Grapeseed oil, for nutrition
Antioxidants against free radicals and essential fatty acids, in a balanced diet able to protect the cardiovascular system, use it raw.
Grapeseed oil is a very special product that is extracted from grape seeds. Each grape contains from 1 to 5 seeds and each seed is rich in oil, in fact it contains up to 20% of oil on the basis of the cultivar. This oil is really precious because it is a source of essential fatty acids and antioxidants, but be careful, it should be extracted through cold pressing and not with chemical solvents! Grapeseed oil can be used in cooking but also as a cosmetic, in this post we will focus our attention on its uses for nutrition while a next article will explain better its beneficial effect on the beauty of hair and skin. This plant based oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid, that is an omega 6 (Garavaglia et al, Nutr Metab Insights, 2016), but has also oleic acid, that is an omega 9 fatty acid. Thanks to this characteristic the grape seed oil plays a protective role on the cardiovascular system, by lowering LDL bad cholesterol and at the same time by increasing HDL good cholesterol. The guide lines of American heart Association states indeed that the polyunsaturated fatty acids are beneficial to the heart if used in place of saturated and trans fats. However, according to the same guide lines, in order to have a lower cardiovascular risk also a balanced ratio between omega 3 and omega 6 is required. Our diet is often unbalanced with an excess of omega 6 and this may cause inflammations. For this reason, because of the content in omega 6 of the grapeseed oil, it is a good choice to use it together with foods that are rich in omega 3, for example oily fish such as anchovies or sardine. Grapeseed oil contains also phytosterols, powerful against cholesterol, and polyphenols, a type of antioxidants able to counteract free radicals and the aging processes. Finally, grapeseed oil is also a source of vitamin E, less than other plant based oils such as wheat germ oil or sunflower oil but more than extra virgin olive oil. Also vitamin E is an antioxidant and acts against free radicals, it protects the brain and fights cancers by supporting the immune system (Garavaglia et al, Nutr Metab Insights, 2016). For what concerns how to use this oil, it is better to use it raw on salads and vegetables because heat can destroy its properties.