journal

February 13, 2015 EDITOR

All hail the sunflower, king of the good oils

All hail the sunflower, king of the good oils

Sunflowers are grown all over the world and are a hugely important and valuable agricultural commodity. They are incredibly beautiful and there's nothing like driving through the country when it's sunflower season, with fields as far as the eye can see of these gorgeous yellow flowers that give the impression they're turning their heads to the sun - hence their name in French (tournesols) and Spanish (girasoles).

 

Although it was commonly accepted that the sunflower was first domesticated in what is now the southeastern USA (the Sunflower is the official flower of Kansas), roughly 5000 years ago, there is archaeological evidence that it was actually first domesticated in Mexico around 2600 BC.

 

In fact many indigenous American peoples used the sunflower as the symbol of the sun and sun gods, including the Aztecs and the Otomi of Mexico and the Incas in South America. It's still used for its many health benefits and even used as a poultice to treat rattlesnake bite - just in case you ever find yourself bitten by one when you're out and about in the Wild West!

 

In 1510 early Spanish explorers encountered the sunflower in the Americas and carried its seeds back to Europe and now it's grown prolifically in southern France and Spain.

 

In recent years, Sunflower oil has often been dismissed as Olive Oil's poor cousin or an oil that's just good for cooking...in fact even for cooking purposes it went out of fashion for a while when Olive Oil became de rigueur in the 90s.  But it's low in saturated and trans fats and actually much better for cooking as it burns at a higher temperature than Olive Oil (which really you should keep for dressings).

 

In terms of its nutritional and health benefits, Sunflower oil is one of nature's super oils. It contains very high levels of Vitamin E and alpha-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant, so it’s perfect for nourishing and thickening lashes. We use it as the base for our super glossy brown All Day Sunflower Oil Mascara as it really brings out the best in lashes, keeping them moisturised, thick and "lashious" and in tip-tip condition.

 

Always try to shop for GMO free or organic to make sure you're getting the most from this amazing oil.

 

Tip: Sunflower oil is more affected by sun and heat than some other oils; so to preserve its qualities, store it in a cool cupboard and away from direct sunlight.

 

Aceite de girasol ¡El mejor de los aceites!

Los girasoles se cultivan en todo el mundo y son un producto agrícola muy importante y valioso. ¡Son increíblemente hermosos!, no hay nada mejor que manejar cuando es temporada de girasol y ver los campos llenos de las hermosas flores amarillas que dan la impresión que están girando sus cabezas al sol, de ahí su nombre en Francés (tournesols) y Español (girasoles).

 

El girasol es la flor oficial de Kansas, aunque se reconoce que fue inicialmente cultivada hace 5000 años en el sureste de los Estados Unidos. Sin embargo, hay evidencias arqueológicas que muestran que el girasol fue cultivado en México alrededor del año 2600 a.C.

 

Muchos grupos indígenas en el continente Americano, entre ellos los Aztecas y Otomíes en México y los Incas en América del Sur han utilizado el girasol como símbolo del Sol y del dios del Sol. Aún hoy en día el aceite de girasol se usa por sus múltiples beneficios para la salud e incluso como remedio para las mordeduras de serpiente.

 

En el año 1510 los primeros exploradores españoles encontraron la flor en el continente Americano y llevaron su semilla a Europa, en donde hoy crece en el sur de Francia y España.

 

En la actualidad el aceite de girasol ha sido poco valorado y considerado un aceite sólo para cocinar, incluso aún como aceite de cocina pasó de moda cuando en los años 90 el aceite de oliva se hizo muy popular. Sin embargo es bajo en grasas saturadas y mejor para cocinar que el aceite de oliva ya que tiene un punto de humeo más alto y por lo tanto no se quema tan rápido. El aceite de oliva debería usarse sólo en ensaladas.

 

En cuanto a sus beneficios nutricionales y de salud, el aceite de girasol es uno de los súper aceites. Contiene niveles muy altos de vitamina E y alfa-tocoferol, una forma de vitamina E que actúa como antioxidante, por lo que es perfecto para nutrir y engrosar las pestañas. Es por sus propiedades por lo que lo usamos como base en nuestra Mascara con aceite de girasol Ere Perez, ya que saca lo mejor de las pestañas manteniéndolas humectadas, con volumen y en perfectas condiciones.

 

Trata siempre de comprar aceites orgánicos o que no estén genéticamente modificados para garantizar que estás obteniendo lo mejor de este maravilloso aceite.

 

Tip: El aceite de girasol puede perder efectividad si se expone directamente al sol por lo que se recomienda guardarlo en un lugar fresco y lejos de la luz solar.

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