Coconut oil , once thought as a heart disease causing saturated fat is now been proclaimed ‘the healthiest oil on earth.’
Discover how this transformation came about and the top 12 benefits of this newly declared PowerFood.
How Did Coconut Oil Get a Bad Reputation?
- It started because coconut oil is saturated oil. Saturated oils were understood to raise blood cholesterol and cause heart disease.
- A specific study 40 years ago then seemed to verify this concern. Yes it did increase heart disease.
But what no one at the time seemed to take into account was that this study was done on hydrogenated coconut. Now the problems with hydrogenated oils is well documented by numerous studies. Even the general unhealthy theory of saturated fats is now suspect.
Coconut oil has been used throughout Asia and the Pacific for thousands of years as both a food and a medicine.
In tropical climates like Polynesia, Sri Lanka and the Yucatan where they have a diet high in coconut oil, the people are healthier, have less heart disease, cancer and colon problems than unsaturated fat eaters. It is now accepted that there is good cholesterol and there are good saturated fats.
To quote Dr. Mary Enig: “The research over four decades concerning coconut oil in the diet and heart disease is quite clear: coconut oil has been shown to be beneficial.”
Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil (cold pressed):
Research shows that coconut oil contains a medium-chain fatty acids accelerate that stimulates metabolism, gives you more energy.
2. Get candida in check:
Coconut oil has a good quantity of caprylic acid in it which is well known to kill off excess candida by targeting harmful bacteria.
3. Lowers cholesterol:
It is rich in lauric acid which protects your heart by reducing total cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.
4. Helps with weight loss:
Here is an interesting fact about coconut oil; even though it is a fat, it actually helps weight loss! Read more here: Weight Loss With Coconut Oil.
The healthy medium chain fatty acids do not circulate in the bloodstream like other fats; they are sent directly to the liver and are converted into energy. Thus the body does not store the fat in coconut oil as fat; it uses it to produce energy instead.
5. Helps keep diabetes in check:
Coconut oil does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream. Instead it helps in controlling blood sugar by improving the secretion of insulin. Note: This is not a free pass to eat a lot of sugar and other dumb carbs.
6. Reduces heart disease: studies on people in the Pacific Islands found that their total caloric was 30 – 60% from fully saturated coconut oil and have nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease.
7. Helps absorption:
Combining Vitamin E supplements with coconut oil through the skin was a good alternative for those with gastrointestinal malabsorption diseases. Study in Canada 1999 University of Western Ontario
8. Supports the immune system.
It is rich in lauric acid, a nutrient that supports the body’s immune system.
9. Good for the skin:
When applied externally it forms a protective antibacterial layer protecting the infected body part. Also, speeds up the healing process of bruises by helping to repair damaged tissue. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/coconut-oil-super-powers-pt-2
10. Nourishing for the brain:
Studies show that is improves cognitive function, and stalls or even reverses neurodegenerative diseases in their early stages. It has been shown to help with Alzheimer’s Disease.
11. Ancient medicine:
Coconut oil is part of Ayurvedic medicine for 5000 years in India.
12. Speeds Recovery:
People in Panama drink a glass of coconut oil to protect themselves from illness and it is also believed to speed recovery from sickness.
Read about the numerous research studies done on coconut oil: Coconut Oil Research
“Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the anti-viral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria…” according to research by Dr. Mary Enig
- Spanish explorers called it coco, which means ‘monkey face’. They thought that the three indentations on the hairy nut looked like the head and face of a monkey. They called it ‘Coco’, named after a grimacing face or hobgoblin.
- When ‘coco’ came to England, they added nut to it and that’s how the name came about.
- The natives of Hawaii anointed Captain Cook with coconut oil during their Makahiki festival in 1778. This was an offering to the gods and was a time of spiritual cleansing.
- Captain Cook and his sailors were struck by the health and beauty of the people on Polynesian islands.
- Philippines is the top Coconut producing country
Unsaturated oils in cooked foods become rancid within a few hours, even in the refrigerator. Once fresh unsaturated fats are inside the body, they oxidize (turn rancid). Coconut oil does not go rancid even after one year at room temperature. Most of the saturated fat in coconut oil is easy to digest and converted into quick energy so people are less likely to become obese as the fat is not stored.
Coconut Oil Nutrition:
- Is nature’s richest source of lauric acid which protects your heart by reducing total cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.
- Has a small amount of vitamins and minerals.
- Choline is one of the most abundant nutrients (0.3 mg per 100 g of oil).
- Vitamin E (0.9 mg per 100 g of oil) and vitamin K (0.5 mcg per 100 g of oil). Both vitamins are important for cardiovascular health.
- Contains a small amount of iron (0.04 mg per 100 g of oil).
- 1 tablespoon has 120 calories.
How is Virgin Coconut Oil made?
Fresh coconut flesh is used also called non-copra.
Chemicals and high heat are not used.
There are currently two main processes of manufacturing Virgin Coconut Oil:
1. Quick drying of fresh coconut flesh. Low heat is used to quick dry the coconut; the oil is then pressed out with mechanical means.
2. Wet-milling. The oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat without drying first. Coconut milk is made by pressing. Then the oil is separated from the water. The methods used to separate the oil from the water include boiling, fermentation, refrigeration, enzymes and mechanical centrifuge.
How To Use Coconut Oil
Discover great tasting recipes, when and how to use coconut oil and when other oils are more appropriate by clicking on this link How to Use Coconut Oil.
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