Sunflower oil is a healthy oil which may be used for a number of different purposes. As a cooking oil, it contains vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and much less trans fat than standard cooking oil. In cosmetic products, it helps the skin to retain moisture and, when taken orally, it is an excellent natural supplement which will help to improve the health of your cardiovascular system. The polyunsaturated fats found in sunflower oil help to lower cholesterol and thus reduce the risk of heart disease. Sunflower oil makes an excellent addition to a daily diet, and with several different sunflower oil supplements to choose from, integrating it into your existing routine should be a very easy task.
There are two ways to utilize sunflower oil in cooking, both of which will give you the full benefit of the oil. It may be used as a cooking oil (for sautes and the like) or simply as an additive to foods that are already cooked.
1 - Cooking Oil
Pure sunflower oil may be used in place of other cooking oils, like canola or olive oil. Health-wise, it contains less saturated fat and less monounsaturated fat than either olive oil or soybean oil. It is significantly higher in polyunsaturated fat (the "good" fat) than olive or soybean oil, as well. It lacks the distinctive flavor of olive oil, which may make it more desirable when used for baking; it can be fully exchanged with canola or vegetable oil without affecting the flavor of the finished product.
To use sunflower oil as a cooking oil, simply exchange the sunflower oil with whatever other oil you would normally use. It may be used in a 1:1 ratio to other oils, so the exchange is very simple.
2 - Sunflower Oil Supplementation
When not used in baked or fried goods, sunflower oil can simply be added to pre-made foods and will often barely be noticeable. Try drizzling a teaspoon over a salad, or mixing it into a hearty bowl of oatmeal, for example. An ounce of sunflower oil will provide nearly 80% of the recommended daily intake for Vitamin E, so you won't need much.
3 - Sunflower Oil in Pills
If you don't wish to modify your daily routine to include baking or cooking with sunflower oil, sunflower oil capsules are a perfectly legitimate way to integrate the benefits with minimal effort. Pure sunflower oil capsules are not extremely common, and it may be easier to find a combination capsule that combines sunflower oil with other natural and beneficial supplements like fish oil or flax seed oil. Any local natural foods market should be able to help you find what you're looking for, whether it be pure sunflower oil or a combination capsule.
Integrating sunflower oil into your diet, either by using it to replace traditional cooking and baking oils or simply taking it as a supplement, is a great way to enjoy all the healthy benefits it offers.