As it is also known, red palm oil is a fruit oil commonly produced in Malaysia, West Africa, and Ecuador. Due to its well-extended origins, it has acquired a couple of names, that is, African palm oil, palm kernel oil, oil palm tree, and many more. It is commonly used for cooking in many parts of the world, including Malaysia and Indonesia. Additionally, it is a common ingredient in many processed foods such as baked cereals and protein bars.
Among the popular palm oil facts, Malaysian palm oil is rich in beta carotene, lycopene, vitamin E, and antioxidants. According to EPOA, palm oil is a key food ingredient that feeds in a nutritionally balanced diet. Therefore, a spoon or two can go a long way to providing the following powerful nutritional benefits.
Prevents vitamin A deficiency
Palm oil is often used to enhance the vitamin A status in those at risk of developing Vitamin A deficiency. With supporting evidence, introducing palm oil to pregnant women and children’s diet boosts their vitamin A levels. Its lack can cause dry eyes, blindness, and susceptibility to frequent infections.
Cholesterol level regulation
According to research, a tablespoon of palm oil has about 130 calories. However, unlike other oils, red palm oil increases the beneficial HDL-cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol). The HDL works by absorbing cholesterol and transporting it to the liver for synthesis, thereby reducing cholesterol levels in the body. High levels of HDL-cholesterol lower the risk of heart diseases and stroke. As a result, your body maintains the LDL/HDL ratio, reducing fatty substances in the blood vessels.
Slows down the progression of heart diseases
A study conducted on patients with heart disease over 18 months revealed that 28 percent of those treated with palm oil showed impeccable improvement while the 64 percent who did not consume palm oil remained stable. However, its consumption does not forego enough cardio-exercise, including anti-inflammatory foods in the diet and healthy fats, and keeping stress levels in check.
Improves brain function
A dose of red palm oil contains tocotrienols, a kind of vitamin E that boosts brain health. Research suggests that tocotrienols have anticancer properties and also protect your brain from stroke damage.
Similarly, vitamin E is an antioxidant believed to reduce oxidative stress and thus improving brain health. Other antioxidant foods include dark chocolate, ginger, turmeric, and pecans.