Butter: What is Shea Butter and its Benefits

Shea Butter

The shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) grows in the region of Togo, central and northern Africa. Fats derived from the shea fruit include shea butter (Shea Spread). The fruit contains a seed that can use to extract oil. Refined and unrefined shea butter is available. Rooibos seeds are hand-fermented into shea oil. In the production process, use some chemicals to remove the refined shea butter from the seeds.

To treat skin conditions or reduce wrinkles, seed butter is commonly applied topically. Creams and lotions often contain shea butter. A common ingredient in African cooking is shea spread. 

Nutritional information that you should know

Shea butter has the following nutrition information per tablespoon (13,6g).

Nutritional information: 120 calories

  • Amount of fat: 14g
  • Amount of sodium: 0mg
  • 0 mg of carbohydrates
  • 0mg fiber
  • 0 mg of sugar
  • 0 mg of protein
  • Shea butter contains carbs.

Shea spread does not contain carbohydrates. Hence, sugar, starch, and fiber are missing in this food.

Shea nut butter has neither a glycemic load nor a glycemic index.

The fats in shea butter

Shea spread contains only fat calories. In addition to stearic, linoleic, and palmitic fatty acids, researchers recognized other fatty compounds in the oil. 

You can use a single course of this food and drink 14 grams of fat. The serving size is one tablespoon.

Shea butter contains about half monounsaturated fat (about 6 grams). Around 6 grams of fat (the other half) is saturated fat. The fat content of shea butter is low (almost 1 gram) due to polyunsaturated fats.

Is Shea butter contains protein.

Shea butter does not contain any protein.

Shea butter is rich in micronutrients.

Some claim that shea butter contains high levels of vitamin E (particularly those selling it for beauty purposes). However, the USDA still shows that shea spread does not contain vitamins or minerals.

Several health benefits

When you apply shea butter topically, you gain many of its health benefits. For example, emollient butter can keep skin smooth and soft for a long time. Also, it contains ingredients known to be helpful for people with eczema. Such as ingredients that can reduce skin swelling.

In addition to curing acne, muscle pain, sinus infections, wound healing, and hay fever, shea butter fans claim. It also has other benefits. Unfortunately, these claims do not have sufficient scientific proof to verify them. The research, however, is ongoing and preliminary results suggest ensuring anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 

May gain health benefits from eating shea spread due to its monounsaturated fat content. In addition, eating monounsaturated fats is also useful for your heart health. That will also lower your LDL cholesterol (also known as “bad” cholesterol). So, in addition to growing and maintaining your body’s cells, monounsaturated fats also help lower cholesterol levels.

There is a proportion of saturated fat in shea butter that is similar to that in monounsaturated fat. So, saturated fat increases your blood levels of bad cholesterol, which makes it a bad fat. 

 Prefer monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to less healthy (saturated) fats by consumers. Moreover, even healthy fats contain nine calories per gram instead of carbohydrates or protein that only provide 4 or 5 calories per gram.

It is possible to gain unwanted weight by consuming too many fats, even healthy fats.

Here are some recipes and tips for preparing them

If you don’t cook many African foods, you won’t find many recipes calling for shea spread. But some cooks use shea butter in the kitchen instead of other fats and oils.

Stir fry recipes. For instance, you can prepare using shea spread. Shea spread is vegan as well since it’s made from seeds rather than from dairy. So instead of butter, you can use this ingredient in baking recipes and grains.

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An overview of allergies and interventions

It is best to avoid eating or applying shea spread if you are allergic to tree nuts. That is because a distant relative of the Brazil nut is the shea nut. However, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), tree nuts may not trigger your allergic reaction in all people. 

The American Shea Butter Institute has not conducted clinical studies on unrefined shea spread and nut allergies. They, therefore, suggest avoiding shea spread for people who have nut allergies. 

However, allergist Dr. Scott Sicherer reports that “despite the theoretical chance of an allergy to these nuts (shea), the minimum amount of protein obtainable from these products may make an allergy to them extremely unlikely, including in someone with nut allergies.”

It would be best if you treated Nut allergies with care. Tree nut reactions may produce severe signs, according to the AAAAI. Therefore, tree nut allergic people should take epinephrine with them all the time.

For advice on avoiding an allergic reaction to shea nut spread, talk with your healthcare provider. ​


What is the best place to buy shea spread?

You can find the products made with shea spread in many beauty and cosmetic shops. In addition, online products also contain shea butter. Products such as lip gloss, lotions, hair conditioners, and soaps may fall into this section.

You can buy shea spread online or at specialty stores if you’re involved in cooking with it.

Shea butter can be refined or unrefined. What is the difference?

It is the method of giving it that distinguishes refined shea spread from unrefined. Require Hands-on processing to have unrefined shea butter. Make the finished product without chemicals. Instead, use chemicals and machines to refine shea spread.

The American Shea Butter Institute shows that it removes unwanted features, such as color, smell, and smells from unrefined shea spread. Typically, unrefined shea spread has a yellow or creamy color. Whereas refined butter normally is white and odorless.

As a result, it can remove bioactive nutrients during the refining process, making them less useful.

Is shea butter Safe in all forms?

You can cook with pure shea butter. However, may also find Shea spread in products that contain ingredients that aren’t safe.

Which beauty products contain shea butter?

The benefits of shea butter include:

  • Reducing stretch marks.
  • Decreasing redness under the nose associated with colds or the flu.
  • Reducing wrinkles and under-eye bags.
  • Improving skin elasticity.
  • Reducing cellulite.
  • Increasing the look of your lips. 

But, some of these uses have not been studied correctly. However, those treatments do not mean they are useless. Unfortunately, research has not been conducted to raise the benefits.

Is shea butter easy to store?

Needs to store Unrefined shea butter (especially) with care. Ensure that it is stored in a sealed container or tightly wrapped in plastic. Kept in a cool, dry place. It is better to store it away from your stove if you are using it for cooking. Storage properly can prolong its life by 18 to 24 months. A smoky, stinky smell shows that your shea spread has gone wrong. It would be best if you did not use it. 

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