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10 Benefits of Argan Oil You Probably Didn’t Know About

10 Benefits of Argan Oil You Probably Didn’t Know About

Argan oil has become quite popular in the beauty industry. It is placed in skin and hair treatments due to the large number of benefits it provides. However, argan oil is not a new thing. It has been known to the Berber women of Morocco for thousands of years and they have been utilizing it for its versatility.

Argan oil is produced from the fruit of the argan tree, found in a small region of Morocco. This oil has been termed ‘liquid gold’ and a superfood due to its powerful active ingredients and healing properties. There are two grades of argan oil: culinary and cosmetic. Obviously, culinary argan oil is the edible version that is often compared to olive oil. Cosmetic argan oil is the grade that will be found in skin and hair care.

Here are 10 amazing benefits of argan oil to help you make the best use of it:

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    1. Preventing cardiovascular disease

    Due to its abundance of nutrients, including unsaturated fatty acids, argan oil has been shown to help regulate blood cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that argan oil helps improve blood circulation throughout the body, therefore decreasing cardiovascular risk.

    2. Protection against cancer

    Argan oil’s high antioxidant content helps repair cellular damage, thereby reducing the risk of cancer cells’ ability to grow. Recent studies have shown that argan oil was able to decrease the rate of cell division of prostate cancer.

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    3. Help for those with diabetes

    In a recent study, argan oil was shown to decrease insulin resistance in individuals. This is important, since insulin resistance is usually the first step to diabetes. Argan oil was also shown to help combat diabetes by reversing metabolic changes in those individuals who consumed a high-sugar diet.

    4. As a topical anti-inflammatory

    Flavonoids contained in argan oil act as an anti-inflammatory that can be placed on the skin topically to treat skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis and chicken pox.

    5. Boosting immunity

    In a recent study conducted on rats, argan oil was shown to strengthen their immune system. This is due to argan oil’s powerful antioxidants that work to stimulate proper immune function.

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    6. Anti-aging properties

    Argan oil has a large vitamin E content, which prevents the evaporation of moisture from the outer layer of skin. Also, argan oil is made up of 80% essential fatty acids that help reduce wrinkles by maintaining healthy skin cells. These essential fatty acids are also what allow the skin to be able to continue to function properly (such as retaining water), which provides a youthful, plump look.

    7. Aiding digestion

    The liquid gold has been shown to increase the concentration of pepsin in the gastric juice within one’s stomach. Pepsin is an important enzyme in gastric juice that digests proteins found in meat, eggs and dairy products.

    8. Improving hair health

    The linoleic and oleic acids found in argan oil help keep hair hydrated by locking in moisture, which increases shine. They also tame frizzy and unmanageable hair and can be used to repair hair that has been damaged from hot tools, such as curling and flat irons.

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    9. Transforming skin

    Argan oil contains carotenoids, which protect skin from ultraviolet radiation. It also has sterols that assist in reducing inflammation, improve skin metabolism processes and enable moisture retention. This leaves skin soft, smooth and hydrated.

    10. It’s socially responsible

    The production of argan oil has been able to benefit the Berber women of Morocco and their families due to the Union of Women’s Cooperatives of the Arganeraie (UCFA). Argan oil with the UCFA Fair Trade seal ensures that the argan oil was produced by women’s cooperatives and that these women are receiving the income that they have earned.

    Selecting argan oil

    When looking to purchase argan oil you want to make sure the kind you get is certified organic. This ensures the quality of the product, as well as eliminating harmful toxins such as pesticides from the oil. Also, ensure that the argan oil you are purchasing is fresh. To do this, you should smell the oil. It should not have a rancid or an overly sweet smell. It should have a light, fresh and nutty odor. Lastly, make sure the argan oil is stored in a dark bottle so that it is protected from any type of light.

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    Last Updated on May 22, 2019

    10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

    10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

    There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

    One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

    In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

    Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

    1. Cat Camel Stretch

    Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

    Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

    Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

    Here’s a video to guide you through:

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    2. Go for a Walk or a Run

    This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

    Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

    The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

    Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

    Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

    3. Jumping Jacks

    Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

    Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

    4. Abductor Side Lifts

    Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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    Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

    5. Balancing Table Pose

    This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

    Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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      6. Leg Squats

      Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

      Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

      The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

      7. Push Ups

      You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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      An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

      Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

      This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

      8. Bicycle Crunches

      There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

      Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

      9. Lunges

      Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

      Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

      This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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      10. Bicep Curls

      You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

      Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

      Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

      Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

      Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

      These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

      You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

      Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

      More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

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