Food

Sunflower Oil – Intolerance & Allergy

Sunflower oil

Everyone probably knows the versatile, tasteless sunflower oil . In the kitchen it is not only suitable for frying, but for almost any type of preparation.

This is what you should know about sunflower oil

The sunflower, which belongs to the daisy family and comes from North and Central America, was probably brought to Europe by the Spaniards at the beginning of the 16th century, where it was quickly used for oil production. Today, the sunflowers, which grow up to three meters high, are cultivated in all parts of the world, increasingly in Russia, France and southern Europe.

The inflorescence contains more than 1000 seeds. The flat seeds are black, gray or white and sometimes striped. Unpeeled they contain around 30 percent oil and peeled more than 60 percent. Before the valuable oil is pressed from the kernels, they are cleaned, dried and partially peeled. If unpeeled or only partially peeled kernels are further processed, the sunflower oil gets a dark yellow color and a rather spicy taste. Native, cold-pressed oils must not be heated above 30 degrees.

Thanks to the gentle treatment, the valuable vitamins and fatty acids are retained in the sunflower oil.

When extracted, the oil yield is about 10 percent lower compared to refined oils. The cold-pressed sunflower oil is suitable for cold dishes. With refined sunflower oil, a temperature rise of up to 220 degrees is achieved during extraction, which gives the sunflower oil a beautiful, light yellow color and a mild, neutral aroma. However, a large part of the important ingredients is lost during production. Refined sunflower oil can be heated quite high, as the smoke point is around 220 degrees.

importance to health

Whether for frying, baking, for a salad dressing and much more, sunflower oil has become indispensable in the kitchen, but it is also very healthy. The oil also provides the body with valuable vitamins and fatty acids. People who eat plenty of olive oil are said to have a 40 percent reduced risk of suffering a stroke .

Sunflower oil is one of the top vegetable oils in terms of the polyunsaturated fatty acids it contains. Sunflower oil also contains a significant amount of monounsaturated fatty acids. The valuable vitamins include A, B, D, E and K. Sunflower oil can lower cholesterol levels and thus prevent cardiovascular diseases , heart attacks and arteriosclerosis . If large amounts of sunflower oil are consumed, however, the unsaturated fatty acids can promote arteriosclerotic vascular changes.

Regular consumption also stimulates intestinal activity. Another advantage is the high content of vitamin E contained in sunflower oil. The valuable vitamin E acts as an important antioxidant and thus protects the cells from premature aging.

This vitamin is just as important for the heart and circulation, the immune system and the muscles . Sunflower oil is also used as a remedy for detoxification and purification. External use is also effective for dry, chapped skin or for wounds that are difficult to heal, because sunflower oil is also useful here and can simply be massaged in. Rubbing with sunflower oil helps with aching joints , sore muscles or tension in the neck, because it stimulates blood circulation and relieves pain .

Sunflower oil also helps with colds , coughs and hoarseness because it has an expectorant effect. Sunflower oil can therefore be used in many ways: in the kitchen, for health and body care.

Ingredients & nutritional values

Sunflower oil has a large number of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are essential. This means that they are essential to life, but the body cannot produce them on its own. Therefore, they must be ingested through food.

Linoleic acid in sunflower oil, which is one of the most important unsaturated fatty acids that are extremely important for humans, predominates by more than 60 percent . The high content of vitamin E also makes sunflower oil very valuable. Two tablespoons of the oil per day already cover the needs of an adult. Sunflower oil also contains valuable vitamins such as A, B, D, E and K. The minerals , trace elements , carotenoids and lecithin found in sunflower oil are also beneficial for your health .

Intolerances & allergies

Allergic reactions to sunflower oil are very rarely mentioned. However, small amounts of the allergens may still be present in the refined and cold-pressed oil, but the oil is mostly well tolerated by patients suffering from sunflower seed sensitization. In the case of an intolerance to all fats/oils, there is basically no allergy to the oil, but to the carrier. Therefore, in this case, the lipid metabolism should be examined by a doctor. If the body cannot tolerate the fat, abdominal pain and diarrhea can occur.

Shopping & kitchen tips

The sunflower oil is available in all supermarkets, organic shops and health food stores. Dark brown or green bottles are better than clear ones because they protect against light. If the sunflower oil is stored in a cool and dark place, it can be kept for a year without any problems. The cold-pressed oil has a slightly shorter shelf life.

If the container is already open, it is advisable to store it in the refrigerator. When shopping, you should definitely pay attention to the best-before date. If the container has already been opened, it is advisable to store it in the refrigerator, where solid, whitish components can form in the bottle. The reason for this is that the sunflower oil flocculates. However, the solid particles dissolve again at room temperature, so this does not mean that the quality is inferior. In contrast to cold-pressed oil, refined sunflower oil can be heated quite well and is therefore also suitable for frying. However, the sunflower oil should never be heated so high that it smokes.

Preparation tips

Sunflower oil is one of the most commonly used cooking oils in Germany. The rich, cold-pressed sunflower oil is primarily used to refine cold dishes and to prepare salad dressings, marinades and dips. It is also very good for salads and raw vegetables. The oil gives a wide variety of dishes a fine, nutty aroma. Due to the low smoke point, it is not suitable for roasting and deep-frying.

The situation is different with refined sunflower oil, which has a very high smoke point and is therefore heat-resistant. However, the refined oil contains almost none of the important ingredients that make sunflower oil so valuable. Therefore it is very durable. The refined sunflower oil can be used for frying, cooking and steaming a wide variety of dishes. Sunflower oil is also very popular for baking, for example a quark oil dough.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.