African Palm Nut Fruit- The World’s Desirable Ingredient

An African fruit that has grown popular in the last two decades is the palm nut fruit. The palm tree is popular for its beauty and height that produce shade and a Hollywood aesthetic. However, one must consider: what fruit do palm trees produce? What is palm nut? Does the name ‘red palm oil’ sound familiar? Above their beauty, palm trees have many palm nut benefits. With two types of oil for cooking, seeds used in animal feed, and palm thatch, an appreciation for the palm nut tree must be had. 

What is palm nut?

The latin name for the African oil palm tree is Elaeis guineensis. This evergreen species of palm tree originates from West Africa. It can live for up to 35 years before it becomes too tall to harvest, but with a life span of 200 years. Its popularity has spread and it has become useful in traditional areas as well as in industrial use. The African fruit is one such part of the palm nut benefits. 

What fruit do palm trees produce?

Firstly, the palm nut fruits tend to be large and deep orange, almost red when they are ripe. Hence, the color of red palm oil. They are the highest oil producing plant, with two types of oil produced from them. Research shows that the mesocarp produces palm oil for food use. But, the palm kernel oil has uses in oleochemical industries. These produce household items such as soap and cosmetics. Both are rich in vegetable saturated fats. 

What are the by-products of the palm nut fruit?

The palm nut benefits go beyond palm oil uses. Its wood can be used in buildings and palm thatch is used in roofing. Furthermore, sap can be made into wine to help nursing mothers with lactation. As it has West African origin, there are other folk remedies it can be used for. Examples being to treat cancer and headaches. 

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Palm oil uses and palm nut benefits

red palm oil. African fruits are wild and yum. Dive in to learn what is palm nut, how palm thatch is used and palm nut benefits!
Red oil

As Africans sit under the shade provided by palm thatch, they can enjoy the many meals that palm nut oil allows. Palm nut benefits these societies because its oils are produced locally and do not have to be bought. Studies explain that communities that extract their own oil boil the fruit before pounding it with a mortar. Next, the pulp is soaked in water to allow the oil to float. Later, it is then skimmed off and boiled to remove excess water.
The oil has a 1:1 ratio of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. It is semi-solid at room temperature. Solid fats such as margarine, shortenings and frying fats produced by the oil have no trans fats. This meets recommended diets. Trans fats block arteries and increase the risk of heart attacks. Instead, the tocotrienol content in the oil lowers cholesterol. Because of its Vitamin E content, palm oil provides anti-cancer effects, backing up the folk remedies.

Palm Wine
Nutritional valueAmount
Protein <1
Carbohydrates0 grams
Fat14 grams
Fiber0 grams
Content in one tablespoon of palm oil
Nutritional valueAmount
Crude protein16.7%
Crude fiber19.8%
Total sugars2.4%
Gross energy20.1 MJ/kg
Content in Dry Matter

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In Closing

The palm nut fruit/Elaeis guineensis is an African fruit that boasts many benefits beyond the edible. Though laboursome, it can be a cheap and versatile producer for those in its perimeter. Even its mere existence provides noteworthy beauty, leaving one wondering what is palm nut in all its majesty. Curious about a no-meat food lifestyle? Check out our Instagram page for real-life inspirations.

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