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Dende oil is a thick, dark, reddish-orange with a strong taste that is extracted from the pulp of a type of palm grown in Africa and Brazil. It is used in cooking in West Africa and Brazil, particularly Bahia. The translation of dende oil to “palm oil” is incorrect because palm oil is usually made from the seeds of a palm tree. Dende oil, on the other hand, are the fruits of the palm tree and gets its characteristic color from it.
The origin of the Dende oil
Dende oil is made from the fruits of a tree known as Dendezeiro. It is used as biofuel, as protection for tinplate and sheet steel, and in the manufacture of soap, candles, grease, lubricants, vulcanized items, vegetable fats, and margarine.
Dende oil is of African origin and belongs to the Arecácea family. It begins to bear fruit after about 5 years and reaches its maximum production level after 20 years. A palm tree can produce around four grapes per year, each of which carries an average of 500 coconuts.
Dende arrived in the Recôncavo de Bahia area in the mid-16th century when the first farms were built, which resulted in the deforestation of large parts of the Atlantic Forest to make way for sugar cane and other types of crops. All work related to the cultivation of sugar cane was done with the work of black African slaves trying to find various foods to enrich their poor diet.
With the abolition of slavery and the decline of the economy, slaves with no rights discovered the dende palm. However, to maintain the dende culture, the Quilombolic community has gone through many challenges. In the 1970s, the state’s first industrial processing facility was built in Óleos de Palma S / A, replacing the sugar cane plantations and creating jobs for hundreds of people. 10% of the remaining Dende plantation from this transition has been preserved after the Iguape Basin Quilombola Community Organization won a lawsuit that ended a conflict with the factory and was granted the right to cultivate Dende according to the traditions of their ancestors.
Where to buy Dende Oil?
Dende oil is easily available on Amazon. Below is one of the top-selling Dende Oil brands on Amazon.
Features of Dende oil
The dende oil smells like violets and has an olive oil taste. When added to food it gives the food a saffron color. Dende oil is a reddish color and sweet taste, strong odor, and dense consistency. It has rich nutritional properties and is also rich in saturated fat (palmitic acid 44% and stearic acid 4%). It is a good source of vitamin E, which has antioxidant properties.
The artisanal production of Dende oil combines practices, traditions, and technical knowledge that the slaves imagined. The dende oil production process is completely manual and requires time and energy. For this reason, many of the few Bahian dende oil producers are giving up the traditional production technique with mortar.
Health benefits of Dende oil
In recent years, more people are looking for safer and healthier alternative fats to replace our traditional edible oils because we know how unhealthy they are. Clinical research has shown that most of the fats and oils that we have used for decades, such as refined and processed vegetable oils and margarine, are very harmful to health. It is not a wise choice if you want a healthy lifestyle and a longer lifespan. Here are some of the health benefits of dende oil.
- Dende Oil is not like bad fats, which are detrimental to our liver, brain function, and overall health. It is a completely safe alternative that can help increase our productivity and improve our health both physically and mentally.
- Dende oil has a unique composition of saturated fat that makes it perfect for frying food. This is because saturated fat is very stable and can withstand high heat without breaking down. Most types of oils begin to decompose when exposed to high heat, losing all of their useful and healthy components.
- The beta-carotenes in Dende oil aren’t just responsible for its reddish color. Beta carotenes play an important role in increasing your energy levels and improving your hormonal balance. The importance of having a balanced hormone level is because of the skin problem that everyone has faced at some point in their life, like acne. The content of beta-carotene in Dende oil can help with skin problems like acne as hormonal imbalance is a major cause of skin problems.
- Dende oil is another natural source that is equally effective in improving our eyesight. By using Dende oil instead of common, unhealthy oils, you can prevent various eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Dende oil promotes a healthy balance between HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) in your body. The cholesterol in the body consists of a good type and the bad type. The good cholesterol in the body is also known as HDL which is high-density lipoprotein, while the bad cholesterol in the body is called LDL is known as low-density lipoprotein. Higher HDL levels have been linked to less heart disease, a lower risk of heart attacks, and healthier lives in general. On the other hand, LDL has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, arteriosclerosis, heart attack, and general health deterioration. Because of this, you generally want to have higher levels of HDL and lower levels of LDL in your body. Dende Oil can do this for you.
- Dende oil helps lower the risk of cancer, which was recently discovered by scientists. Dende oil contains a high amount of tocopherols, which are a form of vitamin E. These tocopherols are powerful antioxidants, which makes Dende oil one of the richest natural sources of antioxidants.
Perhaps the only thing to watch out for when using Dende oil is that it shouldn’t be used by someone with abnormally high levels of LDL. If your lipid profile shows that your LDL levels are inexplicably rising, possibly due to a genetic disease or something else, it would be better not to use Dende oil as it contains LDL. Other than that, this oil is completely safe and something to include in your diet for a healthier, longer life.