Almond oil is a nutrient-dense substance derived from one of the most delicious (and popular) nuts on the planet. Slightly fragrant, almond oil has been used for centuries as a holistic medicine, a cooking oil, and even in beauty regimens for its many benefits to the body. Today, you’ll find almond oil is much more readily available than it has been in the past. Instead of having to special order it from the Middle East or Asia, where almond oil originated, you can just grab it at one of your favorite local grocery stores. And you should.

After all, here are five of the most notable benefits of almond oil:

1. Oral Health

Many people use the ancient practice of oil pulling nowadays to remove the deep-seated bacteria and plaque from in-between teeth and along the gumline. This practice has been used for thousands of years, and is most commonly performed with coconut oil. However, studies have confirmed that using almond oil may also help to maintain oral health.

Researchers found that when used as part of an oral care routine, almond oil may offer an alternative to abrasive toothpastes, especially for those with dentifrices.1

2. Cardiovascular Function

Almond oil is a good source of healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Because of this, many people believe that consuming almond oil can promote cardiovascular health. In fact, studies have shown that almond oil may offer a natural way to balance cholesterol levels. One study revealed that regular consumption of almond oil was able to raise levels of “good” cholesterol (known as HDL or high density lipoprotein), while also lowering levels of “bad” cholesterol, or LDL (low density lipoprotein). In addition, that study showed that adding almond oil to your diet may help to gradually lower overall cholesterol levels.2

According to another study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, almond oil may also help to lower risk factors of heart disease including total cholesterol, and blood pressure.3 For these reasons, adding almond oil to your menu is a heart-healthy idea.

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3. Weight Loss

If you have a weight loss goal, you probably don’t think that eating more fat could help. However, almond oil is not like other types of oils. Almond oil is uniquely able to help support weight loss by reducing blood sugar spikes that can cause more fat storage and frequent cravings for sweet foods.

In a Purdue University study, scientists found that people who consumed more almonds in any form, including whole nuts, almond butter, almond flour, and almond oil noticed decreases in blood sugar levels and a greater feeling of fullness after meals. In this study, almond oil performed as well as whole almonds for encouraging proper insulin production – even better than almond butter.4

Additionally, almond oil may help you to shed unwanted pounds. Overweight participants in one study reported overall weight loss, as well as a reduction in cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol imbalance.5

4. Digestive Health.

When consumed, almond oil is known to support a healthy gastrointestinal tract. In one study, participants who suffered with anal itching, reported a 93% improvement rate after just one treatment of almond oil injections.6

For children with rectal prolapse – a condition where the rectum loses its attachment to the inside of the body, almond oil injections are the first line of therapy.7

5. Luscious Skin and Hair

Almond oil is a wonderful moisturizer for the skin, and as a potent source of antioxidant Vitamin E, it can also help protect youthful skin against premature aging from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Studies also note that using almond oil as an emollient may help to smooth the skin and improve both complexion and skin tone.8

Because almond oil also contains a range of essential fatty acids, it can play a vital role in maintaining strong and healthy hair strands. Simply apply a small amount of almond oil to the scalp and damaged split ends to reduce breakage and impart a healthy shine.

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How Can I Use Almond Oil?

Getting more almond oil into your diet is easy to do. Use it for pan frying, sautéing, in dressings, dips, and spreads. The light, slightly nutty flavor is ideal on salads, and even in smoothies to boost the nutrient value. You can also use it as an ingredient in restorative hair and facial masks, or apply the oil directly to your skin and hair as a beauty therapy.

Almond oil also makes an ideal carrier oil for use with essential oils. Just add a few drops of your favorite volatile oil, like lavender or frankincense, into a small amount of almond oil, and rub the mixture into your skin for additional aromatherapy benefits. The options are endless – so go ahead and fall in love with almond oil.

Almond oil offers many properties to support your overall health as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-hepatotoxic, and immune booster, so adding almond oil to your diet and beauty regimen is a must. For these five benefits of almond oil, and many more, try some today.

Sources:

1. Aguiar AA, Saliba NA. Toothbrushing with vegetable oil: a clinical and laboratorial analysis. Braz Oral Res. 2004 Apr-Jun;18(2):168-73. Epub 2004 Aug 5.

2. Hyson DA, Schneeman BO. Almonds and almond oil have similar effects on plasma lipids and LDL oxidation in healthy men and women. J Nutr. 2002 Apr;132(4):703-7.

3. Abazarfard Z, Salehi M. The effect of almonds on anthropometric measurements and lipid profile in overweight and obese females in a weight reduction program: A randomized controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2014 May;19(5):457-64.

4. Mori AM, Considine RV. Acute and second-meal effects of almond form in impaired glucose tolerant adults: a randomized crossover trial. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Jan 28;8(1):6. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-8-6.

5. Abazarfard Z, Salehi M. The effect of almonds on anthropometric measurements and lipid profile in overweight and obese females in a weight reduction program: A randomized controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2014 May;19(5):457-64.

6. Shafik A. A new concept of the anatomy of the anal sphincter mechanism and the physiology of defecation. XXIII. An injection technique for the treatment of idiopathic pruritus ani. Int Surg. 1990 Jan-Mar;75(1):43-6.

7. Sasaki Y, Iwai N. The treatment of rectal prolapse in children with phenol in almond oil injection. Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2004 Dec;14(6):414-7.

8. Ahmad Z. The uses and properties of almond oil. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2010 Feb;16(1):10-2.