Pandanus Lam, Pandanus conoideus Lam, Red Pandanus, Papua Pandanus: The Papua Red Pandanus, Buah Pandan Merah Papua, Buah Merah Papua, Buah Merah Wamena, Buah Tawy, Tawy Yiwaunggen; Morita Oil, Papua New Guinea Morita Oil
The reddish tint which lends red palm oil its name is derived from alpha and beta carotene as well as lycopene (which is also one of the compounds which make tomatoes so healthy!). These compounds are all powerful antioxidants and in addition to this, alpha-carotene is taken in by the body and converted to Vitamin A. Red palm oil is also an excellent source of Vitamin E, in a particular form of the vitamin known as tocotrienol. It is well to note that during its processing, much of the lycopene and beta-carotene are lost, as is much of its nutritional value: white palm oil therefore does not have the same health benefits as the red.
The health benefits of red palm oil mainly derive from the lycopene, tocotrienol and the alpha- and beta-carotene which it is so rich in. Firstly, what has so many natural health practitioners so excited is that use of this oil appears to increase overall mental acuity and cognitive function and at the same time reduces one’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. With Alzheimer’s disease on the rise, use of this oil might prove to be particularly beneficial for the elderly.
It also supports healthy cardiac function by improving arterial circulation and by making the body more efficient at removing cholesterol from the blood stream, thus reducing the chances of a heart attack or stroke. One study found that regular use of red palm oil was able to bring cholesterol levels down by am impressive 40%.