Amaranth oil: what is it made of, useful properties, use
Amaranth oil is considered one of the most useful vegetable oils. It is used in dietetics, in cosmetology, and as one of the means of complex therapy.
- What amaranth oil is made of
- Composition and calories
- Useful properties of amaranth oil
- General benefits
- For Women
- For Men
- In Pregnancy
- For children
- For weight loss
- Amaranth oil in medicine
- Cosmetic use
- For Face
- For hair
- For the Body
- Amaranth oil in cooking
- Can I fry on amaranth oil?
- Hazards and contraindications
- How to choose and store
- How to make amaranth oil at home
- How to use amaranth oil
- Interesting facts about amaranth
How amaranth oil is made
This product is made from the seeds of amaranth, one of the oldest cereal plants. In nature, there are about a hundred of its species. Many of them grow in wastelands as weeds. They are fairly tall plants with dense spike and panicle inflorescences of red or purple hue. Its fruits are capsules containing up to 0.5 million tiny seeds, which are then used to make oil.
Interestingly, in pre-Columbian America, the seeds and grains were used to make not only oil, but also flour. It also enjoys well-deserved recognition in medicine and nutrition. But it is the oil with its unique vitamin and mineral complex represents the main value.
In industrial conditions amaranth oil is obtained in several ways:
- Extraction. In this case, any vegetable oil is involved in the process, the main condition is that it must not be refined. It is cheaper to use for this purpose sunflower or corn oil. In the production process, some of the useful substances contained in the seeds of amaranth get into the oil base. But in this case their quantity is much lower than in other production methods. But the resulting product is versatile, it can be used for food and medical purposes, and for home cosmetology.
- Extraction with carbon dioxide. This method is used only in industrial conditions. The product obtained by this method can not be used for medical purposes or for cooking, it is suitable only for cosmetology.
- Cold-pressing. No solvents are involved in this process. Simply amaranth seeds, which have passed a strict selection according to their physical and chemical characteristics, are placed in a special machine and without additional heating or treatment with chemicals oil is squeezed out of them with a powerful press. The oil cake is also used in the pharmaceutical and food industries because it contains many useful substances.
The cold-pressed oil is the purest and most concentrated in terms of active ingredients.
Composition and calories
The energy value of amaranth oil is 736 kcal per 100 grams of product. It would seem that with such a figure, it can not be called a dietary product. But it's all about the substances that it contains. The composition of amaranth oil includes:
- Squalene (8-10% depending on the quality of the original raw material). It is a very rare compound in nature that helps regulate lipid metabolism and participates in the synthesis of a number of hormones.
- Phytosterols, whose properties will be discussed below.
- Ascorbic acid, which has a beneficial effect on the condition of blood vessels and increases immunity.
- B vitamins involved in metabolic processes.
- Vitamin E (in its most active form - tocotrienol). It is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Carotenoids, which are precursors of vitamin A, which has antioxidant properties.
- Vitamin D, which is responsible for bone health.
- Various trace elements, including potassium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, etc. These are the ones that help the body perform all of its functions.
- Phospholipids, the main component of which is lecithin, a substance directly involved in lipid metabolism.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic and oleic acids.
- Irreplaceable amino acids.
For humans, amaranth oil is the only source of squalene (this substance is also contained in shark oil, but it can hardly be called an available product). Meanwhile, it is squalene that has anti-tumor properties. It reveals its properties particularly actively in combination with vitamin C, tocotrienol and amino acids, also contained in these oils.
Squalene has not only anti-inflammatory but also analgesic properties, it stimulates tissue regeneration, takes part in the process of cell proliferation, which is the reason for its wound-healing properties. In particular, squalene can cope with burns, trophic ulcers and eczema. It helps fight various forms of stomatitis. It is used to treat diseases of the salivary glands.
This substance also has protective properties. Its antimicrobial, fungicidal and, most importantly, anticarcinogenic effects have been proven.
Squalene provides cells with oxygen and has antioxidant properties, which explains its ability to prevent tumor development.
This substance is actively used in cosmetology, as it has moisturizing and softening properties, and also helps to remove toxins from the body, negatively affecting the state of the skin.
