There are so many types of cooking oil at the store that it can be hard to choose. Have you ever heard of palm oil? It is an extract of the fruit of the palm and is one of the most commonly used oils in the word. Regardless of its culinary uses, it also offers a lot of health benefits, protecting against heart condition, premature aging, cancer, vision problems, energy drops and weakened immune systems. If you want to learn more, give this article a read.
Palm Oil: What Is It?
Palm oil is a vegetable oil derived from the pulp of the palm fruit. Principally used to fry various foods, it can also be an ingredient in many cuisines. Palm oil is a great source of fat.
The oil has been used since 3,000 B.C., with archaeologists finding traces in Egyptian tombs. It is thought that it was introduced to the Egyptians by Arabic traders, making it one of the earliest traded commodities.
The British industrial revolution expanded the use of palm oil into the international market, after which it because a raw material for many manufacturing and production activities. It is also used as a base for many lubricants and candles. The extraction of palm oil is a controversial topic, with many investors putting large amounts of money into the item. Formal cultivation began in Asia and Africa.
Nutrient Composition of Palm Oil
14 grams, or 1 tbsp., of palm oil contains approximately:
- 11% daily value of Vitamin E
- 5 grams of polyunsaturated fat
- 5 grams of monounsaturated fat
- 7 grams of saturated fat
- 14 grams of fat
- 114 calories
The major type of saturated fat in palm oil is actually a palmitic acid that contributes to about 44% of the calories. It also has high amounts of oleic acid and lower amounts of stearic and linoleic acid.
The reddish-orange color of red palm oil stems from its antioxidant properties, carotenoids like beta-carotene which the body can convert into vitamin A. In fractioned palm oil, the liquid portion of the oil is disposed of through a filtering and crystallizing process. The remaining solid portion is much higher in saturated fat and has a much higher melting point.
Health Benefits of Palm Oil
Here are some of the most magical health benefits of palm oil:
- Helps reduce the risk of cancer. The tocopherols, a form of vitamin E, are natural antioxidants which may be beneficial in preventing cancer by neutralizing free radicals in the body. This is one of the best health benefits of palm oil.
- Helps prevent cardiovascular conditions. Palm oil is rich in both HDL and LDL cholesterol. Although one is of these is good and the other one is bad, it still creates a much healthier balance in the body.
- Helps improve vision. The beta-carotene content of the palm oil is very important for the vision. The antioxidants in palm oil actually act as a powerful defensive mechanism for the body. These are the good by-products of cellular metabolism and may help in protect against free radicals.
- Helps improve energy The beta-carotene of palm oil is essential in improving energy levels in the body. Moreover, it also helps boost the hormonal balance.