The health benefits of grape seed oil include its ability to aid in skin care and hair care and protect the heart, balance cholesterol levels, boost the immune system, prevent cancer, stimulate cognitive activity, and prevent chronic diseases. These benefits occur mainly because of the presence of unsaturated fats (PUFAs) like omega- 6 and omega- 3 fatty acids, and vitamin E in the oil.
What is Grapeseed Oil?
Grape seed oil, also known as grape oil, is an edible oil extracted from the seeds of grapes. After the wine is produced by pressing grapes, the seeds are used for extracting this oil and thus it is a by-product of winemaking. This oil has received a lot of attention in recent years due to its high levels of polyunsaturated fats and its versatility in both culinary applications and natural medicinal practices.
Grapeseed Oil Nutrition Facts
Grape seed oil is a rich source of healthy fatty acids like linoleic, oleic, and alpha-linolenic acids, as well as stearic, palmitic, and palmitoleic acids. There are also significant levels of natural plant compounds like oligomeric proanthocyanidins complex (OPC), and other nutrients like vitamin E, sterols, and steroids in this oil. The omega- 6 and omega- 3 fatty acids are a major reason behind all the benefits of grapeseed oil.
Benefits of Grape Seed Oil
Many people turn to grapeseed oil when they are struggling with arthritis, inflammatory conditions, dandruff, diabetes, eczema, dementia, Alzheimer’s, split ends, a weak immune system, and high blood pressure, as well as those at high risk for cancer and chronic diseases. Its benefits are further explained in detail below.
Grape seed oil affects the skin in a number of ways, thanks to its emollient, astringent, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Applying this oil to your skin, often combined with a carrier oil, can help lock in moisture and keep your skin looking fresh and supple. Furthermore, the astringent nature will tighten your skin, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and increasing elasticity. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant aspects will help eliminate symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and even allergic reactions and rashes, while simultaneously stimulating the growth of new cells and protect the skin from infections.
The high levels of vitamin E and fatty acids in grapeseed oil make it an excellent moisturizer for the hair, while also decreasing frizziness and promoting a moisturized scalp. This will help eliminate split ends and dandruff, while also strengthening the hair at the root, in the follicle, and preventing hair loss.
A number of studies have linked the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of polyunsaturated fats to a reduction in plaque deposition and inflammation in neural pathways and capillaries that feed the brain. This can slow or prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s, while also boosting memory, concentration, and cognitive dexterity.
For those worried about their long-term heart health, blood pressure and cholesterol are often the major concerns. Fortunately, using grapeseed oil as an alternative to other vegetable oils – especially canola oil – can help boost your cardiovascular health in a major way. The polyunsaturated fats in grape seed oil will help balance your cholesterol levels and reduce plaque buildup in the arteries. This oil is also linked to decreasing hypertension, which further lowers your risk of heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis.
Many people suffer from the pain and discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Studies have connected the compounds in grape seed oil to a decrease in swelling, inflamed tissue, and allergic responses. It reduces strain on your immune system and eases the pain of the joints and muscles.
The broad range of fatty acids found in grapeseed oil, combined with various antioxidant vitamins and active compounds, can work as an effective antioxidant shield for the body’s systems and cells. Free radicals are able to attack healthy cells and cause them to mutate, often into cancerous growths. Powerful antioxidants, like those found in this alternative vegetable oil, can neutralize these free radicals and prevent tumor growth. Individual studies have shown this oil can have a positive effect on colon, prostate, breast, and lung cancer!
Research has shown that linoleic acid, which makes up roughly 70% of the fatty acids in grapeseed oil, is able to increase insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism in the body, which is excellent news for anyone suffering from diabetes or is at high risk for that disease. Regular use of this oil can help stop the spikes in blood sugar that can be so dangerous for diabetics.
Side Effects of Grape Seed Oil
The most common side effects of grape seed oil are mild indigestion and nausea, blood pressure fluctuation, or some scalp irritation. Furthermore, there can be complications with your medications, given how potent and effective this oil is for certain health conditions. Regular use of grape seed oil is believed to be safe, but taking large, medicinal quantities for more than a few months can result in more notable side effects.
- Drug Interactions – The wide range of effects of grape seed oil include lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as stimulating circulation by decreasing blood clotting. While these can independently be great for heart health, these effects can be complicated by blood pressure medication, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and other anticoagulants such as warfarin. If you are on other medications for cardiovascular issues, speak with your doctor before adding this oil to your health regimen.
- Gastrointestinal Response – Some people experience mild nausea and indigestion when consuming grape seed oil, but these feelings should pass. If they worsen or regularly occur each time you use grapeseed oil, discontinue use and speak with a doctor or herbalist about another alternative oil you could use.
- Dry Skin – Many people use this oil to control dandruff but depending on the sensitivity of their skin, it could cause additional dryness, particularly on the scalp. Apply a small amount of this oil on a patch of skin or on your scalp, and wait 5-6 hours to see how your skin reacts before using it on a larger area.
- Headaches/Dizziness – Another mild side effect can be a headache and dizziness, often coupled with fluctuating blood pressure. If these symptoms worsen, stop using grapeseed oil immediately.