The women that work with Juka's harvest the palm every three months and use the traditional method of natural palm oil extraction; the same that's been used for centuries.
More beta carotene than a carrot!
With its crisp, crimson color, red palm oil is the virgin, unrefined good stuff that's extracted from the fresh, plum sized fruit. It's smooth, mild and a tad sweeter than olive oil.
Raw, unprocessed palm oil contains about 50% medium chain fatty acids and phytonutrients, including carotenoids, vitamin E and water-soluble antioxidants, phenolic acids and flavonoids.*
The red color comes from the natural presence of beta carotene and lycopene, which gives carrots and tomatoes their distinctive red and orange colors.* Once digested, the body converts these to vitamin A.* Many are surprised to find the equivalent amount of organic red palm oil boasts more beta carotene than a carrot!*
Red palm oil, particularly extra virgin, supports the hair, skin and overall health, especially pertaining to the heart and cholesterol levels.
The sustenance of red palm oil in Africa
Palm trees (different from the ones that produce coconuts) are native to west Africa and grow wild. Women produce their palm fruit oil as their main source of income and proudly pass it onto the next generation, as they have for more than 5,000 years.*
In Africa, most villagers also use red palm oil to support healthy, moisturized skin. The women use the leftover residue of the palm fruit after extracting the oil to make soaps. This great oil is also often used as a hot oil treatment to soften and strengthen hair, and foster growth.
Many pregnant and nursing mothers in Africa consume red palm oil to augment the vitamin content of their milk.* And a cup of the oil is often added to villagers' foods to help prevent common ailments that are not serious or life-threatening.*
Note that eventually, palm oil was introduced to southeast Asia in the early 1900s and now most of the industrialized palm oil is produced there. You will notice that the most mass produced palm oil has been refined and processed in a way that renders it nearly colorless, flavorless and devoid of many of its nutrients.*