itchy scalp.
Almond Oil Allergies:
Although almond oil allergies are very rare, people who are allergic to almonds should avoid using almond oil
It is always best to perform skin sensitivity test before using almond oil topically.
Almond oil is a good choice as it is low in saturated fats and does not contain any trans-fats. It primarily contains monounsaturated fats that are heart healthy, reduce bad cholesterol, improve satiety and help to keep blood sugar levels under control.
Ms Sunita Roy Chowdhury, Senior Nutritionist, Dietician and Nutrition Educator
Healthynudgez and Guiding Stars Open Learning Academy,
Under the banner of SS Guiding Stars Pvt. Ltd.
At Multano we are passionate about helping people make their lives healthier and happier. All information provided in this article is researched and authenticated by qualified experts. We are dedicated to providing reliable and accurate information to our readers. However, please use the information provided here with discretion. Any changes in medication/diet must be done with the approval of your treating medical practitioner/Dietician only.