Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can actually be classified as a superfood. There is such a hype surrounding the product that it really makes you wonder what the sudden ubiquitousness of this tropical plant is all about.
It contains a unique combination of fatty acids with powerful medicinal properties
Coconut oil contains what is known as medium chain fatty triglycerides, which are fatty acids of a medium length. Most are considered to be long-chain in fatty acids, but coconut oil is metabolized differently. They go from the liver to the digestive tract, where they are then used as a quick source of energy.
Places that eat coconut oil are considered to be the healthiest on the planet
Coconut oil is still considered to be an exotic food in our Western Society, primarily consumed by health conscious people. In some parts of the world, however, coconut oil is a dietary staple. In the South Pacific, they eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts, and they are the largest consumers of saturated fat in the world. They also have excellent health, not even a shred of evidence leading to heart disease.
Helps to control weight
One 2009 Study looked at the weight loss link between consumption of coconut oil and found that it reduced abdominal obesity. Coconut is easy to digest, and also protects the body from insulin resistance.
Good Source of Lauric Acid
The lauric acid in coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, and help stave off infections. When the oil is enzymatically digested, it forms a monoglyceride known as Monolaurin. Lauric acid and monolaurin help to kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
They can reduce seizures
A ketogenic diet is a low carb diet that is very high in fat; this leads to increased concentrations in ketone bodies in the blood. For some reason, this type of diet can reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children.
Many people suffer from digestive issues; those people should consider adding coconut oil into their diets. Coconut oil benefits digestive disorders including IBS and microbial stomach bugs. The fatty acids contain antimicrobials that have a soothing effect on bacteria, candida, and even parasites that cause poor digestion.
Helps to Manage Type 2 Diabetes
A recent study done by the Garvin Institute of Medical Research showed that coconut oil helps to protect against insulin resistance, thereby reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Cooks at high temperatures
Because of the medium chain fatty acids, coconut oil has a higher smoking temperature than most oils. You might find that you like it better than your usual olive oil, especially if you are cooking recipes that require a higher cooking temperature. Olive oil oxidizes when it reaches smoke point causing free radicals.
Slows Fine lines and aging signs
Coconut oil is not just for consumption, but it has many beauty benefits as well! It helps to keep the connective tissue strong, preventing wrinkles and skin sagging. Apply the oil directly to your face to soften the appearance of fine lines or use it daily to give a lovely moisturizing glow!
Kill Your hunger, and make you eat less without trying
One of the best things about coconut oil is that it can reduce hunger. It may be related to the way that fatty acids in it are metabolized, because of the ketone bodies can have an appetite reducing effect.
The Many Ways To Use Coconut Oil
If you haven’t already started using coconut oil, there are many ways that you can get this nutrient packed powerhouse into your diet/lifestyle:
- In Cooking: Coconut oil is a stable oil that doesn’t break down easily at high temperatures like other oils do. It doesn’t go rancid easily and has amazing nutritional properties. It is great for cooking eggs, stir fries, grain free baked goods, and practically any other cooking use.
- Skin Lotion: Coconut oil is without question my favorite body lotion. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave an oily feeling at all. It makes skin incredibly silky and has wonderful antibacterial/antimicrobial properties. I use it after showering, and on my hands after washing each time I change diapers or do dishes. My hands don’t ever get dry, even in winter. If you want to get really creative, add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil for scent.
- In Smoothies: It’s sweet and nutty taste makes coconut oil a great addition to smoothies. It creates a wonderfully creamy texture and makes smoothies rich and smooth. It also adds a bounty of nutrients and a big dose of healthy fats.
- Homemade Mayo: If you’ve never made your own mayo, try it today! Making mayo is really simple and the taste of homemade mayo beats store-bought versions hands down. By making mayo with a mix of coconut and olive oils, you get a great dose of saturated and monounsaturated fats without the additives and artificial ingredients.
- Great Snacks: Because it is so filling and nutrient dense, coconut oil is a great addition (or base) for healthy snacks. These Chocolate Coconut Clusters are a favorite at my house, and I feel good knowing my kids are getting immune and brain boosting lauric acid! Since coconut oil is solid at cold temperatures, it is great for making no bake cookies and desserts in the fridge or freezer.
- Eye Make Up Remover: Coconut oil is an excellent eye-make up remover that has been reported to help remove wrinkles and help restore elasticity to the skin. Did I mention it also smells great?
- Dandruff Remedy and Hair Conditioner: Coconut oil can effectively get rid of dandruff when rubbed into the scalp a couple times a week. It does make hair oily, of course, but I recommend massaging into the scalp before bed and leaving in overnight before rinsing out in the morning. It also helps strengthen hair and add shine.
- For Shaving: Using coconut oil in the shower as a shaving soap gives a smooth shave with no irritation (speaking from a woman’s perspective here, don’t know about how it would work for guys). I usually rub on before getting in the shower and then shave in the shower. It doesn’t wash off and moisturizes legs while getting them silky!
- Massage Oil: Coconut oil makes a great tropical smelling massage oil. In the rare occasions I can talk my husband into a shoulder massage, coconut oil is definitely my choice.
- In Coffee or Tea: As strange as this might sounds, melting a teaspoon or so of coconut oil in a hot beverage is an easy way to get extra coconut in for the health benefits. I usually add a little to some green tea or herbal tea in the morning. It does take a little getting used to, and is certainly not for everyone, but I like it!