Wheat germ is a derivative of the wheat plant; it is responsible for helping a plant reproduce more wheat. Production of many popular wheat products demands that it be removed due to its strong taste, although it is one of the most nutritious parts of the plant.
Recognized by nutritional experts as the most nutritious part of the wheat plant, it is added to granolas, cereals, and bread for added taste and nutritive value. Some even use it as a topping for pies, ice cream, and smoothies. Regardless of how you use it, its health benefits necessitate getting used to its distinctive flavor.
Wheat germ oil: Even more nutritionally potent
Wheat germ oil, a derivative of the wheat germ itself, is a power-packed oil hailed as a new “superfood”. Known to add depth and nutrition in hundreds of possible culinary applications, it shows promise in cooking and flavoring oils.
History of wheat germ oil
Wheat, an ancient grain, was cultivated in the Middle East thousands of years ago. It was cultivated to make bread and other baked goods, as well as to feed animals. Word of its many functional properties spread, and other civilizations and cultures grew quickly. Experimentation with and application of several different types of the plant led to the discovery of wheat germ oil. As its use and applications were discovered and began to evolve, people began to note the nutritional benefits of use. Today, thanks to modern processing techniques and the influence of amateur and reputable chefs alike, we have several recipes and tried and true methods of use that allow us to “soak up” its healthful benefits. Just what can wheat germ oil do for you?
Glad you asked!
Health Benefits of wheat germ oil
Several healthy benefits come with using wheat germ oil, both as a supplement and in cooking. They include:
1. It is a rich source of antioxidants
Wheat germ oil is an excellent source of vitamin E, a power-packed antioxidant. These antioxidants protect your cells against free radical damage, helping to maintain the integrity of cellular processes. Both wheat germ and wheat germ oil come from the center of the wheat kernel, and this substance contains at least 23 nutrients that are beneficial to the body, including vitamins B, D, A, and C. The role of vitamin E in this oil blend is particularly significant, for it travels throughout the body to neutralize free radicals that would otherwise damage fat-containing structures such as cell membranes and brain cells. Protecting against oxidative stress, this compound works internally as well as topically.
2. It works as an exceptional face cleanser
Natural oils have long been used as facial cleansers that work quite efficiently. Wheat germ oil helps balance the skin’s natural moisture while getting rid of excess sebum, contributing to skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis. Wheat germ oil is non-comedogenic, which means it will not clog your pores. A few drops can be added to your regular cleanser, face mask, or moisturizer. It can also be applied to a cotton ball and allowed to absorb into the skin for a glowing complexion. If you have naturally oily skin, you may want to consult your dermatologist before using wheat germ oil as part of your skincare regimen.
3. It can lower bad cholesterol levels
Wheat germ oil is rich in octacosanol, a long-chain fatty acid with alcohol that boosts physical performance, speed, and stamina. Recent studies have also pointed to octacosanol is a powerful influencer in regulating metabolic processes; helping to burn excess fat in those “hard to reach” places. The remarkable ability of wheat germ oil to lower bad cholesterol levels may affect arteries and cardiovascular health. In addition, omega 3 fatty acids present in wheat germ oil have a protective effect on the central nervous system’s health, allowing your nerves to send and receive messages to and from the brain more efficiently. All systems work more efficiently when the nervous system is in good health.
4. It can reduce or eliminate the look of skin scars
Due to its extremely high vitamin E content, wheat germ oil can stimulate collagen release, thus promoting new skin cell development. Wheat germ oil repairs, heals, and prevents scarring; with regular application, scars can be greatly minimized or even eliminated. Look for wheat germ oil that is organic and has been 100% cold-pressed–this is one way to ensure that it retains its highest nutritional value.
Additional powerhouses, vitamin A and D, help to soothe cracked and discolored skin, giving it a more even appearance. It also provides natural hydration to the skin, giving your whole body a youthful glow from head to toe.
5. It can provide nourishment and strength for your hair
Wheat germ oil is excellent for nourishing hair and restoring luster and strength. Linoleic acid acts as a protective element to seal in moisture and protect the hair shaft from free radical damage. To apply to the hair, mix in a 10:1 ratio with a carrier oil such as olive or sesame, and apply a few drops to the scalp, running through to the tips with a soft-bristled brush. Leave it on for at least fifteen minutes before rinsing with warm water. Get ready to see some serious shine!
6. It is an anti-aging secret weapon
Vitamins B6, E, and A are all known to act as anti-aging agents on the skin; they act as strong antioxidants that promote healthy skin growth while minimizing other skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Rich emollients naturally present in wheat germ oil plump up the skin and eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. The broad representation of B vitamins present in wheat germ oil help to repair tissue damage and promote new, healthy cell growth. Use topically or internally for benefits that you can both see and feel.
