Canola oil facts and benefits

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Canola oil facts and benefits

Canola Oil Quick Facts
Name: Canola Oil
Scientific Name: Brassica napus
Origin Uncertain but is regarded to be in Mediterranean Europe
Colors Bluish black to dark brown
Shapes Globose, 1.5–2.5 mm in diameter, finely reticulate
Taste Neutral Taste
Calories 124 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Total Fat (40.00%)
Vitamin E (16.27%)
Vitamin K (8.33%)
Health benefits Reduced Inflammation, Improve your hair , Brain Function, Cell Membranes, Skin Health, Glycemic control, Cancer Risk, Diabetes, Energy Levels, Overall Heart Health, Lower Cholesterol
Canola scientifically known as Brassica napus belongs to the same genus of the crucifer family called Brassica; the large family of plants which also includes turnip, mustard, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli …etc. Its name is a contraction of Canadian and ola (meaning oil). Apart from canola it is also known as Argentine Canola, Canola, Coleseed, Colza, Colza Rape, Oilseed Rape, Rapaseed, Rapeseed, Rappi, Summer Rape.  Besides the U.S., it is grown in Canada and Australia, but canola oil is consumed all over the world. In the U.S., the ratio of supply versus demand of canola oil is about 1:4, which presents a huge opportunity for U.S. producers to grow more canola. Since exact history of canola is unknown but is regarded to be in Mediterranean Europe.

Rapeseed oil is made from the rapeseed plant, specifically from the seeds of the rape or rapeseed plant, which is a member of the mustard (Brassicaceae) family. The seed is harvested from pods that are formed after those beautiful yellow flowers fade away. North American farmers have been growing canola seed for over 30 years. Canola oil is the healthiest of all commonly used cooking oils. It is lowest in saturated fat, high in cholesterol-lowering mono-unsaturated fat and the best source of omega-3 fats of all popular oils.

Plant

Canola is an annual, herbaceous plant that can reach 3 to 6 feet high with a slender erect, glabrous, stem arising from taproot, stem sparsely branching above. It grows well in medium textured, well-drained fertile soils. Canola is intolerant of waterlogging. Sodic and dispersing soils that surface seal will significantly reduce emergence of canola seedlings. Canola has oval-shaped, bluish-green leaves that partially clasp the stem. They are hairy at the edges. Lower leaves petiolate, lyrate-pinnatifid with 1-3 pairs of lateral lobes, glaucous, bristly, especially on veins, often ciliate, 10-30 x 5-15 cm. Upper leaves glaucous, becoming entire, sessile, amplexicaul, glabrous, narrow-triangular, entire or toothed, 2-10 x 1-2 cm.

Flower

Canola plant produces small, yellow flowers that are bisexual, 10–15 mm across; sepals 4 oblong, sub equal, yellowish-green and glabrous, petals 4 yellow to pale yellow, obovate, narrowed towards the base stamens 6 with yellow anthers; ovary glabrous, green, terete 4–5 mm long with 1.7 mm long style and capitate stigma persistent in fruit.

Fruit

Fruit of canola is glabrous, linear, terete silique, 4.5–11 cm × 3–4 mm, with a tapering beak 1–3 cm long, ascending dehiscent, up to 30-seeded. It looks like a pea pod, but it is 5 times smaller. Seeds are globose, 1.5–2.5 mm in diameter, finely reticulate and are bluish black to dark brown colored. The seeds carry about 40% of oil. Canola oil comes from pressed canola seed. The seed is harvested from pods that are formed after those beautiful yellow flowers fade away. North American farmers have been growing canola seed for over 30 years.

History

The center of origin of Brassica napus is uncertain but is regarded to be in Mediterranean Europe. Evidence based on either chloroplast or nuclear markers has strongly suggested that B. napus is an amphiploid and appeared to have resulted from several independent hybridization events. Evidence suggested that most cultivated forms of B. napus were derived from a cross in which closely related ancestral species of B. rapa and B. oleracea was the maternal donor. But now because of its wonderful nutritional values and health promoting benefits it is grown and used throughout the world.

