he role of fats and oils has been and is decisive for human life and although we don’t always stop to think about it, the truth is that oils are the ones that lubricate the machinery of life. best oils
And in saying it, we are including oils and fats of vegetable, animal and mineral origin, understanding that oils at room temperature are liquid, while fats are solid or semi-solid.
Currently we are very concerned about oils, especially from the nutritional point of view. We know that there are good oils for health and others that are not so good. There are olive and sunflower oil, saturated and trans, and many more.
It is a bit surprising to know that this was not the case for a long time, and that there were even times when it was thought that fats were irrelevant from the nutritional point of view.
Many experts believed that oils did not provide necessary nutrients and that all people needed was to eat varied and in quantity. These were the prevailing ideas at the beginning of the 20th century.
Although these ideas were disappearing, at that time the role of lipids in nutrition was unknown.
However, people kept eating crispy fried foods like nothing else, as we have been doing for about seven thousand years or so.
The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans have let us know how much they appreciated fried foods. In recipes of ancient Rome they said how to prepare fried chicken pieces “frontonianum” style.
What advantages have the best oils for health?
Experts now recognize that fats are necessary in any balanced diet, and the idea that they should be banished from weight loss diets is wrong.
Nutritionally, fats take care of many functions for our body, which cannot be exercised by other foods. Here are some of them:
- They provide energy, which we can keep in reserve.
- They are an important part of cell membranes.
- They act as skin and hair pigments, such as melanin.
- Vitamins A, D and E are fat soluble and essential.
- They are necessary for the synthesis of hormones.
And where do you find the best oils and fats? Well, the best oils for your health come from animal, terrestrial and aquatic sources, and from vegetables such as seeds and some fruits: olives, avocado, coconut and nuts.
As for mineral oils, obtained from crude oil distillation processes, they are not for consumption, except in small medicinal doses as we will see later.
In cosmetics, mineral oils, coconut, olive, almond and grape oil are the most important.
And as medicinal oils, we have the essential oils of sandalwood, eucalyptus, geranium, rosemary and lavender, by way of example, because there are many.
Essential oils differ from what we know by oil. Plants produce them for many functions, including protection, and are very volatile.
That is why when we drop a drop of some essential oil on a cloth or paper, it does not absorb it, since it volatilizes immediately and leaves no stain, but the penetrating aroma that characterizes it.
These aromas form the basis of aromatherapy, a medicinal alternative that takes advantage of the effect that aromas have on the body.
5 benefits of health oils
Here are 5 benefits of the best oils for your health:
There is consensus among experts that high levels of LDL cholesterol are harmful to health. Excess LDL cholesterol particles tend to accumulate in the arterial walls causing obstruction to blood flow.
The monounsaturated fatty acids contained in olive oil, for example, are involved in reducing LDL cholesterol levels.
Oleic acid, an important component of olive oil, prevents the oxidation of LDL particles and makes them less likely to accumulate, preventing the formation of obstructive atheroma plaques.
The omega series fatty acids also have excellent effects on the health of the cardiovascular system
Surely you have heard about essential fatty acids, which the body requires from food. They are the famous fatty acids of the omega series: ω-3, ω-6 and ω-9.
Well, the balance between ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids is crucial to prevent inflammatory processes in the body, capable of causing degenerative diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, to name a few.
Prostaglandins have a lot to do with it. The body produces them naturally, they are in food and drugs, they are biochemical messengers of inflammation, for and against.
Some are anti-inflammatory and others pro-inflammatory. Ω-6 contains both, while ω-3 is rich in anti-inflammatories, however this does not mean that ω-6 is bad for health, on the contrary, it has many benefits.
The important thing is that to reduce inflammation, the balance between them is necessary. Where is the ω-3? In fatty fish and flaxseed.
As for the benefits of ω-6 we mention: improve hair, regulate cholesterol levels, relieve symptoms of menopause and improve circulation.
Soy, sunflower and corn oils are good sources for ω-6.
And what about ω-9? He also participates in cholesterol regulation with his brothers in the omega series.
They are antioxidants
Oxidative processes are part of life. Free radicals or simply radicals are restless chemical species that travel in and out of the body.
They are always waiting for other molecules to interact with them and modify them, preventing them from performing their functions correctly.
Antioxidants, on the other hand, rush to react with radicals so that they do not do so with molecules of biological interest.
There are many antioxidants, especially in vegetables, whose properties we can take advantage of.
For example, vitamin E, which is abundantly found in vegetable oils: sunflower oil, corn, soy, olive and coconut, as well as cod liver oil.
Olive oil is rich in polyphenols, wonderful natural antioxidants, whose intake fights the effects of oxidative aging.
Another oil with abundant polyphenols is grapeseed oil. The cells of the outermost layer of the skin respond very well to this oil; Excellent for curbing oxidation caused by UV rays.
Topical Use Analgesics and Anti-inflammatories
Essential oils are compounds of plants, especially those that are very aromatic and are segregated by any part of it; in greater or lesser proportion: leaves, stem, flowers, seeds and bark.
For the plant, they perform protective functions: relieve diseases, parasites, protect from the sun’s rays, intervene in pollination; and in general, interact with the surrounding environment.
The exquisite aromas in the plant kingdom attracted human curiosity, so various methods have been designed to extract them; by maceration, pressing and distillation, for example.
Depending on their origin they have different medicinal properties, there are antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal.
There are also relaxing and soothing, such as lavender, notable for relieving headaches with only its aroma.
Some essential oils are good analgesics and anti-inflammatories when used for massages: birch, camphor, rosemary, geranium and lavender are some of them.
A few essential oils can be used on the skin to treat dermatitis: lavender, chamomile and olive, not the one used for cooking, we already saw the difference.
As many essential oils are irritating if applied directly to the skin; The dermatologist or pharmacist knows the most appropriate and how to use it.
In Nutricioni.com we open the doors to the wonderful world of nature, telling you about all the benefits it brings to your health.
Essential oils can also be added to cosmetic preparations and soaps, lotions and shampoos, to give them aromas and special qualities.
They are Base for Creams, Cosmetics and More
Olive, macadamia and almond oils also have cosmetic uses: as a moisturizer, to remove makeup and beautify hair.
However, many cosmetic products: moisturizers and creams, as well as drugs, usually ointments, include mineral oil among its components.
It has in its favor: durability, low cost and ease of production; and even if it is not of plant origin, it can be ingested in small doses, as long as it is authorized.
It is a laxative based on mineral oil, which covers the wall of the intestine and allows feces to move more easily to be expelled, useful for sporadic constipation .
Petroleum jelly, of many domestic uses, is also a mineral fat. It is used in babies to prevent diaper rash and as a softener for elbows, heels and knees; apart from being the basis for countless creams and ointments.
Edible, essential oils, minerals, include them properly in your diet and your life, because they open many possibilities to your well-being.