7. It is heart-healthy
The high vitamin B content in wheat germ oil helps regulate proper blood flow and circulation, making it a heart-healthy alternative to other vegetable oils. Omega 3 fatty acids in this powerhouse help reduce bad cholesterol and normalize blood pressure, staving off heart disease.
8. It is a natural mood booster
Put away those antidepressants and consider this–the same elements of vitamins B and omega 3 fatty acids can also regulate the nervous system’s health, allowing the brain and nerves to communicate efficiently. Better brain health promotes better mental health and an elevated mood. Do we really need another reason to try this wonderful oil?
9. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels
High levels of magnesium in wheat germ oil help regulate the functions of both the liver and the pancreas, thus effectively regulating blood sugar levels. Both topical and internal use have been a beneficial therapy for diabetics.
Adding wheat germ oil to your personal care and menu
Just how can we use this superfood/super supplement? We have seen the benefits; we may have even tried a supplement or two. How can we incorporate more wheat germ oil into our supplement, diet, and personal care routine to maximize its benefits? Let’s look at how it can be used in cooking and beyond:
Cooking with wheat germ oil
When using wheat germ oil internally, it is important to use it in its cold-pressed form, as it loses valuable nutrients when you attempt to use it as a frying oil. It is an acceptable substitute for olive oil in salad dressings, and it is also acceptable as a substitute for vegetable and cooking oils when baking. Here are some additional ways to implement the use of wheat germ oil in your kitchen to reap its nutritional benefits:
1. Drizzle for some sizzle
Adorn your next salad or pasta dish with a drizzle of wheat germ oil; although it does have a strong and distinctive flavor, it easily pairs well with acidic and nutty flavors, making it a perfect addition to some of your favorite cuisine.
2. Add a unique mixer
Mix wheat germ oil with your favorite cheeses, veggies, and greens for a refreshing and unique salad that can stand alone as a main dish or as an accompaniment to some quality protein. Beautiful, earthy flavors will combine simply in your mouth, adding a pop of flavor and nutrition to your diet.
3. Bump up the batter
Add wheat germ oil to your favorite cookie, muffin, or bread batter, and watch your flavors come alive. Even a small amount of this power-packed oil can add nutritional value to your favorite baked goods.
4. Replace your regular oils
Replace your regularly scheduled olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil with wheat germ; nearly every dish that calls for vegetable or nut oils can easily assimilate wheat germ oil and its added health benefits.
5. Keep it cool, dude
Keep your wheat germ oil at a relatively cool temperature. Frying with it or heating it to a higher temperature will break down the oil’s nutrients, rendering it void of much of its nutritional value. Go ahead and mix into your salad dressings, add to smoothies and juices, or drizzle cold over pasta, cereal, and yogurt for a depth of flavor and some serious antioxidant power.
What about personal care products?
Wheat germ oil has risen to the top of the heap in personal care products; its topical and cleansing properties make it the perfect addition to lotions, shampoos, and anti-aging skincare. Consider adding these amazing products to your personal care regimen for added health and beauty:
1. Haircare products
Wheat germ oil is ideal for use in personal care products such as shampoo, conditioner, and oil treatments, for it nourishes and protects the hair shaft, ensuring the growth of healthy new hair. Natural antioxidant properties add strength and sheen to hair, giving you a soft, shiny beauty that will be the envy of all who view your tresses.
2. Skincare products
Natural cleansing elements present in wheat germ oil, combined with naturally occurring antioxidants, work to cleanse the skin and give you a clean palate with which to work. Vitamins E, B, and A work hard to promote the growth and development of new skin cells by promoting collagen production; your skin will get a facelift with each use, and you’ll experience a clearer complexion with fewer red patches as an added bonus.
3. Topical products
Wheat germ oil is amazing at providing healthy skin benefits that not only affect the face but your whole body. From body washes to lotions to creams and topical treatments, wheat germ oil goes to work with some serious soothing, healing, and skin cell growth elements that treat all sorts of skin conditions—from psoriasis and eczema to dry skin and acne, the topical use of products containing wheat germ oil can work wonders on improving the condition of skin all over your body.
Are there some side effects of Wheat germ oil ?
In general, those who are gluten sensitive or who suffer from gluten allergies and those who suffer from celiac disease should avoid the use of wheat germ oil. In general, those who are watching their carbs should limit their wheat germ oil intake, as one cup contains as many as 60 carbohydrates. As wheat germ oils is also rich in triglycerides, those who have or who are at risk for heart disease should watch their intake. For some, it can cause mild digestive upset such as dizziness, diarrhea, and nausea. If you have any of these conditions or symptoms, talk to your doctor about its implementation into your diet and care regime.
Try it and see for yourself!
With all of the potential benefits that come with wheat germ oil, you owe it to yourself to see how your health and vitality can improve from its implementation. Experiment, have fun, and see what wonderful health changes can come from bringing it into your daily routine.