Shea Butter: Why It's Known as "Women's Gold"
Image Credit: Unsplash

We often hear about its benefits for the skin, but did you know it can also be a great addition to your kitchen? Have you ever heard of using shea butter in cooking? In fact, shea butter is so important in Africa that it's sometimes referred to as "Women's Gold." Shea butter is a type of fat that comes from the nut of the African shea tree. It's packed with essential fatty acids and vitamins, making it a healthy cooking oil option that adds a unique flavour to your dishes. Shea butter is high in essential fatty acids such as oleic, stearic, linoleic, and palmitic acids, as well as vitamins A, D, E, and K. It's a staple ingredient in many traditional African recipes and can be used in a variety of dishes, from stews to baked goods. So why not give it a try and add a touch of African flavour to your cooking?

How Did Shea Butter Get The Name "Women's Gold"?

Don't confuse it with thinking that shea butter got the title because it is usually used in beauty products. The real reason is quite deep. Shea butter is called "women's gold" because it is a valuable and precious resource for women in many African communities. Just like gold, shea butter is a valuable commodity that can be traded or sold, and it's a source of income for many women in these communities. The process of making shea butter is also a time-honoured tradition that's passed down from generation to generation, and it's often done by women in the community. So, just like gold is a symbol of wealth and power, shea butter is a symbol of the strength and resourcefulness of women in these communities. Plus, just like gold is precious and rare, shea butter is a rare and precious ingredient that's prized for its many benefits for the skin and hair. So, next time you use shea butter, remember that you're using a special and valuable ingredient that's been treasured by women for centuries.

Cooking With Shea Butter

Cooking with shea butter can be a unique way to add some flavour and nutrition to your meals! First things first, make sure you're using food-grade shea butter (not the kind you put on your skin). Once you have that, you can use shea butter in place of regular butter or oil in many recipes. For example, you could melt some shea butter in a pan and sauté some vegetables for a healthy and flavorful side dish. Or, you could use shea butter in your baking recipes, like cookies or muffins, for a nutty and delicious twist. You could even try making a shea butter sauce to drizzle over your favourite dishes, like grilled chicken or roasted vegetables. Just melt some shea butter in a saucepan and stir in your favourite herbs and spices, like garlic, thyme, or rosemary, for a tasty and nutritious sauce. Overall, cooking with shea butter is a fun and creative way to experiment with new flavours and add some healthy fats to your diet.

Flavour Profile

Shea butter has a unique and nutty flavour profile with a slightly sweet undertone that's both delicious and nutritious. Some people describe the flavour as being similar to that of toasted almonds or hazelnuts. It's especially tasty when paired with sweet or savoury flavours, like in a nutty cookie recipe or a savoury vegetable stir-fry. Plus, shea butter is full of healthy fats and nutrients, so you can feel good about adding it to your meals, which brings us to the amazing benefits of shea butter.

Health Benefits Of Shea Butter

Aids Heart Health

Shea butter is good for the heart because it contains healthy fats that can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. The main type of fat found in shea butter is called oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid that's been shown to have heart-healthy benefits.

When you eat foods that are high in unhealthy fats, like saturated and trans fats, they can raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease. But when you eat foods that are high in healthy fats, like shea butter, they can help to lower your cholesterol levels and protect your heart.

Boosts Immunity

Shea butter can give your immune system a boost because it contains antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage and keep your immune system healthy. Antioxidants are like little superheroes that can help fight off harmful substances called free radicals, which can damage your cells and weaken your immune system. Shea butter is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, which can help neutralise free radicals and support your immune system.

Enhances Skin

Eating shea butter can help your skin look and feel great because it contains healthy fats and nutrients that nourish your skin from the inside out!

The nutrients are absorbed into your bloodstream and carried to your skin cells. This can help to keep your skin hydrated, plump, and glowing. Shea butter is especially rich in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect your skin from damage and keep it looking youthful.