Move Over Coconut: Meet The New Oils With Health Benefits

It might not be top of your shopping list, but chances are you’ve heard about an A-lister buying it by the basket-load. Coconut oil is the oil du jour loved by everyone from health experts to celebrities and even their furry friends (it’s said to help freshen dog’s breath and give shine to their coats.)

Coconut oil is high in fatty acids and a form of saturated fat (called Medium Chain Triglycerides) that the body uses for energy, rather than storing as fat, and has also been shown to support brain health. Though not all coconut oils are created equal: experts recommend avoiding refined or partially hydrogenated coconut oil in favour of unrefined virgin coconut oil.

If we’ve whetted your appetite for the slick stuff, there’s a host of new oils jostling for shelf-space in your kitchen (and bathroom) cupboard. Drizzle them over everything and anything.

Prickly pear seed oil
Following in the footsteps of argan oil, this is the latest tool in our anti-ageing beauty arsenal. Extracted from the fruit seeds of the resilient prickly pear cactus plant, it has proved extremely rich in skin-loving amino acids, essential fatty acids and antioxidants to hydrate, brighten and help skin’s fight against environmental factors.

Echium Oil
A valuable source of omega-3, 6 and 9 for vegetarians that can be taken as a supplement. Echium is a descendant of the borage plant family and some studies claim that it can have an even bigger impact on heart health than omega-3 sourced from fish or algae

Pumpkin Seed Oil
Health-conscious celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, are opting for this oil. Rich in unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals, its health claims include improving mood, clearing skin and easing menopausal symptoms. The most prized variety of this oil is sourced in Styria, Austria.

Hemp seed oil
Not to be confused with the marijuana plant (it’s extracted from the hemp plant), hemp seed oil is a rich source of protein, omega-fatty acids and fibre. Add it to smoothies, drizzle it over vegetables or apply it directly to skin – it’s shown to alleviate dryness and itching.



Writer and expert