Did you know that using Argan oil for cooking has many health benefits? Yes, believe it or not there is another oil on the market that has some wonderful benefits in the culinary world. Many are still not familiar or have not heard about the benefits of using Argan oil. In fact some are so impressed with this oil that they are now calling it “liquid gold.”

The Argan tree is native to the desert region of Morocco. The tree produces a yellow fruit with a large pit inside.  The pit has about one to three seeds within. The seeds are then crushed with a cold pressed formula for cosmetic use or a slowly roasted method for culinary purposes. The entire process is manually performed and is generally done by the women. Argan oil has proven to give both health and cosmetic benefits.

Argan cooking oil has a lovely golden-yellow color with a very slight hint of a red tint and a pleasant nutty aroma as well. It has a smooth nutty flavor  similar to hazelnuts but is just a little sharper. Moroccans use Argan oil as a salad dressing when mixed with lemon juice or as a tasteful dipping sauce with bread.

A group of scientists in Casablanca, Morocco studied the use of Argan oil for cooking with people who had Type 2 diabetes and who had higher levels of cholesterol. This study included one hundred volunteers. The participants formed two groups. The first group used Argan oil for cooking for four weeks, while the other group used vegetable oil for cooking. The researchers found that the group who consumed Argan oil for cooking greatly improved their blood cholesterol levels. In fact the total cholesterol decreased by 9.11 percent, the good cholesterol, or HDL improved by 10.51 percent and the bad cholesterol, or LDL, decreased by 11.21 percent. The second group of this study showed no or minimal improvements in their blood fat levels. Researches then concluded that it was possible to prevent heart disease in people who also had Type 2 diabetes when they used Argan oil for cooking. They also believed that continuous use of Argan oil for cooking helped manage heart health.

Argan cooking oil only has seventy calories, which is only one-third of the recommended daily allowance. This oil is high in both mono and polyunsaturated fats and has omega fatty acids. In addition, it has no carbohydrates and no cholesterol which will decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Using Argan oil for cooking has other health benefits such as protecting ones muscles from aging. It also protects against bowel disorders and provides relief for some inflammatory diseases such as arthritic or rheumatic conditions as it has flavonoids. It can aid in digestion as it increases pepsin concentration in the gastric juice of the digestive system. Traditionally, Moroccans believed that when using Argan oil for cooking provided both energetic and aphrodisiac properties.

Store Argan oil in the refrigerator as the shelf life is not long. If you do want to store it in the refrigerator then keep it away from direct sunlight in a cool place. Also, if for some reason you do not want to keep it in its original bottle be sure to use a non-transparent bottle for storage. A colored bottle will keep the Argan oil for cooking from decomposing. 

Commercial Argan oil for cooking is expensive since it is a difficult process to make and that the Argan tree is only available in certain parts of the world. If you do have the extra funds to splurge, by all means do so and see how the wonderful benefits of using Argan oil for cooking.