Palm oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the fruit of an oil palm tree. It is a consumable oil and has a lot of use in industries known as African palm oil, American oil, and palm kernel oil.
50th centuries ago, It was in use by the locals, and it originated from the west and central African countries. It is a cooking oil in African countries, which makes it a food product in higher demand. Since its discovery, it has been an ingredient in the food manufacturing, cosmetic, and biofuel industries.
Palm oil has a reddish color and a whole lot of health benefits. It contains vitamins, sterol, carotenoids, vitamin compounds, and lots more. It can be stored at home over a long period because it is resistant to oxidation, so you can keep it as long as you want.
There are two kinds of palm oil- red and white.
Red palm oil has a red color, hence the name. It is the first type of oil extracted from oil palm fruit. It is an ingredient in mayonnaise.
White palm oil is the product of refined palm oil and has a whitish color. It is an ingredient in peanut butter.
Generally, palm oil is a versatile oil.
Palm oil contains several health benefits hence its health effects on the body. Consuming 100 grams of palm oil contains the following nutrients:
- Calories– 884
- Saturated fat- 37 grams (247% of DV)
- Unsaturated fat
- Iron- 0.01mg
- Dietary fiber
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
Palm oil contains essential nutrients for good health. The health benefits include:
PROMOTES BRAIN HEALTH
It is a healthy food that promotes mental health. It carries out an antioxidant role due to tocotrienols that prevent the accumulation of fats in the brain. It is an excellent food that reduces the chances of developing brain diseases.
It preserves the neural nerves for smooth transmission of signals responsible for body coordination like movements, thinking, and many more. Also, tocotrienols allow oxygen and glucose transport to the brain to carry out its activities. It prevents stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and brain lesions. There’s an enhanced cognitive function.
ENHANCES THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM
Palm oil promotes the heart and prevents heart infections. It is healthy for individuals with heart diseases such as atherosclerosis. It contains vitamin K that prevents blood clotting from cholesterol accumulation.
The majority of the cases of heart illness is as a result of high LDL- low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It contains a balanced amount of fat that removes LDL cholesterol and increases HDL- high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. LDL is from excess trans fat and over-processed foods.
With High-density lipoprotein, there is a lower chance of developing heart diseases. It is a prolific food.
SUPPORT HAIR AND SKIN GROWTH
Skin and hair are ways of showcasing beauty. Bad skin and hair will not give an impression to people, which is why palm oil is there to take care of the skin and health. It helps in hair conditioning and thickening. It helps to treat and prevent hair loss.
Tocotrienol content is an anti-aging compound that gets rid of wrinkled skin and fine lines. It nourishes the skin to prevent injury from ultraviolet rays from the sun and toxins. Likewise, it boosts the skin texture preventing skin dryness and breaking.
In the beauty world, it is a recipe for the production of shampoo, soap, makeup, lotion, and other cosmetics.
GOOD FOR VISION
Vitamin A is an important nutrient for the healthy eye that allows the production of rhodopsin and prevents keratosis in the eye. It is a good source of vitamin A.
Beta carotene is an antioxidant compound that plays a defensive mechanism by preventing damage to the tissues by free radicals. It enhances cellular metabolism against sight damage.
Individuals with eye problems like cataracts, macular degeneration, and other age-related eye infections should consume more palm oil.
SUPPORTS CANCER TREATMENT
Cancer is a deadly infection that kills the immune system. Palm oil prevents the development of cancerous cells by strengthening the body cell with tocopherol and tocotrienol to increase metabolism. So, oxidative damage is fended off from the cells and tissues.
Fat accumulation in the body is associated with cancer disease. It contains a balanced amount of healthy fat to regulate body fat. Consider palm oil inclusive in your next meal.
GOOD FOR PREGNANCY
It contains a good amount of Vitamin that plays a vital role in the mother and the baby. An intake of palm oil during pregnancy provides the mother with vitamin A. Vitamin keeps the mother and the baby immune to diseases and infections.
Vitamin A supports the growth and development of the fetus. It supplies the required nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.
PROMOTES THE LIVER HEALTH
It supports the activities of the liver by getting rid of toxins. Palm oil promotes liver health and allows the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates for absorption into the body.
It fends off the accumulation of particles in the body.
GOOD SOURCE OF ENERGY
Palm oil is another good energy source and excellent food to stay active. Oxidation, decomposition, and synthesis of fat supply the body with a valuable amount of calories enough to remain up due to the beta-carotene present. It also regulates the secretion of hormones and prevents hormonal imbalance. It is good for athletes to carry out daily activities.
Palm oil consumption has no recorded or known side effects, but excess intake can result in some health issues. It can lead to the followings:
- It can lead to the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries, which can cause heart illness. Atherosclerosis occurs due to the consumption of palm oil with other fatty and processed foods.
- There’s a higher chance of putting on more weight. Palmitic acid lessens fat metabolism and can cause liver obesity and toxicity.
- The ineffectiveness of the insulin hormone is responsible for lowering the blood sugar level. It spikes blood sugar levels.
For children, pregnant, and breastfeeding mothers. It should be medicine to be used orally. A daily intake of 7 to 12 teaspoons is considered safe.
TAKE NOTE- there’s no standard dose for consumption but should be taken moderately.
It is a traditional food used as far as 1800 as cooking oil. The world is now enlightened about the benefits of palm oil and has brought about its various uses. It is present in food processing, cosmetic industries, and biofuels. The health benefits of palm oil are achievable with daily consumption for healthy transformation. Choose to stay healthy with an intentional decision to consume it today. Your health is your wealth. Stay safe.
What are the disadvantages of palm oil?
The disadvantages of palm oil come from its overuse. When it is in excess, it tends to result in side effects in individuals. The disadvantages of excess intake are insulin resistance, obesity of the liver, toxicity, and cholesterol plaque. It also affects the environment by causing the greenhouse effect and climate change.
What are the benefits of palm oil?
There are a series of due to the nutrient content of the food. Its benefits are cancer treatment, good vision and hair growth, skin health, support for the heart, prevention of brain illnesses, help pregnancy, liver detoxification, energy source, promotes bone health, and prevention of blood clotting.
Is there an oil palm tree?
Yes. There is an oil palm tree scientifically known as Elaeis guineensis, the source of palm oil. The production involves two processes: the first is crude oil extraction by squeezing the mesocarp of the oil palm fruit, while the second is by crushing the oil palm fruit. It is native to Africa.
Is palm oil healthy?
Yes, it is a healthy food that is safe for consumption. It is commonly used as cooking oil in African countries. It contains essential nutrients for bodily functions and must be taken in moderation to avoid complications.
What are the uses of oil palm?
Palm oil is a versatile oil used for various purposes. Apart from being a cooking oil- food, it is important in the industrial world as an ingredient. It is present in biofuels and cosmetics such as shampoo, lotion, makeup, hair conditioners, and many more. It is a common ingredient for food processing and manufacturing.