10 Awesome Benefits of Palm kernel oil
Palm kernel oil popularly called udeaki in Igbo, Adin dudu amongst the Yoruba, Main Alaidi amongst the Hausa,and Menyanga in Cameroon is a yellowish or dark-brown oil extracted from the kernel of palm nuts of palm tree (Elaeis guineensis).
There are two of palm kernel oil based on the extraction process used: white palm kernel oil obtained by compressing palm kernels in factories; and black palm kernel oil obtained traditionally by frying the palm kernels in a pot until the oil is extracted. They are all crude palm kernel oil.
Palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) is originally found in the tropical African region like Nigeria, Angola, Guinea from where it spread to other parts of the world like Malaysia, Central America, Madagascar, Pacific Oceans etc
Oil extract from palm kernel seeds contains 80 percent saturated fat and 20percent non saturated fat. It is an excellent source of lauric acid, oleic acid and myristic acid. The oil has many health benefits which stems from its chemical composition.
Burkill, outlined the traditional uses of palm kernel oil to include: apply on the body of the child to prevent and treat skin rashes,rub and give the child to eat to treat high fever and convulsion; eat to treat abdominal pain; as a good and cheap rubbing oil that smoothens the body of the child;it is used to make bread sandwich, to prepare traditional medicine concussions and to oil the head hair.
Health benefits of palm kernel oil
Palm kernel oil is free from cholesterol. The oil can be used as a substitute to other oil that have high cholesterol. It increases ‘good’cholesterol in the body when compared to other saturated oils such as red palm oil.
2. Promotes Good Heart health
Palm kernel oil contains tecotrienols. According to fawesome.tv, many studies have discovered that tocotrienols may have the ability to reverse blockage of the carotid artery and platelet aggregation thereby reducing the risk of stroke, tumor promotion arteriosclerosis and other heart disease problems.
3. Treatment of Rashes and skin problems
Oil extract from palm kernel can be used as an ointment for the body to minimize infections by microorganisms. A research conducted by Ugbogu et al, 2006 demonstrated that, in vitro, palm kernel oil samples showed noticeable inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus species. while no significant inhibitory effect was observed on Candida albicans.
4. Improve Hair Growth.
Oil extract from palm kernel seed strengthens the hair thus preventing hair loss . It also promote hair growth and can be used to get rid off dandruff. It soothes the hair and scalp when used as hot oil treatment.
5. Prevent Cancer
Vitamins E present in palm kernel oil is an antioxidant. It mops up free radicals from the body thereby preventing the destruction of our body cells which can lead to some cancers. Tocotrienols present in palm kernel oil may also inhibit certain types of cancer.
6. Eye care
It’s a good source of vitamin A which is good for the eye. It can be used to correct some eye disorder like night blindness, long and short sightedness. Vitamin E also present in the oil is good for the eye.
Other use of palm kernel oil
7. Industrial use.
The oil is used in several manufacturing industries like soap manufacturing industries, oil processing industries, food processing industries, cosmetics industries and pharmaceutical industries.
8. Act as lubricant
It can also serve as a lubricant for machinery.
9. Source of Animal feed
Palm kernel cake produced during the extraction of oil from palm kernel is used as feed for animals.
10. Long shelf life
Palm kernel oil can be stored for a long time with out spoiling. It doesn’t oxidize at high temperature and even during storage. This makes it a great substitute for vegetable oil and for commercial cooking.
CONS OF PALM KERNEL OIL
Palm kernel oil is a high source of lauric acid. Although it does not contain trans fatty acids or cholesterol, yet it has been shown to raise blood cholesterol levels.
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Burkil H. M, Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Globalfoodbook.com, Some important facts about palm kernels