Nutritional Value

Apart from their neutral Taste, canola oil is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 14 gram of canola oil offers 14 g of Total Fat, 2.44 mg of Vitamin E and 10 µg of Vitamin K.

Health benefits of Canola (Rapeseed) oil

Canola oil is produced from canola seeds. It includes variety of nutrition and has less erucic acid. This natural oil is used in different purposes from losing weight, improving health, until the beauty tips. Many people are using canola oil as a usual cooking oil as well as natural and safe ingredient hair care and skin care. In order to help people understand more about canola oil uses and effectiveness, we have decided to introduce top benefits of canola oil for hair, skin, and health. Keep reading the article and discover how amazing it is.

1. Lower Cholesterol

Canola oil contains absolutely no cholesterol, which is a major benefit for those people who have struggled with cholesterol issues in the past, as well as the conditions that naturally come with high cholesterol. Cholesterol can block your arteries and put excessive strain on your cardiovascular system. Cholesterol has been shown to be a major contributor to atherosclerosis, which can result in heart attacks and strokes.(1)

2. Overall Heart Health

Canola oil consists of good amount of Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids and those are often considered “good” and “bad” cholesterol, respectively. The body needs both, even though one is considered “unhealthy”. The ratio is 2:1, which is one of the healthiest ratios of any vegetable oil, even healthier than olive oil. Sterols are also found in rich supply in canola oil. The phytosterols that are found in canola oil can actually decrease the creation and absorption of cholesterol that you may get from other foods. Therefore, not only does canola oil contain no cholesterol, it can actually reduce your cholesterol levels by 10-15%.(2)

3. Energy Levels

The low amount of cholesterol and the high amount of important antioxidants can help the body’s metabolism move at a normal rate. Your body doesn’t become sluggish and your energy isn’t sapped by slow circulation or an overstressed cardiovascular system.(3)

4. Diabetes

Monounsaturated fats not only help to prevent heart disease, but can also help to maintain glucose levels in the blood. This means that the chances of developing diabetes are far smaller, since glucose levels are kept in balance. The metabolism of the body keeps glucose and insulin levels in line, so even if you do suffer from diabetes, you are less likely to suffer from spikes and drops in blood sugar that are so dangerous to people with diabetes.(4)

5. Cancer Risk

Antioxidants, like vitamin E, are very effective against cancer. Free radicals cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells, so having high levels of vitamin E in your diet, such as the content found in canola oil, can significantly reduce your chances of contracting cancer, and it is also a wonderful way to slow down the progression once cancer has presented itself.(5)

6. Glycemic control

Research suggests that canola oil enriched low-GL diet may help improve glycemic control in type 2 diabetes.(6)

7. Skin Health

Canola oil, like many vegetable oils, is rich in vitamin E, which is an essential vitamin for the body for various reasons. Vitamin E is effective as an antioxidant, and is able to protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals. This helps to keep your skin supple and smooth, increase the healing rate of injuries, reduce the appearance of blemishes and acne marks, and slow down the appearance of wrinkles. Free radicals, which vitamin E can neutralize, are some of the most dangerous components in the body that affect the appearance of the skin, so canola oil is a logical choice if you want to look young and beautiful well into your old age.(7)

8. Cell Membranes

Vitamin E is also a lipid-soluble antioxidant, meaning that it can help protect the integrity of cell membranes throughout the body. Mucus membranes are important for protecting our body from foreign substances and form an important part of our immune system.(8)

9. Brain Function

Cognitive functions commonly appear as we get older, manifested in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The antioxidants that combat free radicals also prevent damage to the brain, which can shut down neural connections and lead to these dangerous conditions.(9)

10. Improve your hair

You can add this value to your list of benefits of canola oil for hair. Canola oil is not only good for your skin, health, but it is also advantageous for your hair. This cheap oil can improve the quality of tresses. You can use warm canola oil to massage your tresses, use the plastic or shower to cover it for 20 minutes and then rinse off as usual with shampoo and warm water.

