Palm Oil is naturally red. Its red color comes from the Carotenes such as beta carotene and lycopene, the same found in carrots and tomatoes.
I personally don’t like to use palm oil in my soaps as its red color is so strong that it automatically gives the soap an orange color. However, if I include it in any of my soap formula, I make sure I use unrefined palm oil. That’s where the nutrients are. I don’t like to include anything in my soap that doesn’t have any benefits or nutrients my soaps can benefit.
Palm Oil is rich in antioxidants especially vitamin E similar to wheat germ oil, and the carotenes (alpha carotene and beta carotene).
The carotenes are powerful antioxidants that the body converts into vitamin A, a vital vitamin for good eye sight, bone strength, and strong immune system.
Carotenes from fruit and vegetables can supply enough vitamin A if enough fat is consumed as carotenes requires fat for conversion into vitamin A. Vitamin A can be found in animal foods as well.
A small amount of palm oil included in diet can provide the body enough amount of carotene.
Scientific research has proved that palm oil is rich in provitamins, 15 times more than carrots and 300 times more than tomatoes.
Although it is thought that palm oil originated from West Africa, research has found that it was used in Egypt 5000 years ago.
Today, many breastfeeding mothers include palm oil in the diet to increase their milk production and supply vitamins A and E to their babies.
When you buy palm oil, make sure you buy unrefined palm oil if that is its benefits you are after.
Refined palm oil is stripped of the reddish color as well as many of its antioxidants.
I grew up in West Africa, and I can tell you, there is no true substitute for palm oil when it comes to its flavor and taste. It can be freshly eaten in cooked beans, sweet potato or added to sauces. It has a high smoking point as well.