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

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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 January 27, 2022

    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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    5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

    Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

    “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

    Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

    Food is a universal necessity.

    It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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    Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

    Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

    Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

    Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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    The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

    Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

    This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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    Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

    Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

    Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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    So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

    Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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