11. Reduced Inflammation

Canola oil health benefits include reduced joint tenderness and stiffness, and greater mobility for people who suffer from inflammation due to arthritis. ALAs in canola oil help to reduce inflammation associated with asthma. The health benefits of canola oil also may also extend to other inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis.

How to apply Canola Oil for hair care

There are many ways through you which you can apply them on hair. Here we will discuss about some of the most prominent methods.

Method 1: Blend equal amount of canola oil along with olive oil, preferably 2-3 spoons. Place them on a bowl and warm them up. Sock a piece of cotton on the bowl and paste the mixture onto the scalp and hair. Coating the hair ends with the oil as well as they are usually dry and need a lot of moisturizing. Continue massaging for 10-15 minutes and leave the hair untouched for 2-3 hours. Once the time has passed, you can wash it off.

Method 2: If you suffer from dandruff issues and is running out of ideas to eliminate them, you should try this mixture of canola oil with tea tree oil. It is always better to mix more amount of canola oil with very little quantity of tea tree oil. Heat this mixture and continue applying it for 3-4 weeks. If you still notice hair loss, blend equal amount of canola oil with olive oil or almond oil. You can try adding essential oils like lavender or primrose oils for imparting fragrance to the mix. It is found that hot oil treatment with this mixture will make your hair stronger and thicker.

Method 3: Canola oil is also used as an effective hair mask, which might appear strange but it is clinically proven to be effective.

Blend equal amount of canola oil along with mayonnaise. As discussed earlier, for good fragrance you can always add a few drop of lavender or primrose oil. Paste this mixture on to the hair and cover it (preferably with a shower cap). Leave it untouched for 2-3 hours and wash it off once it passes the time.

Method 4: Beer is a drink that is loved by everyone, but not many knows the impact it can have on improving the hair growth. In fact hair mask involving canola oil and beer will be great for tied tresses. For making this mixture, combine half cup of beer with a spoon of canola oil and egg. Paste this mixture onto the hair and leave it untouched for 10-15 minutes. Wash it off with cool water. You can also try storing beer in a spray bottle and sprinkle them onto your dry hair. For best results, make sure you follow this remedy on a routine basis.

Method 5: Essential oils are famous for carrying wide variety of features. They are helpful in solving issues related to hair, skin and health. Here is a method that you should try for treating your dry hair. Prepare 3 tablespoons of canola oil and mix them with some tablespoons of almond or olive or tea tree oil. Heat the mixture until it gets warm. Apply it onto your hair and cover it with a cotton cloth or a shower cap. Leave it untouched for 1-2 hours and wash it off with a shampoo.

Method 6: Canola oil can be mixed with banana for creating effective hair masks. Prepare the mix by adding a few drops of honey along with some tablespoons of canola oil and half piece of banana. Put all of them together in a mixer and blend them smooth. Now apply the paste onto your hair and cover it with a towel. Leave it untouched for 45 minutes. Wash it off with water. This method is found to be effective in moisturizing and supplying protein for hair growth.

Method 7: Canola oil contains very high amount of Erucic acid. They are high in protein content and are helpful for anyone who wants long hair. The best part about it is that even without mixing canola oil with other ingredients, you can get desired results.

How to Select and Store Canola Oil for External Use?

Ensure that you purchase Canola oil bottles in volumes that will last you at least two years. The container must be sealed tightly after each use to prevent exposure of the oil to atmospheric oxygen. If stored correctly, the shelf life of the oil increases. Store the oil in a cool and dark place to prevent exposure to light. On being exposed to light, Canola oil loses its nutritional value as the fatty acid components in the oil become oxidized. Users can wrap the container in aluminum foil or a dark cloth.

