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10 Amazing Benefits of Argan Oil You Didn’t Know

10 Amazing Benefits of Argan Oil You Didn’t Know

Want to know why argan oil is often referred to as ‘liquid gold’?  Yes, partly because of its price but more likely because it has amazing health benefits which range from heart health to skin and from hair to nails. It is expensive because it can take up to one day to produce just one liter!

It comes from Morocco and also some regions of Algeria. The tree is known as the Argania spinosa (shown above) and bears nuts which are a cross between walnuts and almonds. The oil is pressed from the nuts in a long and laborious process. It is extracted as a paste which is then sent for pressing to Agadir. Many women’s co-operatives have become involved, since traditionally, it has always been a woman’s work. By buying pure argan oil from one of these co-operatives, you can support women’s business initiatives which are quite rare in this part of the world.

The trees themselves are a goldmine in that they can last for up to 400 years and rarely need much attention. It is no wonder that the Berbers refer to this marvelous tree as ‘The Tree of Life’.  Here are 10 amazing benefits of argan oil you never knew about.

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1. It contains the healthiest fat

Most of the unhealthy saturated fats we consume come from dairy and milk. But the healthiest fats of all are the polyunsaturated ones and they are fund in nuts, fish, olive oil and sesame oil. But argan oil beats all these hands down as it contains 80 percent. The neurosurgeon at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Dr.Philip Stieg, regards this as a new super food.

2. It is a great skin conditioner

Moroccan women have used this oil on their skin for centuries. Because it has such a high vitamin E content, tocopehrols and saponins, it can help to moisten and rejuvenate tired and aging skin. It is also great for rough heels, diaper rash and brittle nails. It can help with eczema, acne and even psoriasis.

3. It is a wonderful salad dressing

Moroccans use this oil as a dressing for their salads and their couscous. It is also used for a paste like tahini (called amlou) which is great for hummus and other Arab delicacies.

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4. It can help heart health

One experiment was conducted whereby 60 men were given both olive oil and argan oil for 20 days. Their levels of antioxidants rose significantly which could be a key factor in staving off heart disease. This is mentioned in the Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases journal.

5. It can help heal scars

Because argan oil contains twice as much Vitamin E (tocopehrols) than other oils, this is ideal for smoothing skin to get rid of acne scars, knife scars and even burn scars. It boosts the collagen making processes in the skin and this is why it is so effective for maintaining a healthy epidermis.

6. It can help to lower cholesterol

Argan oil also contains certain types of phytosterols (plant sterols) which are not found in olive and sesame oil, for example. Taking the right dose of these phytosterols (approximately 2 grams daily) over a three week period can lower cholesterol by about 10 percent.  Argan oil is a great source of these plant sterols.

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7. It can help to prevent chronic diseases

There is sufficient evidence to show that flavonoids from plant foods can play a decisive role in helping to ward off chronic disease such as diabetes. But more studies are needed to show that the flavonoids can actually do the job when consumed by humans.

8. It may help prevent cancer

Oleic acids and phenolics which are present in argan oil have been studied. There is strong evidence to show that they are important in preventing certain types of cancers.

9. It has no side effects

Argan oil has been consumed in Morocco for hundreds of years. There are no reports of it being toxic in any way and neither are there any incidences of side effects. 

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10. The purest oil on the market

Which oil contains no chemicals, parabens, gluten and doubtful preservatives? Argan oil. It is a fact that it can last up to 20 years as Moroccan women have found. Which oil is ideal for vegans and is almost completely sustainable? Argan oil. Need I go on?

Featured photo credit: Argana/Christine Boose via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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