There are 2 oils that are pressed from the fruit-pulp rather than from the nut or seed:
Avocado Oil (Persea gratissima / P. americana): The fresh, oily pulp of the fruit is pressed or centrifuged to yield its oil, after which it is filtered. The oil is green due to its chlorophyll content. The freshly pressed oil degrades quickly when exposes to sunlight, making the oil turn brown – at this point it is off and should not be used. The scent is strong and fruity, when it starts to go off, the scent becomes earthy-moldy. Most avocado-oil is refined to make it more stable, it then has a light yellow color and hardly any scent. Sometimes a coloring agent is added to create the green color and raise the price. Make sure you get your oil from a reputed distributor. Store cool and dark. The oil hardens when cold but goes soft in room-temperature.
Avocado oil is rich in vitamins – especially vitamin D and E. It also contains different sterols that can have a healing effect on various skin-problems. Avocado oil is softening, protecting and cell-regenerating for the skin and absorbed rather easily. Use it on dry, damaged and mature skin.
Olive Oil (Olea europea): . When the fruits are stored free radicals are formed which impairs the quality. Therefor the fruits need to be pressed immediately after harvest. By carefully cold-pressing the whole fruit, including the skin, the extra virgin oil is obtained. Next quality-level is Virgin fine. These are the oils that should be used both for culinary and cosmetic purposes. The oil is green due to its chlorophyll content and it has a strong, characteristic scent of olives. Olive oil is stable and will keep even in room-temperature. When stored cool (10 degrees celsius or colder) the oil will go cloudy and at colder temperatures it will harden.
Olive oil is mainly used for culinary use and this is how we best receive its health benefits. Use it for cooking, on salads, bread, vegetables… A true virgin oil has a wonderful taste, I don’t use that for cooking since it destroys the scent/taste. Rather I use a lesser degree for cooking and save the glorious virgin for use on salads, bread, vegetables etc.
For cosmetic use it is a bit heavy and it has a strong scent. That said, it is anti-inflammatory and can be used for eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, sunburn and insect-bites. Use with chapped, dry skin and brittle nails. Blend with lighter vegetable oils for skin-care.
Some of the absolutely best products nature offers are fats and oils. They are rich in all kinds of minerals, vitamins and pure life-force. We use vegetable oils and fats in our daily life without even thinking about it as an essential part of health. Just as a pure, unadulterated cold-pressed vegetable oil can bring positive results to our health, so can “treated” oils be outright health-hazards.
There are oils and oils…
- Mineral oils: Also called vaseline, paraffin. They are a bi-product from the petrochemical industry (together with diesel, plastic, asphalt and much more…). They are widely used by the cosmetics industry as they are cheap and stable. Most baby-oils are mineral-oil with a bit of perfume. Mineral oils clog the pores and halts normal skin-function. They might seem softening at first, but over time mineral-oil deteriorates the skin, leaving it dry and brittle. Mineral oils contain nothing whatsoever that is beneficial to humans and they come from a non-renewable source. This is NOT a vegetable oil!
- Cold pressed vegetable oils: Seeds and nuts are pressed in mills without any added heat, though the friction of the mill can after some time create heat up to 70 degrees celsius, hence the different “degrees” of cold-pressed oils. For high-quality cold-pressed vegetable oils, smaller amounts are pressed each time, so as not to create friction-heat. The yield is lower than when heat is used and these oils are usually pressed by small growers or millers. The remaining pulp is used as animal-fodder. After filtering the oil is bottled. These oils have their own specific scent and color and they contain essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. If stored properly (cool and dark) the shelf-life is 1-3 years, depending on the amount of mono and unsaturated fatty acids in the oil.
- Heat pressed vegetable oils: Seeds and nuts are ground to a pulp and heated to about 100 degrees celsius. The heated pulp is then pressed to extract the oil. By heating, more oil can be extracted. The remaining pulp is then re-heated and re-pressed to yield as much oil as possible. After extraction the oils are centrifuged to remove particles.
- Extraction: This method is often used together with heat-pressing to extract the maximum amount of oil possible. A solvent, Hexane , is used to extract the oil. The raw material (pulp) is mixed with hexane, filtered and distilled. Since hexane has a lower boiling-point than the oil, it becomes gaseous and is distilled off, only to be collected and re-used since it turns into a liquid once it’s cooled.
- Refining: This is done with all vegetable oils that are used by cosmetics and food-industry (heat-pressed and solvent-extracted oils).
- Lecithin and proteins are removed with the help of phosphor or citric acid.
- Fatty acids are removed with the help of lye (caustic soda), which creates a kind of soap that is washed out with water. Then the oil is vaccum-dried.
- Bleaching is done by mixing the oil with oxygen-activated mud which is then filtered off.
- Deodorising is done to remove scent and taste from the oil. It is done by low-pressure steam-boiling at a temperature of 200 degrees celsius.
There are a few more processes that the oil might go through before being sent off to its destination. Would you ever want to eat or use these processed products? Not only do they contain NOTHING of value, they might as well be harmful. Many years ago there was a scandal in Spain concerning vegetable oils, people died. The reason was that the lye used to refine the oil was not properly removed…the lye corroded the intestines of these people.
A cold-pressed vegetable oil will cost a little bit more, it will be less stable – going rancid with time or bad storage. It will have a taste and scent. Knowing this, do you really believe that you should use the oils you find in the supermarket? The ones sitting on the shelves in a warm and light environment? The ones with no taste, smell or color? I distrust everything that doesn’t go bad over time.
My friend and mentor Jan Kusmirek has written a wonderful book on vegetable oils called “Liquid Sunshine“. You can find it here.
