Today I’d like to highlight an incredibly powerful health food – red palm oil!
It’s been used for centuries to support everything from skin to heart health, but here I’ll focus specifically on how it can supercharge your brain and slow the effects of aging.
I don’t doubt you’ll want to make this a pantry staple, but before you do, it’s really important you purchase the right kind. Keep reading as I explain how it can help you and what you should know!
Red Palm Oil Benefits Can Significantly Slow Aging
The biggest benefit red palm oil provides comes from its rich antioxidant vitamin E content. It contains the highest level of tocotrienols and tocopherols found in nature.
Toco what? These are just terms for the different forms of vitamin E. Simply translated – red palm oil has age fighting superpowers.
The complete vitamin E family is made up of 4 tocotrienols and 4 tocopherols:
- D – Alpha Tocotrienol
- D – Beta Tocotrienol
- D – Gamma Tocotrienol
- D – Delta Tocotrienol
- D – Alpha Tocopherol
- D – Beta Tocopherol
- D – Gamma Tocopherol
- D – Delta Tocopherol
If you’re not a chemistry buff, don’t worry! The takeaway here is that red palm oil works to fight the processes that destroy and age your body.
Red Palm oil Benefits Your Brain
Let’s first review how antioxidants work.
Free radicals are reactive compounds that can build up in your body and cause severe health problems and rapid aging. This build up is called oxidative stress and it drives cellular damage and rapid aging.
You want lots of antioxidants in your body to help fight these free radicals! Antioxidants lower your risk for disease and lessen the effects of aging.
Did you know that the leading cause of oxidative stress is a poor diet lacking in antioxidants?
Your brain in particular, is very susceptible to oxidative stress. This is because it requires more oxygen than other organs, yet it has a lower antioxidant capacity. Your brain is involved in so many metabolic processes and it needs a lot of support!
Prevention is always better (and easier) than a cure! Protecting your brain now will help preserve its function later in life.
Given the crucial role that antioxidants play in brain health, it makes sense how red palm oil fits in here. Those tocotrienols it’s packed with have unique brain boosting benefits. In fact, tocotrienols actually have up to 60 times stronger antioxidant activity than tocopherols.
Compared to any other plant-based oil, red palm oil has the has the highest level of this vitamin E form.
Tip: Most vitamin E supplements don’t contain any tocotrienols. If using a vitamin E supplement, look for one that contains all eight vitamin E forms (4 tocotrienols and 4 tocopherols). It should look like the label of my Full Spectrum Vitamin E formula.
Red Palm Oil Boosts Your Vitamin A Levels
Red palm oil is also an excellent source of beta carotene. This is the red-orange plant pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their vibrant color (think apricots, carrots, and sweet potatoes). Beta carotene is converted to the active form of vitamin A.
For this reason, red palm oil is a great supplement to enhance vitamin A benefits.
Your body needs vitamin A to:
- Fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress – especially in your brain
- Learn and memorize
- Fight cognitive decline
- Maintain the cells that line your gastrointestinal tract. Remember, healthy gut = healthy brain!
The metabolism of vitamin A produces potent signaling molecules in the brain that can speed the recovery of stroke victims.
Backed by Science – Red Palm Oil’s Health Boosting Compounds
Science confirms that brain disorders like stroke and dementia are linked to the presence of white matter lesions in the brain. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize they have these lesions until it’s too late. You should also know that the risk of a stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55!
Research has identified a strong link between increased tocotrienols and better brain health.
Here are some human and animal study highlights:
- Tocotrienols can block the growth of white matter lesions and shrink them in size post stroke.
- A high blood level of tocotrienols is significantly associated with a reduced risk of cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s in the elderly.
- Brain function in mice improved with tocotrienol supplementation.
Overall, research tells us that that tocotrienols support and promote brain health, and red palm oil is packed with them!
If you’re interested in learning more about these studies, you can read them here:
Guidelines for Using Red Palm Oil
Extracted from the fruit of oil palm trees grown in tropical forests, red palm oil (in its natural state) has a rich dark red color, buttery texture, and carrot-like taste.
If you want to reap its benefits, you must use the unrefined and cold pressed form.
The kind used in large scale food production and prepackaged foods is processed palm oil – avoid consuming this type! When it’s processed, it becomes oxidized and not only loses all the health benefits, but it can actually cause health problems.
Since it has a high smoke point, red palm oil is great for cooking too!
Look for this special red oil (unrefined and cold pressed only) in health food stores and choose an organic version whenever possible.
Knowing what foods can boost your health is just as important as knowing which ones to avoid.
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