In addition to squalene, amaranth oil has another important component - phytosterols. These are hormone-like substances that have all the properties of hormones, but lack the side effects of standard hormone replacement therapy. In addition, the main property of phytosterols is the ability to reduce the level of "bad" cholesterol in the blood.
Useful properties of amaranth oil
Amaranth oil, regardless of what kind of seed it is derived from, has many beneficial properties. It is combined with different medications, recognized by official medicine and is part of the complex therapy for various diseases.
Prophylactic use of amaranth oil has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and prevent heart attacks and strokes. There are studies confirming that long-term intake of amaranth oil prevents the development of malignant tumors.
- Eliminates various side effects after the use of various medications.
- Improves the function of the hepatobiliary system, restores the liver, has a beneficial effect on the kidneys.
- Strengthens the immune system.
- Suppresses the development of pathogenic microbes, promotes rapid removal from the body of their products, which are often toxic to humans.
- Beneficial effect on the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines, thereby normalizing digestion.
- Improves blood composition.
- Normalizes the work of all body systems.
Amaranth oil helps to remove salts of heavy metals from the body. It is also considered an excellent remedy for anemia.
Amaranth oil contains substances such as phytosterols, which allow normalizing the hormonal background. The use of this product has a positive effect on the state of the organs of the reproductive system.
There are a number of studies that confirm the positive effects of amaranth oil on the male reproductive system. This product also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps prevent prostate diseases - both of an inflammatory nature and those associated with tissue overgrowth. This product effectively combats erectile dysfunction and infertility.
Future mothers amaranth oil is recommended to use in the first trimester, as it helps to get rid of toxicosis. But its useful properties are not limited to this, because it contains many antioxidants, vitamins and minerals necessary for the normal development of the fetus, and can prevent anemia, the risk of which increases significantly during pregnancy.
External use of amaranth oil during this period can prevent the appearance of stretch marks.
Young mothers amaranth oil is useful because it helps to restore normal hormonal background and has a beneficial effect on the skin and blood vessels. In the first three weeks after childbirth, it is undesirable to include this product in the diet, as at this time, the child's digestive system is particularly sensitive to any products.
Toddlers under the age of 3 years amaranth oil is prescribed for the prevention of rickets because of its unique composition. The fact is that all of the above substances are very useful for strengthening bone and muscle tissue. However, before giving a child such a product, it is necessary to consult a pediatrician.
As for the external use, amaranth oil is especially useful as a wound-healing agent against permanent scratches and abrasions, which are often acquiring young explorers.
For weight loss
Amaranth oil improves metabolism, accelerates the breakdown of fats, reduces the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. All this helps to get rid of extra pounds. Therefore, a small amount of amaranth oil - up to 1 tsp. per day - can be included in the diet. In particular, it is suitable for dressing vegetable salads.
Amaranth oil in medicine
This superproduct has earned the recognition of American and European doctors, it is actively used in modern medicine, including folk medicine. In particular, amaranth oil is effective:
- In dermatological diseases. In this case, it is used in the form of compresses or simply smeared on the damaged skin twice a day, left for about 10 minutes, and then remove the excess oil with a cotton swab. This product is effective even against open wounds, as well as in dry eczema, psoriasis, neurodermatitis and even in such severe cases when it comes to mycosis or infectious lesions like herpes or mycosis.
- Anemia. In this case, the oil is taken orally, because it contains such important components for the synthesis of hemoglobin, such as copper and iron.
- In diseases of the respiratory system and oral cavity (including such pathologies as gingivitis, stomatitis, other inflammatory processes on the gums). In such cases, amaranth oil is recommended both to take with food, and to prepare on its basis rinse.
- For diabetes and obesity. In such cases, it improves lipid metabolism, and it is recommended to include it in the diet in small amounts.
- In gynecological diseases. In particular, it is considered especially useful in the treatment of uterine erosion. But it is also used in the treatment of such pathologies as colpitis, endometritis, myoma, etc. In particular, baths and applications are made with this oil, because it can directly affect the mucous membranes and accelerate regenerative processes. Oil is also taken internally to improve hormone levels, which is very important during menopause or menstrual irregularities.
- In ophthalmic diseases. Amaranth oil is considered an excellent preventive agent against cataracts, maculodystrophy (disease of the retina), night blindness, etc. Amaranth oil also helps reduce the risk of retinopathy, which is often a complication of diabetes. It also combats blepharitis and conjunctivitis of different nature.
