The oil comes from the argan tree, which is native to Morocco. The fruit is peeled away and the seeds are dried, roasted, and pressed to extract the oil. The final result is a smooth, delicious oil that’s become popular around the world for its flavor and health benefits.
The fats and antioxidants in argan oil can help your body stay healthier.
The high concentration of vitamin E in argan oil makes it effective at boosting the immune system. It also helps your body maintain and repair your eyes and skin.
Other health benefits of argan oil include:
The fatty acids in argan oil can help boost your levels of “good” cholesterol and lower “bad” cholesterol, potentially reducing your risk of heart disease.
Some early studies show that argan oil compounds may slow cancer growth and increase cancer cell death.
Applying argan oil to your skin can help support skin health and elasticity. This results in skin that is slower to sag or wrinkle, preventing common signs of aging.
The same properties that make argan oil helpful for keeping skin looking young may also help wounds heal. The antioxidants found in argan oil can help reduce inflammation. One early study showed that burns heal faster when argan oil is regularly applied, but human trials still need to be done before argan oil can be officially prescribed.
Nutrients per Serving
One tablespoon of culinary argan oil contains:
- Calories: 72
- Protein: Less than 1 gram
- Fat: 8 grams
- Carbohydrates: Less than 1 gram
- Fiber: Less than 1 gram
- Sugar: Less than 1 gram
Argan oil is full of polyphenols, otherwise known as flavonoids. These compounds act as powerful antioxidants and help give the oil its unique flavor.
Argan oil is also rich in:
- Vitamin E
- Omega fatty acids
Studies have shown that consuming argan oil is connected to lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and improving long-term heart health.
How to Prepare Argan Oil
Argan oil can be eaten or used topically, so it’s important to make sure you’re using the right kind.
Food-grade argan oil, also known as virgin argan oil or culinary argan oil, can be found in health food stores, Moroccan grocery stores, or online. This oil is guaranteed to be safe to eat, unlike those that are supposed to be used on hair or skin.
In Morocco, argan oil is used as a dipping oil or drizzled over other foods. It’s not used as an oil to cook other foods in, because argan oil burns easily. It’s primarily eaten cold or added to warm foods at the end of the cooking process.
Here are some ways you can add argan oil to your daily diet:
- Make amlu, a Moroccan dip made with roasted, ground almonds, honey, and argan oil.
- Make salad dressing with the oil.
- Include argan oil in humus.
- Drizzle it on top of grilled fish.
- Spread argan oil on bread.
Mix it into rice or couscous.