If the oil is stored properly, it can be safely used for about a year. Make sure you note the color and odor of the oil from time to time. Canola oil that changes color or gives off a foul smell has become rancid and needs to be discarded immediately to prevent any harm to the body.

How to Eat

  • Canola is one of the preferred oil in salad dressings, margarines, shortening, deep frying, baking, spreads, and creamers.
  • Like peanut oil, canola is also preferred oil used to deep fry turkey.
  • It provides a good base for sautéing, grilling or stir-frying meat and vegetables.
  • In Europe young sprouted seedlings of Brassica napus are occasionally eaten in salads and used as garnish, replacing white mustard and garden cress.
  • The leaves and young tender leafy shoots are eaten as vegetables in the same way as other Brassica leafy vegetables raw in salads, cooked as potherbs and in stir fries on its own with salt, garlic, oil with or without added spices or stir-fries with meat or seafood.
  • Seed is also used as a mustard flavoring.
  • Rapeseed flowers produce abundant nectar, and honeybees produce a light colored, peppery honey from it.
  • Leaves are also fermented for later use.
  • Immature flowering stems – cooked in much the same way as broccoli.
  • The sprouted seed is often used as the mustard part of mustard and cress and eaten in salads.

Other Traditional uses and benefits of Canola oil

  • The root is regarded as emollient and diuretic.
  • The root extract has been used as a remedy for bronchial catarrh and chronic coughs.
  • The pulverized seed with salt has been used to treat cancer.
  • The powdered seed with camphor has been used to treat stiff joints and rheumatism and used as eardrop to relieve earache.
  • Rape oil is used in massage and oil baths, it is believed to strengthen the skin and keep it cool and healthy.

Other Facts

  • It takes around 50 pounds of canola seed for the extraction of 10 liters of oil.
  • Canola meal is rich source of proteins. It is used as animal feed for cows, horses, sheep, pigs and chickens.
  • Two types of proteins isolated from canola meal are used industrially for the manufacture of sodas, sport drinks and other, protein-enriched types of food.
  • Canola oil is used as biodiesel (type of fuel that doesn’t pollute the atmosphere as much as conventionally types of fuel, such as diesel).
  • Canola oil has application in the industry of plastics, lubricants and candles.
  • 80% of honey produced in Canada originates from nectar extracted from flowers of canola.
  • Canola is usually cultivated as annual plant (plant that completes its life cycle in one year).
  • The seed husks have been reported to be used in plastering house walls.
  • Rapeseed oil is also used as an illuminant, and in the production of resins, soaps, polyamide fibers and as a vegetable wax substitute.
  • Rape oil is used in massage and oil baths.

Precautions

  • It contains high levels of erucic acid, which causes heart lesions and other problems.
  • It has been shown to cause lung cancer.

Canola oil Facts

Brassica napus or rapeseed plant is a cool season small annual flowering herb with deep taproots. It grows to about 4-6 feet in height and bears golden-beautiful yellow flowers, which eventually develop into seedpods measuring about 5 cm in length. Each seedpod holds 20 to 35 tiny, round mustard-like seeds. The seeds carry about 40% of oil. Canola oil comes from pressed canola seed. The seed is harvested from pods that are formed after those beautiful yellow flowers fade away. North American farmers have been growing canola seed for over 30 years.