Amaranth oil is good for the health of the nervous system. It helps prevent the development of dementia, it is also prescribed as part of the treatment of various psycho-emotional disorders. It is believed that thanks to its antioxidant and analgesic properties, it copes with such problems as headaches and insomnia, and also helps improve cognitive abilities and memory. Its regular consumption has been shown to promote the production of the joy hormone serotonin.
Noteworthy are the bactericidal properties of amaranth oil. But we must understand that it is not a substitute for antibiotics and especially for antiviral drugs, but it can increase their effectiveness. That is why it is prescribed for the treatment of tuberculosis, various infectious diseases, including fungal diseases.
Amaranth oil, due to its high antioxidant content, can be used in the treatment of cancer. However, you should keep in mind that it does not replace the full-fledged therapy, but simply enhances its effectiveness. This product also helps those who have undergone chemotherapy to recover.
Amaranth oil is used in the treatment of muscular dystrophy, as well as diseases of the musculoskeletal system, including arthritis of various nature, osteochondrosis, osteoporosis and even rickets. The fact that it contains substances that strengthen bone tissue.
Amaranth oil is taken to strengthen the immune system. For this purpose, it is recommended to drink 1 teaspoon of the product twice a day, at breakfast and dinner. The bottle of oil should be shaken before use. This product is taken as a course. Its duration should not exceed 30 days. It is recommended to take such a course twice a year, in the spring and fall, because it is at this time the immune system is especially vulnerable.
Its cosmetic uses
The unique composition of amaranth oil allows its use in cosmetology. It is included in many popular cosmetic products, including those of the most famous brands. The moisturizing properties of amaranth oil allow it to retain moisture in the skin, preventing dryness and dehydration, and squalene, contained in it, is responsible for preserving collagen and prevents the appearance of premature wrinkles. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of this product help fight acne and remove traces of acne, accelerating the healing of any wounds and rashes. All the more, squalene also regulates the sebaceous glands, the malfunction of which leads to such unpleasant consequences.
Amaranth oil also protects the skin from the sun's rays and allows the active removal of toxins, improves the condition of the dermis.
For the face
Amaranth oil is sold in small packages specifically for cosmetic purposes. It can be used pure or diluted with other plant oils and extracts. It is used in small quantities, and it is important to take care of the skin in general.
Oil of amaranth seeds can be used for massaging the face, applying it to the skin with your fingers or a soft cotton pad. The whole procedure should take 30-40 minutes, after which it is recommended to wash your face with warm, but not hot water.
You can also use the following recipes:
- A mask for dry skin. For 2 tsp. oil add the same amount of liquid honey and one raw egg yolk. All ingredients are mixed thoroughly and applied to cleansed skin. The mask is washed off after 15 minutes with warm water. This product provides deep hydration and nutrition, eliminates flaking, redness and irritation.
- Mask for sensitive skin. To prepare it, take 40 g of high-fat cottage cheese, even better to take homemade, mixed with 2 tsp. amaranth oil. The mixture is applied to a cleansed face for 15-20 minutes. This mask helps to lighten the skin a little, remove irritation, narrow enlarged pores.
For problem skin suffering from acne, you can prepare a tonic based on 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice, the same amount of oil and 0.5 tsp. lemon juice (this active ingredient has a bleaching effect). The tonic is applied to the problem areas of the skin, and then a thin layer on the entire face. When it is absorbed into the skin, the procedure is repeated. And so several times for half an hour.
Amaranth oil is also useful for the hair, because they also need hydration and nutrition. In addition, it fights dryness and scaling of the scalp, and thanks to squalene can reduce itching and manifestations of oily seborrhea. At home, you can try the following remedies:
- Mask for dry and brittle hair. Pure amaranth oil is applied to the hair roots and scalp, and distributed to the entire length of the curls. After 15-20 minutes it can be washed off with a normal shampoo. Also 1 tbsp. amaranth can be added to the ready-made mask for dry hair. Then the product should be kept for 5-10 minutes, and then washed off.
- Mask to strengthen the hair. For its preparation take the avocado pulp, 1 tbsp. flower honey and 2 tbsp. amaranth oil. Purified avocado pulp is put in a blender, then honey and oil are added and the ingredients are beaten until the mixture is homogeneous and becomes a cream. The resulting product is applied to clean damp hair and scalp, cover with foil and towel. After 20 minutes wash off the mask with shampoo.
