Health Benefits of Palm Oil

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Palm oil is an extremely useful vegetable oil that is derived from the various pulp of the of fruit of oil palms. Its main source is the Elaeis guineensis tree, which is native to West and Southwest Africa. Its use in this region dates back more than 5,000 years.

Health Benefits of Palm Oil

Palm oil is commonly used as cooking oil in Africa, Southeast Asia, and certain countries in South America. It has become more popular in other parts of the world in recent years because of the health concerns of having too many trans fats in the diet.

Health Benefits

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Improved Vitamin A Status

Palm oil can help improve vitamin A status in people who are deficient or at risk of deficiency.

Studies in pregnant women in developing countries have shown that consuming red palm oil increases vitamin A levels in their blood, as well as in their breastfed infants.

One study found that people with cystic fibrosis, who have difficulty absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, experienced an increase in blood levels of vitamin A after taking two to three tablespoons of red palm oil daily for eight weeks.

Improves Vision

Beta-carotene is extremely important for improving vision. Many antioxidants are found in palm oil, which are the powerful defensive mechanisms of the body. They are the beneficial by-products of cellular metabolism and can protect the body from free radicals.

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Free radicals are responsible for a lot of cellular breakdown and mutation, including the damage that can cause vision issues. Using palm oil as a replacement for other types of oil can help prevent oracular degeneration and cataracts.

Improves Brain Health

Palm oil is an excellent source of tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E with strong antioxidant properties that may support brain health.

In a two-year study of 121 people with brain lesions, the group who took palm oil-derived tocotrienols twice a day remained stable, whereas the group who received a placebo experienced lesion growth.

Health Benefits of Palm Oil

Reduces Risk of Cancer

Tocopherols, a form of vitamin E, are natural antioxidants that can help prevent cancer by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous cells, so high levels of tocopherol in palm oil are necessary.

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Nutrient Composition

The nutritional content of one tablespoon (14 grams) of palm oil:

  • Calories: 114
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Saturated fat: 7 grams
  • Monounsaturated fat: 5 grams
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.5 grams
  • Vitamin E: 11% of the RDI

Caution

Avoid intake of palm oil if you have high LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels in your body.

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