Red palm oil is a traditional fat that is derived from the fruit of the Elaesis guineensis or oil palm tree native to tropical Africa.
Until modern medicine arrived, red palm oil was the remedy of choice for nearly every illness in many parts of Africa. When someone was sick, downing a cup full of palm oil was common. Even today many people in the villages rely on this age old method of treatment. Palm oil is regarded among many as essential in the diet for pregnant and nursing women in order to assure good health for the mother and child.
Today, medical doctors are recognizing the value of red palm oil in the treatment and prevention of malnutrition and vitamin deficiency diseases. Governments around the world are incorporating it into programs to wipe out deficiency diseases which are still rampant in many impoverished areas.
Red palm oil not only supplies fatty acids essential for proper growth and development, but it is packed with an assortment of vitamins, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients important for good health. Red palm oil gets its name from its characteristic dark red color. The color comes from carotenes such as beta-carotene and lycopene—the same nutrients that give tomatoes and carrots and other fruits and vegetables their rich red and orange colors.
Carotenes are valuable nutrients and powerful antioxidants. They are also important because our body can convert them into vitamin A, an essential nutrient. Vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness, weaken bones, lower immunity, and adversely affect learning ability and mental function. Vitamin A is only found in animal foods. Such foods, are too expensive for many people. Carotenes in fruits and vegetables can supply the needed vitamin A if an adequate amount of fat is also consumed. Carotenes require fat for conversion into vitamin A. Unfortunately, those who can’t afford animal products often do not eat much fat either. Populations with ample carotene-rich foods available often suffer from vitamin A deficiency because they don’t get enough fat in their diet.
Red palm oil provides a perfect solution. It supplies the needed fat and vitamin A precursors. Red palm oil is the richest dietary source of provitamin A carotenes (beta-carotene and alpha-carotene). It has 15 times more provitamin A carotenes than carrots and 300 times more than tomatoes. This has made it a valued resource in the treatment of vitamin A deficiency. Just one teaspoon a day of red palm oil supplies children with the daily recommend amount of vitamin A. Nursing mothers are encouraged to supplement their diet with palm oil to enrich their milk with the vitamin. Studies show that adding red palm oil into the diet can double or triple the amount of vitamin A in mother’s milk.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Palm oil is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken as a medicine during pregnancy for up to 6 months.
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with PALM OIL
Palm oil might increase blood clotting. Taking palm oil along with medications that slow clotting might reduce the effectiveness of these medications.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox) heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
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Coconut Research centre, http://coconutresearchcenter.org/articles-and-videos/palm-oil-information/red-palm-oil/
The Healthy Home Economist, http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/red-palm-oil-healthy-fat-that-rivals-coconut-oil/