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By Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer
Ackee as a fruit is certainly special to us Jamaicans. It is, after all, part of our national dish. Not only is it incredibly delicious, but it is also packed with nutritional benefits.
What came to me as a surprise, is that there is such a thing as ackee oil. Not that it is a difficult idea to wrap your mind around though, because ackee is quite fatty, so it is natural to assume that it could produce oil.
Well, curiosity got the best of Hephzibah, and she decided to figure out a way to make her very own ackee oil from home. She first removed the seeds from the fruit, cut the fruit into small pieces and let them dry. After placing the dried ackee in a cloth sack, using a double boiler system she steams the ackee to soften it for removing the oil. She then used a pestle to beat the ackee, and then using her hands, she squeezed the ackee oil from the cloth sack.
Of course, Wellesley was there to capture it all, so take a look at the video at the end. However, before we get to the video, Hephzibah uses ackee oil mostly as a moisturizer for her skin, as it possesses incredible anti-ageing properties. Let's look at some of the amazing benefits of ackee oil.
Ackee oil is a wellspring of heart-healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats play a crucial role in promoting cardiovascular well-being. Monounsaturated fats, in particular, have been associated with improving blood cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Rich in essential fatty acids, ackee oil provides a balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for maintaining various bodily functions, including reducing inflammation, supporting brain health, and contributing to skin health.
Antioxidants are vital components that shield the body's cells from oxidative stress caused by harmful free radicals. Ackee oil contains notable amounts of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that assists in protecting cells from damage. Incorporating ackee oil into your diet may contribute to overall cellular health and longevity.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to a range of health issues, from cardiovascular diseases to autoimmune conditions. Some components found in ackee oil, such as plant-based sterols, have the potential to mitigate inflammation. By including ackee oil in your diet, you could aid in maintaining a healthy inflammatory response.
The ackee fruit itself is recognized for its immune-boosting properties due to its content of vitamins and minerals. Ackee oil, derived from the fruit, may offer similar benefits. Nutrients like vitamin C and zinc are crucial for maintaining a robust immune system, and the presence of these nutrients in ackee oil could contribute to enhanced immune function.
Beyond its internal benefits, ackee oil has shown promise in promoting skin health. Its antioxidant properties can aid in protecting the skin from damage caused by environmental factors and UV radiation. When applied topically, ackee oil's fatty acids can help maintain skin's moisture and enhance its natural barrier function.
Ackee oil is a source of various essential nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals are integral for maintaining proper nerve function, muscle contraction, and bone health.
Apart from its health advantages, ackee oil's delicate and slightly nutty flavour elevates a wide range of culinary creations. Its use as a cooking oil or a drizzle can impart a unique Caribbean essence to dishes, offering a memorable taste experience.
Jamaican ackee oil is more than just a culinary novelty; it's a nutritional powerhouse that can contribute to heart health, immune support, and radiant skin. Its unique blend of fatty acids, antioxidants, and essential nutrients makes it a versatile addition to both the kitchen and your wellness routine. If you decide to try ackee oil for your skin, remember to do a patch test first, especially if you have sensitive skin, to prevent irritation and possible breakouts.
Take a look at the video below as Hephzibah shows how exactly how to make ackee oil from scratch.
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