Red palm oil is a vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of the palm oil tree. This tree, which is native to tropical Africa, yields more oil than any other tree. Its oil is red in color and has a strong flavor that many describe as similar to olive oil. Red palm oil contains a high amount of beta carotene, the same nutrient that gives carrots their orange color. The oil has been used for thousands of years in both cooking and natural medicine.
This vegetable oil is the healthiest known dietary oil. Red palm oil contains large amounts of magnesium, co-enzyme Q10, and vitamins E, A, and K. It also contains more than 20 other carotenes in addition to beta carotene, and is extremely high in antioxidants.
Before the advent of modern medicine, many Africans used red palm oil to treat almost every disease. It was common for a sick person to drink a cup of oil. Pregnant and nursing mothers drank the oil to obtain required nutrients. The oil was applied to wounds because its antimicrobial agents helped to prevent infection, and its oily properties sped healing. This nutritional and medicinal powerhouse was considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians.
The palm oil tree is grown today in the Caribbean, Asia, South America and Africa, and it is commonly used in cooking. Red palm oil is a popular ingredient in stews, soups, sauces, and bean dishes. Its reputation has spread to other countries, and it can be found in some health food stores.
Red palm oil is still used to treat disease today. It is used in some government programs to eliminate nutritional deficiencies and treat certain illnesses. Even though it contains a high amount of saturated fats, the oil is good for the heart due to its strong antioxidant properties. It doesn’t contain any cholesterol or trans-fatty acids.
Studies show that red palm oil can reverse hardening of the arteries by removing plaque. It can also lower cholesterol and strengthen the heart. The oil has also been proven to reduce inflammation and help prevent heart disease. Countries where people eat a diet high in red palm oil have a lower rate of cardiac problems.
A more recent use of palm oil has been as fuel. Some countries are growing palm oil trees in order to produce biodiesel. The oil has properties so similar to diesel fuel that it can be used to run diesel engines.