Palm oil has been gathering a bad rep for itself in recent decades. There are those who argue that this oil is high in saturated fats, which is dangerous to cardiovascular health or the health of blood vessels and your heart.
Apart from the effects on health, palm oil’s impact on the environment has also been called into question. However, scientific evidence has shown that palm oil is actually beneficial when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
Palm oil is rich in Vitamin E and Tocotrienols. Both these nutrients are strong antioxidants which are really useful in preventing diseases. Here’s a full explanation of how palm oil is beneficial:
- Prevents cancer
When taken according to recommended levels, palm oil provides your body with enough antioxidants to help prevent cancer. Antioxidants in palm oil neutralize toxins known as free radicals in your body.
Free radicals are able to cause your cells to mutate and turn cancerous. They can enter your body through polluted water and air, but antioxidants are there to stop them in their tracks.
- Good for your eyesight
Palm oil has beta-carotene, a type of nutrient usually found in orange, red and yellow coloured fruits and vegetables. There’s a type of palm oil that’s red in colour due to different processing steps that have more beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene is a precursor of Vitamin A, which is important for maintaining good eyesight. Palm oil has been used to treat Vitamin A deficiency to a successful degree, especially
- Anti-ageing effects
The anti-ageing effects of palm oil come from its high level of antioxidants. Apart from preventing cancer, antioxidants also prevent the premature ageing of cells. This will help your skin stay youthful for as long as possible.
Too much free-radicals in your body can cause the skin to look wrinkled and saggy, which is why having adequate antioxidants is crucial.
- A good balance of lipids
The main cause of heart disease is a type of cholesterol called LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and trans-fat. Palm oil is completely free of trans-fat and is an affordable alternative for those in the food production industry who need trans-fat-free oil. Palm oil is actually better for your blood vessels and heart health compared to cooking with butter.
Palm oil has a balance of LDL and good cholesterol known as HDL (high-density lipoprotein) as well as LDL. When taken in moderate amounts according to the food pyramid, palm oil is able to give your body the balance of lipids it needs to function.
- High in Omega-3 fatty acids
The omega-3 fatty acid is important as a component to ensure that your joints are smooth and functions at its best. This nutrient is useful for those who are senior in age and suffer from joint pain and arthritis as it helps to lubricate joints.
Apart from that, Omega-3 is also helpful in slowing and preventing the effects of Alzheimer’s. This is because it helps to maintain the health of brain nerve endings and connections.
The only caution that experts mention about palm oil is that it should not be consumed in excess amounts by people with cholesterol problems. However, if taken in healthy amounts this oil is not only harmless, it’s beneficial.
Credit: Nirapai BoonPheng @ Shutterstock for the features image of the palm oil