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Everything You Should Know About Cold Pressed Oils

Oil plays an important role in our kitchen and diet, but not everyone uses the same type of oil. Some people like their food cooked in sunflower oil, some prefer the pungent mustard oil, and some won’t use anything but olive oil. Oil differs not only by the products it is extracted from but also by the way it is extracted. If you really want to make a healthy choice, you should look for cold pressed oils for your everyday cooking. There are many benefits of wood or cold pressed oils but before we get into that, you should understand what cold pressed oil is. 


The ABC of Cold Pressing 

To begin with, cold pressing is a chemical-free technique used in oil extraction. This involves crushing nuts and seeds at a low temperature by using a traditional wooden pestle with mortar to extract oil. Such oil is also known as Wood Pressed Oil. Today, many cold oil manufacturers are choosing to go back to use this wooden pestle as the friction between this pestle and the mortar does not generate any heat. Cold pressing oil is more expensive compared to other forms of extraction as the process is slower and the amount of oil extracted from the raw ingredients is lesser. These oils are usually sold in their unrefined state as it is.


Benefits of Cold Pressed Oils Cold pressed oil is considered to be the healthiest form of edible oil available in the market today. Cold pressing can be used to extract oil from peanuts, olives, coconuts or even delicate fruits like apricots, peaches, and almonds. Some of its health benefits as compared to oil extracted through other means are as follows:


  • It Retains More Nutrients

When oils are extracted by chemical treatment of heat, a lot of fatty acids and micro ingredients are lost during the process. When those oils are refined, nutrients are lost even more. However, since cold pressing does not involve heating the seeds or oils, none of these natural fats and amino acids are lost. Thus, cold pressed oil retains all the micro nutrients and fatty acids in their natural form. What’s more? Cold pressed oils are the rich sources of anti-oxidants. 


  • It Is Cholesterol Friendly

Oil and cholesterol are often considered synonymous, but not all oils are bad for you. There are two types of cholesterol - bad cholesterol and good cholesterol. As the name suggests, bad cholesterol or low-density lipoproteins are responsible for heart trouble and other medical hazards. Thus, if a person is diagnosed with high cholesterol levels, the person has a high amount of bad cholesterol in the body. Good cholesterol or high-density lipoproteins (HDL) help to eliminate atherosclerosis (Atherosclerosis eventually result in cardiovascular diseasestroke and other vascular diseases) within the walls of arteries. One of the benefits of cold pressed oil is that it is rich in this second type of cholesterol and hence is good for people suffering from high cholesterol. Since this type of oil is rich in good cholesterol, it also helps with weight loss. 


  • It Boosts the Immune System

Cold pressed oils have a number of properties that make them immunity boosters. Primary amongst these are the antioxidants and natural fatty acids that they are rich in. Two such fatty acids are Omega 3 or alpha linolenic acids and Omega 6 or linoleic acid. In addition, cold pressed oils are also rich in other fatty acids depending on the seeds or fruits they are extracted from. For example, olive oil is rich in Omega 9 or oleic acid that helps strengthen the TH1 segment of the immune system and fight against autoimmune diseases and allergies. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid that improves colon health and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria. It is important to note that a majority of our immune system is centered on the colon.


  • No Additives

There are many steps to heat extraction or chemical extraction of oil. One of these steps is to refine the oil by adding agents such as bleaching soda, acetic acid etc. These ingredients do not harm a person but reduce the nutritional value of the oil. In addition, many manufacturers also add liquid paraffin extracted from crude oil to the edible oil in order to reduce costs and maximize volume. However, when it comes to cold pressed oils, the oil is sold unrefined and hence there are no additives mixed with it. Instead, the oil is simply filtered and strained.


  • Enhanced Flavors

While you may think that all oils taste the same, they actually have very distinct flavor profiles depending on the nuts, seeds or fruits they are extracted from. When these products are cold pressed to extract oil, the oil retains its flavor profile and hence enhances any recipe it is used in. In addition, these oils also have a distinct aroma of their own. 


How to Buy Cold Pressed Oil?

Cold pressed oil has a very short shelf life as they don’t contain any added preservatives and hence it is best bought in small quantities. If possible, look for organic cold pressed oils to reassure that you are cooking with pesticide-free oil. It should be stored in a dark air-tight container, away from sunlight and heat. Avoid choosing oils stored in plastic bottles and instead pick oils stored in dark green glass bottles. To absorb nutrition from these oils, they should be consumed within three months of manufacturing. These oils can also be used outside the kitchen to moisturize and condition our skin and hair. For skincare and haircare purposes, cold pressed coconut oil and olive oil are the ideal. 


Cold pressed oils are the proof that life always turns a full circle. In the early days, this was the only form of oil extraction. The only difference is that today, instead of bullocks powering the mortar and pestle, we have a little mechanical help. So, go ahead, introduce cold pressed oils to your kitchen and enjoy your healthy food the way your grandmother used to make it along with the many benefits of cold pressed oil.


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