Good Fats: What is tea seed oil and what makes it different?


When’s the last time you made a small, but manageable change in your life that paid large and long-lasting dividends?

I’ll share an example from my life. One of the smallest, but most impactful changes I made was when I discovered that the right cooking oil had the ability to boost my health and well being to new heights. Yes, cooking oil! So simple right! But let me explain…

I’m so fortunate to be blessed with friends and colleagues who are leading experts in their fields and share their knowledge with me. It all began one night while preparing dinner for my family when a dear friend and one of the top clinical nutritionists in our country, Rob Maru, introduced me to an oil called tea seed oil. I was about to sauté vegetables in oil, and Rob asked me what kind of oil I was using. The taste of coconut oil is too strong for my family, and I didn’t want to cook with olive oil, damaging its precious polyphenols with exposure to prolonged high heat, so I showed him the bottle of vegetable oil I was about to use. What could be so bad about vegetable oil – isn’t anything related to a vegetable miracle food?

I’m so grateful for the conversation that followed this very important question. Rob shared the importance of using high-quality cooking oils that can stand up to the heat and won’t go rancid, which would be damaging to the integrity of the fatty acids and potentially lead to inflammatory effects at the cellular level.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that cellular inflammation and oxidation is at the root of what robs you of your health, vitality, beauty, leading to accelerated aging. You see, the oils you consume eventually become an integral part of your cellular communication system…every cell in your body is surrounded by a bi-lipid layer, protecting the cell. It is embedded with proteins that let precious nutrients in and wastes out. What this means is that the quality of oil you consume is vital to your health, your beauty, and how you feel. The better quality oils we consume, the better our bodies function and feel.

Why make your body work extra hard in neutralizing the effects of damaged oils? Especially when there is a perfect solution.

Tea seed oil comes from the seeds of Camellia oleifera, related to the same polyphenol-rich plant that gives us green tea. Originally from China, and referred to as the “eastern olive oil,” here are some of the top reasons why I love tea seed oil:

Hello, high smoke point!: With a smoke point of 485F, higher than olive and coconut oils, tea seed oil makes the perfect choice for all your cooking needs, from baking to sautéing and frying. Smoke point is the temperature at which oil begins to smoke, breaks down and gives off toxic fumes, degrading the flavor and nutritional value. The precious fatty acids that can otherwise be vulnerable to heat damage are protected by the rich polyphenols in tea seed oil.

Fabulous Flavonoids: Tea seed oil is rich in flavonoids like catechins, a type of polyphenol that decreases the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS wreak havoc on your health and roadblock to expression. Catechins help to lower blood pressure, balance cholesterol levels, and promote vascular health. You will get similar benefits from the same epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in green tea, as when you eat tea seed oil. From boosting your immune system to reaching your weight loss goals, tea seed oil will support your health and beauty from the inside out.

Amazing anti-inflammatory: When so many cooking oils out on the market are pro-inflammatory, especially when heated, why not choose an oil that boosts your health and combats inflammation at the same time? Tea seed oil contains special polyphenols like triterpenes, saponins, and kaempferol shown in studies to lower inflammation and guard against oxidative stress.

Better than olive oil?: Olive oil is the poster child for heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and for good reason, as studies show it can lower LDL cholesterol levels and harmful triglycerides. Like olive oil, tea seed oil contains a similar fatty acid profile, the majority comprised of oleic acid, but contains even more of the anti-inflammatory rich omega-3s.

A powerhouse of nutrients: In addition to some very special phytonutrients, tea seed oil is a rich source of vitamins E, A, and B. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and manganese found in tea seed oil are critical co-factors for countless enzymatic reactions in your body.

Light and pleasant flavor: If you’re like me, the mild, fresh flavor of green tea is pleasantly intoxicating, and you feel healthy while drinking it. Using tea seed oil has the same impact on your health and senses. It’s pale amber-green color has a mildly sweet, pleasant taste and aroma. It doesn’t overpower other flavors in your meal like olive or coconut oil can do. Its light flavor makes it a perfect choice not only for cooking but for when you’re wanting a delicate oil for salad dressings, aioli or mayonnaise, sauces, and marinades.

As if these weren’t reasons enough to use this deliciously light, health-promoting oil, I’ll share one more reason why tea seed oil is my favorite. You can take advantage of this anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich oil by using it externally as a moisturizer to help with fine lines, wrinkles and to protect your skin from the effects of aging. Tap into the power of what Asian women have known for centuries about tea seed oil’s beneficial properties, contributing to their beautiful, glowing skin.

Who knew that such a simple switch could result in such great results? I’m so excited for you to try this one out for yourself and see just how powerful tea seed oil is!


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