- A universal mask to give your hair a healthy shine. For its preparation you will need several liters of draft beer (the exact amount depends on the length of the hair), 1 tbsp. amaranth oil, 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 raw egg yolk. All ingredients except the beer are thoroughly mixed. Meanwhile, the beer is heated slightly, pour the resulting mixture into it and mix thoroughly. Wash your hair with this mixture. It is clear that after the procedure remains not very pleasant smell, but it can be removed by simply rinsing the hair with water, shampoo is no longer needed.
- Mask for dry seborrhea. For 4 tablespoons of liquid honey take 2 tablespoons of amaranth oil. Both ingredients can be slightly heated, but not more than 40 degrees, because otherwise the useful substances of honey will be destroyed. The mixture is applied to the scalp, put on a plastic shower cap, cover with a towel and keep on the hair for 30 minutes, and then rinse with a neutral shampoo.
Also on the basis of amaranth oil you can make a balm for dry hair. For this purpose you should take twice as much rum and a few drops of lavender essential oil for 3 tablespoons of amaranth oil. All this is mixed and the resulting remedy is rubbed into the scalp. The procedure should be performed at night. In the morning, hair is thoroughly washed without shampoo. In this case, do not save water, otherwise you will not be able to eliminate the unpleasant smell.
For the body
Amaranth oil can be an excellent substitute for the ordinary massage oil. It can be used for the skin of the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, breasts. In addition, it helps to combat cellulite. For this purpose, it is recommended to use it at least twice a week.
Amaranth oil can also be an excellent alternative to hand creams, as it also softens, moisturizes and nourishes the skin. Alternatively, you can add a small amount of amaranth oil to your regular hand cream. This is especially useful to do in the winter, when the skin suffers from cold.
In summer amaranth oil is used to fortify the tan, to give it a beautiful shade and at the same time to protect the skin from the negative effects of ultraviolet rays. For this purpose after being in the sun apply a small amount of amaranth oil or add it to ordinary moisturizer. If the oil is applied pure, it should be allowed to soak for 10 minutes and then the excess should be removed with a paper towel.
Amaranth oil is considered very useful for strengthening the nails. To do this make special baths. Their composition is prepared as follows - 2 tablespoons of oil mixed with 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Fingers are lowered into such a bath for 15-20 minutes. It is best to carry out this procedure before going to bed, and after it wear soft cotton gloves on the hands, so that the oil is well absorbed into the skin. If you need to paint your nails afterwards, their surface should be degreased with alcohol.
Amaranth oil in cooking
This product can replace olive oil in cooking. Most often it is used to dress salads and prepare cold sauces. In addition, nutritionists advise adding it to whole-grain porridge, but only in small quantities. Instead of vegetable oil, it can even be added to baked goods, and in this case, the usual products will acquire a spicy note and even become tastier - not to mention healthier.
Can I fry in amaranth oil?
Regarding the possibility of heating amaranth oil, there are different opinions. Some experts believe that this is quite acceptable, because even when exposed to high temperatures this product does not form harmful substances. Others point out that fried dishes in general are not beneficial, and that this method of cooking leads to the destruction of some of the useful substances contained in amaranth oil. So, to use it for frying or not, everyone decides for himself.
Harm and contraindications
The main contraindication is an individual intolerance to the oil as a whole, as well as to the individual components in its composition. If during the use of amaranth oil, such unpleasant symptoms as rashes on the skin, severe nausea, sometimes accompanied by vomiting, as well as headaches, diarrhea, heartburn and signs of dyspepsia, then the reception of this product should be stopped. These are all signs of an allergic reaction and individual intolerance.
With caution use amaranth oil in the presence of certain chronic diseases such as gastritis with hyperacidity and peptic ulcer disease (especially in the acute stage), cholecystitis, pancreatic dysfunction, pyelonephritis associated with inflammatory processes in the kidneys.
How to choose and store
All the useful properties of amaranth are manifested only if you use high-quality oil. To get its concentrated form is possible only by cold pressing, when the temperature of the environment in its production is no more than +36-37 ° C. This must necessarily be indicated on the label of the product. Such oil is sometimes called live oil.
