Argan oil has been a staple in Morocco for centuries – not only because of its ‘licious flavour, but also its wide range of health benefits. The plant oil is derived from the kernels of the fruit of the argan tree. Although native to Morocco, argan oil is now used globally for a variety of culinary, cosmetic and medicinal applications. Here are the five benefits of argan oil.
Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties
Argan oil is a rich source of vitamin E, also called tocopherol, a fat-soluble vitamin that serves as a potent antioxidant to reduce the damaging effects of free radicals, according to Healthline.
Other compounds such as CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10), melatonin and plant sterols present in argan oil, also give its antioxidant properties.
A recent study showed that argan oil can also be applied directly to your skin to reduce inflammation caused by injuries or infections.
Boosts Heart Health
Argan oil contains oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated omega-9 fat. Oleic acid is also present in several foods such as avocado, olive oil and more, and is credited with having heart-protective factors.
A study noted that argan oil was comparable to olive oil in its properties to decrease heart disease risk through its impact on the antioxidant levels in the blood. While another research showed that those who consumed 15 grams of argan oil daily for a month experienced a 16% reduction in bad cholesterol and a 20% decrease in triglyceride levels. However, larger studies need to be done to understand the effects of argan oil on heart health.
Reduces Signs Of Skin Ageing
Argan oil has rightly become a popular ingredient in skin care products. It can repair and ensure the maintenance of healthy skin when directly applied to your skin, thus reducing visual signs of ageing. Some studies also suggest that argan oil - both consumed and administered directly - is effective in increasing skin elasticity and hydration.
Argan oil may accelerate the wound healing process. However, there is not enough testing done on humans to indicate whether argan oil can play a role in treating second-degree burns and repair tissues, as seen on animals.
Moisturises Skin and Hair
The oleic and linoleic acids that make up the majority of argan oil’s fat content are vital nutrients for maintaining healthy skin and hair. In a study, both oral and topical applications of argan oil improved the moisture content of the skin in postmenopausal women. It is also frequently used to prevent and reduce stretch marks.
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