As the name suggests, grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes which are a by-product of the winemaking process. The oil is especially popular for its extraordinary effects on skin and eyes. However, there are pros and cons to the usage of grapeseed oil, and one must be aware of its several properties before accepting it in their daily care. It has been considered to be a natural beauty enhancer. It also has several nutritional values with regards to its consumption. Also, one must be careful of the origin of the oil they use. It has been observed that most commercially available varieties are made using hexane as the dissolving solvent which is a major air pollutant and also a neurotoxin. Moreover, during the oil-making process, the high temperature may tend to oxidise the oil which makes it harmful for consumption. The best method of production is regarded to press the seeds and extract the oil. It can be a cold press or through an expeller, and doesn’t require any extra harmful solvent or high heat. The oil should be consumed in moderate amounts for best effects.
11 Nutrition and Health Benefits of Grapeseed Oil
1. Cardiac Health–
Grapeseed oil is abundantly rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) which mostly consist of omega-6 fatty acids. PUFA’s are said to beneficial for the heart only if it replaces other saturated and trans fats from the diet. It can reduce cholesterol levels and thus also reduce risks of heart diseases. However, it should be taken care that the amount of omega-6 should not exceed that of omega-3 to be of benefit. Extra consumption of omega-6 causes inflammation and also can lead to chronic diseases like cancer. Cholesterol levels can take a hike, and it can also lead to obesity. Omega-3 is present in a rather low amount in grapeseed oil. Thus, it is recommended to keep the intake of grapeseed oil to around six teaspoons for best effects.
2. Skin benefits–
Grapeseed oil is rich in Vitamin E which gives it many special properties over other oils. It has the property to fight free radicals to help improve your skin by consuming orally as well as applying on the skin. It also protects the skin from the effects of sun, wind and pollution and helps nourish the skin and protect it from ageing. The presence of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids also aid in skin protection by being an effective barrier against harmful external agents. Omega 6 PUFA component or linolenic acid helps reduce inflammation in the internal layers of the skin. It hence has several properties effective for all skin types. It can be used to moisturise skin as well as lighten pigments and scars. It also has the power to heal acne and tighten pores to avoid pimples. It is also a good agent to remove make-up from the skin. It can be easily absorbed by the skin and therefore doesn’t leave the skin feeling oily. It is a great oil for body massage. It is also a powerful remedy to treat dark circles. It also helps in removing stretch marks. Linoleic acid is especially helpful for eczema treatment.
3. Hair nourishment–
Grapeseed oil has been observed to improve the condition of your hair and scalp. Emollient grapeseed oil is useful for the removal of dandruff which is caused by dry skin. It has properties to loosen the dead skins and is great for the moisturising purpose. Grapeseed oil has the added advantage of being lightweight on your hair unlike coconut and other oils which leave is greasy. Thus, you gain strength as well as shine by grapeseed oil. The linolenic acid in grapeseed oil can stimulate hair growth. Hence, it also becomes a natural remedy for baldness. Flavonoids called procyanidin oligomers are antioxidants which are shown to induce hair growth. More research would need to establish the last fact, but overall grapeseed oil is one of the best options for healthy hair.
4. Maintenance of Blood Pressure–
Grapeseed oil possesses phenolic compounds and other fatty acids including omega-6 and omega-3 which make it good for the blood vessels. Most important for blood pressure is the presence of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) which has anti-inflammatory effects and thus can help maintain the structure of blood vessels through variations in blood pressure. This, in turn, can also help patients of hypertension, since management of blood circulation in an important part of the remedy.
5. Strengthens immunity–
The boost in immunity system by grapeseed oil relies on its rich abundance of Vitamin E. A single teaspoon can surpass the gain of this nutrient than the same amount of olive oil. Vitamin E stimulates the action of natural killer cells and beta cells to fight bacterial infections and other harmful exposure to the body. Linoleic acid also plays a protective role in the body, found in abundance in grapeseed.
6. Boosts healing power–
While the consumption of grapeseed oil comes with infection fighters, it does similar wonders when applied externally. It is a great agent to heal open wounds. On the one hand, it promotes vascular growth in the skin and wounds. It also generates free radicals to destroy bacteria which might hamper the healing process. The effect has been tried and tested, and one should add grapeseed oil to their first-aid box. Moreover, the presence of Vitamin E can reduce scarring, which works with Vitamin C and D to reduce skin damage due to scars or wounds. Vitamin C also has properties to stimulate collagen production which is important to maintain strength in the skin and also reduces ageing.
7. Reduces swelling by diseases–
Swelling of body parts in quite a common phenomenon but is often painful to bear. The reasons could be due to inflammatory processes in the body or unnatural retention of fluids. Both these conditions can be helped through the application of grapeseed oil. It can also help in the reduction of oedema in legs and properties to improve the venous system. It also has an instant effect on disorders like arthritis and or pro-inflammatory skin problems.
8. Improves testosterone levels–
Testosterone is an important sexual hormone especially important for men. In women as well, it is necessary for lower levels for oestrogen synthesis and general sexual health. The testosterone level may see a fall in obese men which become to the effects of aromatase which converts testosterone to oestrogen. Grapeseed oil can help balance this malfunction of enzymes to maintain the overall testosterone for men’s health. It can also improve on sexual health due to the presence of proanthocyanins. Grapeseed oil also acts as a great lubricant for sexual organs.
9. Helps prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s–
The anti-inflammatory properties of grapeseed oil can help prevent fatal diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. The later is a degenerative brain disease with no fixed cure. Grapeseed oil can help avoid the accumulation of proteins in the brain like beta-amyloid such that the disease is precipitated. Cancer is caused by disturbed lifestyles where free radical damage is kick-started, and inflammation occurs, which amplify rates of cellular mutations. Grapeseed oil can help reduce these processes by the abundance of anti-inflammatory compounds like Vitamin E and linoleic acid.
Grapeseed oil is one of the best choices for carrier oils in aromatherapy and massages. Aromatherapy is a well-regarded process to relieve stress and anxiety. It’s a good idea to take in such personal care sessions to reduce the effects of stress for an extended period. Chronic stress may often go unnoticed but can be one of the main causes of physical and mental distress. Some common symptoms of chronic stress could be hair loss, acne, dry skin, rashes and signs of premature ageing.
11. Maintaining cholesterol levels–
High cholesterol in the body can have several bad effects like arterial dysfunctions and clogs in the circulatory system leading to strokes and heart problems. Grapeseed oil contains great amounts of PUFA’s and proanthocyanins which are very effective to reduce cholesterol. They can actively cut down on triglycerides and LDL which accumulates plaques on blood vessels. The oil is also observed to have properties to relieve patients of diabetes.
Special points to note
While grapeseed oil is very useful for various purposes, there are precautions to using it which one must note. The high amount of PUFAs and omega-6 fatty acids can only be useful if taken in small amounts. The amount should balance with the intake of omega-3 fatty acids from other ingredients in the diet. One must follow strict dosage rules to avoid reactionary problems and inflammation due to omega-6. It may also cause obesity and increased heart risk. Also, the content of calories is also more than other oils, and this must again be taken into consideration before making diet rules. During cooking, one must note the smoke point of the oil which is moderately high in case of grapeseed oil. While it is harmless for most type of cooking, methods like deep frying and high oil content cooking should be strictly avoided. Therefore, grapeseed oil as a side product has great utilitarian value and must be encouraged for personal care and its myriad of delightful cures and reliefs in the body. Just like every good thing has some side effects, grapeseed oil too can only be harmful if taken in excess without full knowledge of its compositional values.