Cottonseed Oil Nutritional Benefits
As the name suggests, cottonseed oil is extracted from cotton seeds. It includes both the types – Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium herbaceum. This oil has long been used for cooking since long.
Nutritional Facts 15 mL of cottonseed oil(1) contains:
Composition of Cottonseed Oil
Cottonseed oil has 70% unsaturated fatty acids, and 26% saturated fatty acids. Within the unsaturated fatty acids, 18% is monounsaturated, and 52% polyunsaturated. When cottonseed oil is fully hydrogenated, it’s composition is 94% saturated fats and 2% unsaturated fatty acids in which 1.5% is monounsaturated, and 0.5% is polyunsaturated.
Cotton seeds, stems, and leaves produce a toxic, yellow, polyphenolic compound named gossypol as well. It is a natural insect repellent. Ferric chloride is used to remove this from cottonseed oil.
Uses of Cottonseed Oil
Cottonseed oil is most commonly used in cooking. This oil has a very bland and neutral flavor, which makes it ideal for frying, baking, and ideal for salad dressing. It acts as a remarkable flavor carrier. This makes it suitable for deep frying as it enhances food texture. This oil can form beta prime crystals helping in achieving desired consistency, which makes it ideal for margarine and whipped cream.
It can be used for skin. It is included in skin care products like moisturizers and anti-aging creams as well because it contains high levels of vitamin E.
Benefits of Cottonseed Oil
Cottonseed oil is noted for being rich in antioxidants. This oil has a vast number of benefits. It is low in cholesterol, helps people with high blood pressure, gout, arthritis, dementia, et cetera. The other benefits include
1. Speeds Up the Healing Process
Firstly, this oil speeds up the healing process in the body. Due to its high content of vitamin E and antioxidants, it can fasten the healing process, which is why it is applied to fresh wounds, cut marks, or scrapes.
Tocopherol present in cottonseed oil stimulates the growth of new skin cells and protects against infection.
2. Improves Cognition
It helps in improving cognition. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are said to improve cognition and reduce neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. Using natural, unrefined cottonseed oil can help to reduce inflammation of neural pathways and hence keeps you sharp even when you age.
3. Has Anti-Cancer Properties
Cottonseed oil is also said to have anti-cancer properties. Many animal studies have been conducted to test the anti-cancer properties of gossypol – a naturally occurring toxin in cottonseed plants.
Gossypol is said to be effective in reducing prostate tissue growth. This can reduce prostate enlargement and lower the risks of prostate cancer.
4. Improves Skincare
Additionally, This oil has high concentrations of vitamin E, which makes it ideal for skincare. Vitamin E and other antioxidants present in this oil can boost overall skin health. It helps moisturize dry skin and prevents premature aging of the skin. It helps get rid of oxidative stress in the skin, thereby preventing scars, lines, and wrinkles.
5. Boosts the Immune System
Boosting the immune system is another benefit derived from the consumption of cottonseed oil. The various antioxidants present in this oil reduce oxidative stress on your immune system. The immune system helps fights typical pathogens and harmful foreign bodies.
6. Reduces Inflammation
The monounsaturated fats present in this oil helps in reducing inflammation throughout your body. You can either consume it or topically apply it to relieve inflammation. It helps get rid of arthritis, gout, joint pains. It also soothes the stomach and the digestive process if consumed on a regular basis.
Last but not least, this oil contains many mono and polyunsaturated fats, which include gamma-linolenic acid. This helps to lower overall cholesterol levels and improve your heart’s health. If used responsibly, this oil can also help in reducing blood pressure and the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
- Besides the many benefits, there are also a few side effects, which include an elevated risk of toxin effect, cottonseed oil allergy, and heart disease.
- It is known for boosting heart health. However, it does contain saturated fats, especially in the hydrogenated form. This type of fat can be dangerous to the heart.
- Depending on the source, some cottonseed plants can be high on toxin content.
There are some concerns about the health risks related to cottonseed oil. But it mainly depends on where the oil is sourced from. In today’s market, organic varieties of cottonseed oil are available, which can readily be used for cooking.
It provides many health benefits like boosting the immune system, improving heart health, skincare benefits, et cetera.
1. Is cottonseed oil bad for you?
It isn’t bad for your health. However, there are some risks attached to it. The hydrogenated form of cottonseed oil contains high levels of saturated fats, which can be harmful to the heart.
2. What foods have cottonseed oil in them?
Cottonseed oil is usually used in food items like mayonnaise, margarine, salad dressing, pasta sauce, chips, and baked items.
3. Is cottonseed oil poisonous?
Gossypol is a yellow toxin produced by cottonseed plants that could prove to be poisonous, especially if it is unrefined.
4. What is a good substitute for cottonseed oil?
There are no major substitutes for cottonseed oil. However, you can use sunflower oil or soybean oil.