Rapeseed – a healthy northern oil plant

Rape (brassica napus), with its beautiful yellow flowers, is also known as swede rape because of its similar appearance to swede. However, that is where the similarities end, as rape is actually more closely related to cabbage and turnip rape (colza).

Rape is the only oil plant capable of growing in northern climates.

The seeds of the rape plant contain 36–50% of the oil, which is used as a cooking oil as well as industrially, e.g. for producing diesel, lubricants, paints, varnishes, etc. The naturally occurring bitter taste of rape seeds has been eliminated through plant breeding.

Rapeseed oil is produced from rape seeds through cold pressing, hot pressing or extraction, and the cake left over from the process is used as a valuable animal feed.

Thanks to its neutral taste, rapeseed oil is a highly a versatile cooking oil suitable for salads, baking, frying and even deep frying. Rapeseed oil can tolerate temperatures of up to 160 °C.

It has a smoke point of 225 °C.

Rapeseed oil has one of the lowest saturated fatty acid contents of any oil.

Rapeseed oil contains three different types of omega fatty acids, including the crucial omega-3, which has a beneficial effect on the health of the cardiovascular system as well as hair, nails and skin. The majority of these consist of the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid (omega-9).

Cold-pressed rapeseed oil is rich in natural vitamin E, which is known for its anti-cancer effects. In addition, it contains various fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, D, K and Q.

Studies carried out in Finland confirm the effectiveness of rapeseed oil in improving health. A single spoonful of rapeseed oil per day helps fight diabetes, dementia and cardiovascular disease. One study showed that rapeseed oil consumption reduces the level of fibrinogen, a harmful protein that regulates the clotting and circulation in blood plasma in the body.

According to a study conducted in 2010, the fatty acid content of rapeseed oil makes it the best possible source of essential fats.

Rapeseed oil is also relatively rich in beneficial linoleic and linolenic acids. In addition to cooking, it can also be effectively used as a massage oil, as it is suitable for all skin types.

The unhealthy saturated fatty acid content of rapeseed oil is only 6%, while that of butter can be as high as 50%. Before frying, it is recommended to first heat the pan and oil, because when frying at a low temperature, food soaks up more fat.

Nutritional value per 100 g      

  • Calories: 884 kcal
  • Lipids: 100 g
  • Saturated fatty acids: 7.4 g
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids: 63.3 g
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 28.1 g
  • Campesterol: 241 mg
  • ß-sitosterol: 413 mg
  • Vitamin E: 45.8 mg
  • Vitamin K: 71.3 μg

(1 g = 1,000 mg; 1 mg = 1,000 μg)

Source: http://eestiolid.eu