The Power of Red Palm Oil
Red palm oil is one of the most potent natural whole food oils known. Derived from the kernel of a special kind of palm tree indigenous to Africa this oil has been used as a food and medicine for centuries. One of the healthiest vegetable oils available, red palm oil is a versatile cooking oil, since it doesn’t oxidize readily when used under low or medium-low heat. Thus, a raw red palm and coconut oil combination has the additional ‘property’ of retaining the nutritional value during cooking.
It is also an ideal oil for food enhancement such as fortifying the nutritional density of baked goods and also adding to smoothies. Red palm oil makes perhaps the most delicious popcorn (only with organic popcorn, though, because of GMOs) and also low-heat French fries. It gives richness to foods and, thus, is an ideal alternative to animal fats, although it can be mixed 50/50 with butter.
Another ideal mix is a combination of cold- extracted red palm oil with cold-extracted coconut oil. Red palm oil has been part of the human diet for over 5000 years. It is both a nutritious food and a valuable medicine. Prized as a sacred food by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, the oil was entombed with the pharaohs, so they could have access to it in the afterlife. Red palm oil, a product of the fruit of the oil palm, is a powerhouse of nourishment. It contains, by far, more nutrients than any other dietary oil. In addition to beta- carotene, alpha-carotene, and lycopene it contains at least twenty other carotenes, along with vitamin E, vitamin K, CoQ10, squalene, phytosterols, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and glycolipids.
That is an incredible nutrient density. Red palm oil is one of the richest natural sources of vitamin E.
In addition to ordinary vitamin E this oil also contains potent forms of vitamin E known as tocotrienols, which have up to sixty times the antioxidant activity of ordinary vitamin E. The combination of vitamin E, tocotrienols, carotenes, and other antioxidants makes red palm oil a super antioxidant food. Since red palm oil is loaded with a multitude of nutrients and antioxidants, it can be used as a dietary supplement as well as nourishing food. Of particular interest is the high density of tocotrienols, which is rarely found in any foods.
Coconut oil has been used for 4000 years, both as a food and a medicine. Ayurvedic medicine in Sanskrit from 1500 B.C. credits it for its nourishing powers of the mind, body, and spirit. This oil promotes cardiac function, immune system health, and provides energy. Coconut oil is also used by Polynesian women, who are famed for their beautiful skin despite their daily exposure to the hot, blistering, tropical sun and the chafing of the Pacific Ocean breeze. Their healthy skin can be attributed to coconut oil because it feeds and nourishes it, rendering it strong to face the elements of nature. Coconut oil supplies medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which the body, especially the heart, feeds on as fuel. MCFAs account for 62% of coconut oil’s total fat content, making this tropical oil unique to other saturated fats. MCFAs are smaller molecularly than other vegetable oils and, thus, require less energy and fewer enzymes for absorption, placing less strain on the digestive system.
Tocotrienols are much desired. A novel group of molecules in the vitamin E family, tocotrienols are readily absorbed by the body and are highly protective against oxidative damage, especially regarding typical damage to the arterial walls and heart that occurs with aging. This unique form of vitamin E is considered unusually beneficial to humans, more so than the typical kind extracted from soy oil. In fact, red palm oil is an ideal way to get a daily and sufficient dose of whole food vitamin E/tocotrienols in a form free of allergens and toxic GMOs.
Red palm oil contains alpha- and beta-carotene, lycopene, plus a wide spectrum of other vital carotenoids. All these carotenoids are potent antioxidants that protect the cells of the body from free radicals, toxicity and thus excessive aging. The combination of a high density of carotenoids plus vitamin E makes red palm oil unique.
It is essential to protect the body from free radicals. Daily consumption of red palm oil, as an emulsion in raw coconut oil or as a whole food extract made from crude, red palm nuts, achieves this. Toxicity and stress are a daily occurrence. We need the key nutrients found in whole food red palm oil, as well as coconut oil, on a daily basis. Free radicals also accelerate the aging of the skin. Since free radicals are so toxic to all tissues and organs it is crucial to consume a high density of nature’s most potent antioxidants on a regular basis, which red palm oil consumption achieves.
The scientific data is confirming the power of this novel whole food. In one recent study, as mentioned on the Mehmet Oz Show, published in the journal Nutrients, it was found that red palm oil-derived nutrients had an impressive action on the heart muscle. In the study consumption of this oil resulted in improved pumping power of the heart muscle plus an incredible benefit of reduced heart muscle stiffness. Additionally, blood pressure was reduced in this animal study, while liver function improved.
Also, studies conducted at the Universities of Wisconsin and Louisiana have revealed several key benefits, as follows:
• increase in the efficiency of several breast cancer drugs by as much as 45%
• decrease in the rate of arteriosclerosis, a disease in which the arteries harden and typically damage the heart.
• inhibition of the growth of breast cancer cells
• reduction of blood cholesterol
• improvement in the clotting function of blood, in other words, reduction in the stickiness of the blood, necessary in the prevention of strokes and heart attacks
• improvement in the pumping power of the heart by providing the highly essential palmitic acid, a key fuel fat for the heart muscle; if taking the combination, the heart also benfits from coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids (MCTs).
It should also be noted that the nutrients in red palm oil have been found to be of value in supporting the health of the brain and skin. There is some evidence that tocotrienols and beta carotene slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
The ideal form is wild red palm oil or the organic form, because the oil may readily become contaminated by toxic chemicals, particularly chemical sprays.
For taste, the combination of the finest West African red palm oil and a virgin cream of coconut oil is ideal. Its rich, creamy texture and taste are incomparable. For nutritional density, that is the highest content of beta-carotene and tocotrienols, choose the whole food 100% African red palm oil. Make sure it is cold-pressed and free of all additives.
Special thanks to Dr. Oz for alerting the public about the benefits of this oil.