America is constantly on the lookout for the next miracle supplement that can help them easily achieve better health. In just the oil category alone there has been a clamoring for coconut oil, fish oil, olive oil, palm kernel oil and peanut oil as the miracle answer to a wide variety of health problems. Derived from the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis), red palm oil is considered to be one of the most nutritional supplements that one can take and proving to be a healthier option than those other oils.
Red palm oil is rich in vitamin A, short and medium chain fatty acids and tocotrienols (one of the most powerful forms of vitamin E). It’s also believed to have more beta-carotene and lycopene antioxidant nutrients than typical red and orange vegetables.
Many people take a traditional fish oil supplement to take advantage of the high levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which have immense positive effects on the heart, brain and immune system. The problem becomes the lack of stability and flexibility fish oil possesses. While red palm oil may not be as high in omega-3 fatty acids, there are still a high number of them and the ability to include it in many recipes without a fishy taste gives a major advantage.
While some people will use red palm oil to cook with, the most heavily recommended way to get it into a daily diet is to mix it into a daily drink or oatmeal. Palm oil can also be found in certain cosmetics, soaps, toothpastes and waxes, which proves its versatility.
While a great deal of the hype has come from the idea that red palm oil can help hasten weight loss, there haven’t been any studies backing these claims. There have been many studies, however, on the use of the oil in fighting heart diseases, lowering high levels of cholesterol, preventing heart attack and stroke and reducing the amount of plaque near the heart. There are ongoing tests which hope to link this oil with a reduction of other health problems including osteoporosis, asthma, malaria and liver diseases.
The only downside of this oil is the unethical harvesting of this oil without consideration for the environment. Areas such as Malaysia and Indonesia are having entire forested areas wiped out due to the need to harvest palm oil. When shopping for red palm oil, look for a company that practices sustainable methods.