Name Canola Oil
Scientific Name Brassica napus
Native Uncertain but is regarded to be in Mediterranean Europe
Common Names Argentine Canola, Canola, Coleseed, Colza, Colza Rape, Oilseed Rape, Rapaseed, Rapeseed, Rappi, Summer Rape
Name in Other Languages Argentina : Nabo, Rape
Austria : Raps
Bulgarian : Panc, Rapica, Raps
Catalan : Colza
China : Ou Zhou You Cai, Yang You Cai
Croatia : Repica
Czech : Brukev Řepka Olejka
Danish : Raps
Dutch : Koolzaad
Eastonian : Raps
English: Annual rape, Argentine canola, canola, colza, oilseed rape, rape, summer rape, Swede rape, turnip, winter rape
Finnish : Rapsi
French : Chou Colza, Colza, Colza D’hiver, colza de printemps, Navette
German: Kohlsaat, Kolza, Lewat, Ölraps, Raps, Winterraps
Greek : Kolysa, Rapitsa
Hungarian : Repce
Icelandic : Blaðrepja
India : Toria ( Hindu )
Italian : Cavolo Colza, Cavolo navone, Colza, Napo Oleifera, Ravizzone
Japanese : Inabana, Nanohana, Seiyou Aburana
Korean : Yuchae
Norwegian : Raps
Polish : Rzepak
Portuguese : Colza, Grelos, Nabiça
Romanian : Colza, Rapiţă, Rapiţă Colza
Russian : Рапс, Сурепица – Raps, Surepica
Slovenia : Ogrščica
Spanish : Colza, Nabino, Nabo, Nabo Colza
Swedish: Raps
Thai : Phak Kat Kan Khao
Vietnamese : Cải Dầu
Growth Habit Small annual, herbaceous, flowering herb
Soil Medium textured, well-drained fertile soils. Canola is intolerant of waterlogging. Sodic and dispersing soils that surface seal will significantly reduce emergence of canola seedlings.
Plant Size Three to six feet tall
Root Deep taproots.
Stem Slender erect, glabrous, stem
Leaf Oval-shaped, bluish-green leaves that partially clasp the stem. They are hairy at the edges. Lower leaves petiolate, lyrate-pinnatifid with 1-3 pairs of lateral lobes, glaucous, bristly, especially on veins, often ciliate, 10-30 x 5-15 cm. Upper leaves glaucous, becoming entire, sessile, amplexicaul, glabrous, narrow-triangular, entire or toothed, 2-10 x 1-2 cm.
Flower Small, yellow flowers, bisexual, 10–15 mm across; sepals 4 oblong, subequal, yellowish-green and glabrous, petals 4 yellow to pale yellow, obovate, narrowed towards the base stamens 6 with yellow anthers; ovary glabrous, green, terete 4–5 mm long with 1.7 mm long style and capitate stigma persistent in fruit.
Fruit Shape & Size Glabrous, linear, terete silique, 4.5–11 cm × 3–4 mm, with a tapering beak 1–3 cm long, ascending  dehiscent, up to 30-seeded. looks like a pea pod, but it is 5 times smaller
Seed Shape & Size Globose, 1.5–2.5 mm in diameter, finely reticulate
Seed Color Bluish black to dark brown
Taste Neutral Taste
Oil Color Yellow
Lifespan One Year
Health benefits
  • Reduced Inflammation
  • Improve your hair
  • Brain Function
  • Cell Membranes
  • Skin Health
  • Glycemic control
  • Cancer Risk
  • Diabetes
  • Energy Levels
  • Overall Heart Health
  • Lower Cholesterol
Major Nutrition Total Fat (lipid) 14 g (40.00%)
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 2.44 mg (16.27%)
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 10 µg (8.33%)
Calories in 1 tbsp ( 14 g) 124 K cal
 

References:

http://www.uscanola.com/what-is-canola/

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2015/04/13/ask-the-expert-concerns-about-canola-oil/

http://www.zhion.com/herb/Canola_Oil.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canola

http://www.soyatech.com/canola_facts.htm

http://www.australianoilseeds.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/8019/69_GRDC_Canola_Guide_Canola_plant__and__how_it_grows.pdf

http://www.hear.org/pier/species/brassica_napus.htm

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=7661

http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Brassica+napus

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=275023&isprofile=0&

http://www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Brassica_napus.html#napus

http://www.floracatalana.net/brassica-napus-l-

http://eol.org/pages/583918/overview

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