Red Palm Oil
Regarded as a sacred healing food by many civilizations, including the ancient Egyptians, crude or virgin red palm fruit oil should be regarded as one of the most nutritious edible oils in the world. It is not to be confused with palm kernel oil. It is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) and is referred to as "red palm oil" because of its rich dark red color in its unprocessed natural state.
Palm fruit oil contains mainly palmitic and oleic acids and is about 50% saturated, while palm kernel oil contains mainly lauric acid and is more than 89% saturated. The general assumption that kernel oil and palm fruit oil are one in the same may have lead to one of the greatest oversights in modern nutrition. The stigma attached to the kernel has kept the fruit in the dark - at least until now. Virgin organic sustainable red palm fruit oil is otherwise a bona fide food.
Palm kernel oil does not convey the same health benefits that red palm fruit oil does. The health benefits are only achieved due to the red color of the palm fruit oil that is attributed to its high content of carotenes, which include beta-carotene and lycopene. These powerhouse antioxidant nutrients are the same ones that give tomatoes and carrots and other fruits and vegetables their rich red and orange colors. What may shock you is that red palm fruit oil contains more that tomatoes or carrots. Red palm fruit oil is also densely packed with numerous tocotrienols – a powerful form of vitamin E. Palm fruit oil contains less cholesterol-lowering “long-chain” omega-3 fatty acids than fish oil. What red palm oil contains, however, is a lot of “medium-chain” and “short-chain” fatty acids – both of which scientists recognize as healthy for us and necessary in moderation.
And while we're comparing, let’s look at an apple-to-apple scenario: coconut oil vs. red palm fruit oil. Even when you account for the marginally higher levels of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) levels that coconut oil has over palm, it is once again the carotenoid and tocotrienol antioxidants that give it a significant health advantage over coconut oil.
Red palm oil has great science behind it for its beneficial role in fighting heart disease and high cholesterol. Over the past two decades, researchers have intensely studied red palm oil’s effect on cardiovascular health and the preliminary results initially baffled scientists.
At room temperature, this semi-solid oil seems as likely as lard to clog your arteries. But what might shock you to learn, as it has equally stunned researchers, is that although red palm fruit oil is indeed high in saturated fat, it actually protects against heart disease. Saturated fats behave like a thick molasses through the cardiovascular system, eventually contributing to plaque (atherosclerosis). But studies show that adding palm oil into the diet can remove plaque build-up in arteries and, therefore, reverse the process of plaque and prevent blockages. In fact, studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have shown that a natural form of vitamin E called alpha tocotrienol, which is the form found in high amounts in red palm fruit oil, can help reduce the effects of stroke by 50% by protecting your brain’s nerve cells.
Removing plaque is not the only way red palm oil may protect against strokes and heart attacks. Red palm oil can also improve cholesterol values and also helps maintain proper blood pressure. Science now understands that inflammation in the artery lining is what warrants cholesterol to deposit in the first place. So, it makes sense that the protective effects come from the high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory content of the red palm oil which works to quench free radicals and keep inflammation under control.
Red palm oil’s benefits aren't exclusive to heart health. Research is showing that the antioxidant power of red palm oil can be of help in protecting against a variety of health problems, including osteoporosis, asthma, cataracts, macular degeneration, arthritis, and liver disease. It can even slow down the premature aging processes by protecting the skin against damaging UV rays.
Nothing ages us faster than being overweight. And, where traditional fats and oils like margarine, or other vegetable oils take a long time to break down for energy and are eventually stored as fat, red palm oil goes straight to the liver and ignites metabolism. That means you’ll burn calories from fat much faster.
When it comes to your brain, the special form of vitamin-E (tocotrienol) in red palm oil stops destructive damage and improves blood flow to brain cells, which can also help to prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Courtesy of the Dr. Oz Show. See the entire article and show here: http://www.doctoroz.com/article/why-you-should-give-red-palm-oil-try