A quality product has a light brown color with greenish notes. His taste is specific, but quite pleasant. Many people describe it as nutty, but mention a slight bitterness, which gives spiciness.
Amaranth oil should be stored at room temperature, in a dark and dry place, since sunlight destroys its useful substances.
How to make amaranth oil at home
At home, the easiest way to obtain amaranth oil is the method of extraction. And for this purpose it is not even necessary to take the seeds of this culture, you can just buy high-quality flour from them, take olive or sunflower oil, which will literally help to pull out of the original raw material all its useful substances, including squalene. But their concentration will still be lower than that of the ready-made cold-pressed oil. Especially since there is no guarantee that the sunflower oil was made without treating the seeds with chemicals.
Nevertheless, if there is confidence in the quality of the original raw material, the home method of obtaining oil will allow to get an excellent product for food and cosmetic use. Algorithm of actions is the following:
- Take 1 kg of amaranth seeds and, divided into portions, grind it in a coffee grinder to obtain flour. To get a better product, it is recommended to first slightly burn the raw material in a pan without oil. Then the flour will have a pleasant nutty smell.
- In a three-liter glass container pour 1 liter of olive or sunflower oil cold-pressed.
- Pour amaranth flour into the oil, slowly, constantly stirring the resulting mass, so that it does not have lumps, until it becomes homogeneous.
- Container tightly covered with plastic lid and put in a dark place for 14-21 days. Periodically you will need to check the container and shake the contents.
At the end of the specified period, it remains only to separate the oil from the gum. Filter it with ordinary gauze, folded in four layers, to get small cells. Through this homemade filter the oil is poured into a separate container. The gauze itself with the remaining gauze on it needs to be squeezed again properly to get more oil. All this is done by hand and it is clear that after this there is still some oil in the flour. Therefore, there is no need to throw it away. It can be used for compresses or cosmetic masks. Only store it in the refrigerator and best of all in a container of dark glass. And even if you managed to squeeze so well that the cake seems dry, it can still be used for compresses.
How to take amaranth oil
The energy value of the oil is very high, and in large quantities this product is not recommended to consume. For an adult daily rate should not exceed 10 ml, and for a child - 5 ml (and only after checking for allergic reactions). It is not recommended to consume the oil on an empty stomach, you can do it only during a meal, 1 tsp. a spoonful in the morning and evening. The course of treatment does not exceed one month, and, of course, it is necessary to consult a doctor before starting it.
When applied externally, amaranth oil is taken literally in a few drops to lubricate the affected areas of the skin. Remains not absorbed are removed with a cosmetic napkin. If sun protection oil is used, it should be applied to all exposed parts of the body, before going to the beach or solarium, which may require up to 10 ml. of product. But one must realize that after the sun procedures are over, you will need to dab the oil on your skin again. To avoid an overdose, it is better to add a small amount of it - up to 2-3 ml in the lotion after sun exposure.
interesting facts about amaranth
Sometimes this plant is called the "bread of the Aztecs". Indeed, pre-Columbian civilizations actively used amaranth in cooking, it is even considered one of the oldest cultivated cereals. It was cultivated by the Maya, the Aztecs, and the Incas, but everyone knew it under different names - for example, some called it huatli, while others called it bledo. But in Greek, amaranth means "flower that does not fade".
After the Spanish conquest of Latin America amaranth cultivation ceased, its crops remained only in remote areas where colonizers did not reach. But gradually amaranth was brought back into the limelight. The more so because it has also been cultivated in India and Nepal, where its healing properties have been known since ancient times.
Nowadays this plant is popular all over the world. Japanese medics compare amaranth greens to squid meat. It is said to be perfectly balanced in terms of proteins, vitamins and other beneficial components. Even more necessary substances for the body contain the seeds of this culture. Sprouted grains in their chemical composition are close to mother's milk.
Today, as humanity faces a food crisis and governments seek crops that can solve this problem, amaranth has become especially valued. The UN has even called it the crop of the twenty-first century. Not only seeds and flour are obtained from it, but also the oil described above, which surpasses sea buckthorn in its beneficial properties and can even be used to treat radiation sickness. Unfortunately, the product has one drawback - it costs quite expensive, by this indicator overtaking all vegetable oils.
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