Posted in Lifestyle, Nutrition, Product information, Skincare, Wellness
Tagged cold-press, essentail fatty acids, extraction, hazards, health, jan kusmirek, mineral oil, minerals, natural, Nutrition, seed and nuts, skin, vegetable oil, vitamins
Now I will tell you about this training/diet program I am following. I chose to do it for my health; I want to stay strong, lean and fit so I can better enjoy my life. I know it’s only up to me, so when I was offered this chance, I grabbed it to “kick-start” myself. Many people found it strange that I would start such a hard-core program on the first of January, others think it’s crazy to invest so much energy, but this is something I do for myself, a measure of how much I value myself. I am prepared to take 30 days and totally concentrate them on me. It is also about motivation and self-control, I need to know that I am creating my life, that it is not “just happening to me”.
The program is called “Meltdown” and is put together by London-based personal trainer/coach Dax Moy. You can find him and his work on this link:
The program runs for 30 days, every day, and consists of 2 parts:
- The Elimination Diet (ED) which can be downloaded free from above link.
- The training program: Every day without fail you train 4 times/day for an average of 15-20 min./session. Every 5 days the program is changed to maximize the results. The exercises are all different, targeting every muscle in your body.
While I am on this program I receive all the information I need via internet. Also what nutritional aids I need to take, when to tweak my diet and why and some pep-talks. The information on new exercises are done both in writing and with pictures/movies. Very detailed and very clear.
I am now doing the 12th day of this program and I am feeling fantastic, energized but also tired. I can feel a dip. What is amazing about this is the awareness it creates about body and mind. I feel more balanced than since….I can’t even remember (and I am quite a balanced person).
In the last post I talked about soreness and stiffness. Well, that has all passed some time back, but training every day has left my muscles slightly tired and sensitive, so I have made a new oil that I now use before training:
- Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) 15 dr
- Lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus) 15 dr
- Ginger (zingiber officinalis) 15 dr
Blended in 30 ml vegetable oil. Again, this is a strong dosage, and it is good to do the sensitivity-test before using. This blend helps with circulation and warmth (ginger) since I tend to easily feel cold (especially now – what is with this arctic winter!!!) I also take magnesium to help with the energy metabolism and muscle function as it eliminates acids from muscles.
Other nutrients during this 30 day “ordeal” 🙂 are: Multivitamin, omega-3, zinc, barley-grass and chlorella. I also make sure that when I buy my food, I look for the best, most nutritious I can find.
Posted in Aromatherapy, Lifestyle, Wellness
Tagged Aromatherapy, chlorella, dax moy, elimination diet, essential oils, ginger, lemongrass, Lifestyle, muscle, Nutrition, omega-3, Personal development, rosemary, training, vitamins, Wellness
We need to take a look at how and what we are eating. So many people are overweight and obese, have problems with; concentration, sleep, hormones, digestion, emotions…the list goes on forever. I have been watching this development for a long time and it took me some time to realize that much of it is connected to foods and eating-habits. “We are what we eat” doesn’t mean that we become pigs for eating pork, it is more about health and balance.
Our bodies have certain needs, and they are quite simple, in the old days all nutrients came naturally through our foods. Today much of our foods are either polluted or depleted of nutrients. Our bodies find ways to handle the toxins that come into our systems – to a certain point. When the amount of toxins becomes to large, the body slowly starts breaking down. And with body is included the brain = emotions, memory, hormones, concentration, learning…the list is vast. So much of the food people eat today is full of chemicals that are bad or outright dangerous. Much foods have no nutritious value at all. Many people don’t even know how to cook a simple meal.
Check out this video on additives in foodstuffs and tell me if you are prepared to feed this to yourself and your children.
Information on additives, toxins and depletion is becoming widely available as disease from unhealthy eating is growing rampant. Research has been and is being conducted to ascertain what nutrients we need to function and what additives make us ill:
- Essential fatty acids are vital for healthy brain-function and has been found to help combatting dyslexia, how interesting then, that the number of dyslectic children is rising in today’s society. Essential fatty acids are found in fish-oil and cold-pressed, unrefined vegetable oils. The vegetable oils you find in your local store, with the exception of good quality olive oil, are so refined as to be unfit for eating.
- Vitamins and trace-elements (calcium, iron, magnesium etc) are found in most unrefined food-stuffs; vegetables, fruits, meat and dairy-products. Today most people suffer disease from vitamin and trace-element depletion. The levels of these vital nutrients are lower also in natural food-stuffs since the soil has been depleted.
- Natural sugars are being replaced with “fake” sugars such as aspartam, sorbitol and others. Some are believed to induce cancer. Extensive studies are being done in this area.
- Meat-producing animals are heavily medicated with antibiotics – not because they are ill, rather to “protect” them from illness. They are also given hormones for bigger meat-yield. Antibiotics and hormones are stored primarily in fatty tissue and also in muscle tissue (meat). When we eat the meat, we are also ingesting these antibiotics and hormones.
- Fizzy soft drinks; the carbonic acid, which gives the fizziness, lowers the pH of the body. To balance that, calcium is excreted from the sceletal system, depleting the bones of calcium = osteoporosis. The number of children with osteoporosis has risen drastically. Osteoporosis is normally an old peoples disease and comes from low calcium-levels together with a sedentary life-style. Children need calcium and movement to grow healthy. Now they are drinking sodas (which are cheaper than milk) and sitting still.
The list goes on forever.
A whole new food-movement is gaining momentum in today’s society, especially in the USA; check out this article about one amazing mans work to change the wave of food-induced deterioration:
In the article is a link for the website, if you don’t feel like reading the article you can go straight to:
Picture by Nigel Parry for The New York Times