Along with sesame oil, almond oil is probably one of the most popular massage oils, primarily because it smells so darn good. But besides its nonfood uses, almond oil is a really good, healthful oil to use for cooking.
Almond Oil Composition
Almond oil is very high in monounsaturated fats61 to 65 percent of the fat in almond oil is from oleic acid, the same omega-9 monounsaturated fat that makes olive and macadamia nut oils so healthy. Monounsaturated fats (omega-9s) are central to the Mediterranean diet that has been shown in virtually every single research study to be associated with lower rates of heart disease.
Almond Oil Under-appreciated for Its Healthy Monounsaturated Fats
Through admirable lobbying on behalf of the olive oil industry, the FDA took a look at the massive evidence for the health benefits of monounsaturated fats and allowed a health claim to be made for olive oil as a result. Understand that the health benefit comes from monounsaturated fat in general, but because it was the Olive Oil Association who petitioned the FDA, the FDA limited its investigation of the research to “monounsaturated fat in olive oil,” while recognizing that other oils provide this same fat. It’s all political. Monounsaturated fat is monounsaturated fat, and it does good things for you whether you get it from olive oil or almond oil. True, almond oil doesn’t have quite as much as olive or macadamia nut oil, but it’s still a good source of this healthy fat.
Antioxidant Property of Almond Oil
There are dozens of studies on the potential role of almonds in a healthy diet and on the antioxidant properties of various phytochemicals found in the nut itself. How many of these com pounds get in to the oil is anyone’s guess, but it stands to reason that the less high heat, chemicals, and processing used in extracting the oil, the better. (That’s why I recommend buying cold-pressed, organic oils whenever possible.)
Though no cooking oils are strong sources of vitamins and minerals, almond oil does have a little bit of vitamin E and vitamin K. It’s also got ahigh smoke point, so it can be used for all kinds of cooking.
And if you use it for the massage I suggested earlier, almond oil can be a terrific stress reliever. Try keeping it at bedside for relaxing times with your loved one.
(Source: 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden)