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This Healthy Oil Can Help Fight Inflammation, Joint Pain, and Skin Aging

It tames cholesterol and blood sugar, too.

As we get older, it’s in our best interest to eat a healthy diet. Aging makes us more susceptible to conditions like heart disease and diabetes, not to mention cosmetic issues like wrinkles. Getting the right nutrients can help us protect ourselves. And since healthy fats are one of the most important nutrients for aging adults, consuming foods like sesame oil is a good option.

Sesame Oil for Aging

Sesame oil is extracted from raw, pressed sesame seeds, and it has cosmetic and culinary uses. Rich in essential fatty acids and plant compounds called polyphenols, this oil is a powerful ingredient to add to your daily routine.

Sesame oil contains two potent antioxidants called sesamol and sesaminol, which help fight the free radical cell damage that leads to disease and inflammation. Research done in test-tubes has shown that sesame oil significantly reduces inflammatory markers, and could therefore help prevent associated conditions like heart disease, obesity, and cancer. Animal studies have also shown that sesame oil helped reduce damage to heart cells.

Since it works on inflammation, sesame oil has been used in traditional medicine systems for treating joint pain. Modern research suggests that there’s something to this. Animal studies have linked sesame oil to improvements in arthritis symptoms like joint pain and inflammation. Scientists suggest that this benefit is probably thanks to sesame oils’ unsaturated fatty acids in the form of omega-6 fats, which are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that the fats in sesame oil may even help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Fatty acids are beneficial for something else — skin aging. As we get older, we produce less of a protein called collagen, which is the “building block” of our skin. Basically, it’s what gives our skin its firmness and structure, and as we produce less of it, we’re more susceptible to things like laugh lines and crow’s feet. When used topically, sesame oil has shown to increase collagen in the skin and accelerate skin healing. To use it as a beauty product, add a few drops of a high quality sesame oil like this one from Napa Valley Naturals (Buy on Amazon, $12.99) to your daily moisturizer.

Otherwise, you can add sesame oil to your diet by cooking with it. It makes a great stir-fry oil and goes with many Asian recipes. You can also drizzle it onto salads or mix it into dressings. Alternatively, there’s always the option of taking sesame oil as a supplement (Buy on Amazon, $8.02), just get your doctors OK before you do.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.

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