November 13, 2012

Coconut Oil ...natures hidden jem!

I love coconuts, shredded, toasted, milk, etc and just recently, I   L O V E  coconut oil.  There was a time when this oil was looked down upon...what a big mistake, as this humble nut has so many great uses.

These two lovely's are in my kitchen right now

Here is some info on the oil ...I'm posting some excerpts from it but you can read more at these links
The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and soothing properties.
Coconut oil is used extensively in tropical countries especially India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Phillipines etc, which have a good production of coconut oil. The oil was also once popular in western countries such as United States and Canada; however, there was a strong propoganda in 1970s spread by the corn oil and soy oil industry against coconut oil. Coconut oil was considered harmful for the human body due to its high saturated fat content till the last decade (2000s) when people started questioning this propoganda. Let us get into some details of how coconut oil works for our body. 

Weight Loss

Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.


Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

Healing and Infections

When applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil is most effective on bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.
Infections: Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, etc. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc.
How to Use Coconut Oil?:
If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially hair care, just melt the oil (if it is solid) by keeping the bottle in the sun or warm water. You can also take some coconut oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame (do not use microwave). Then take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair. If you want to use it for internal consumption, simply replace butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your recipes. Remember, you need not switch to coconut oil completely, as you will miss the benefits of other oils and dairy products.

Can I Use Coconut Oil for Cooking?: Yes, in most of the tropical coastal regions, people use coconut oil for cooking. 
Some benefits of the 'meat' of fresh Coconut
A few of the health benefits that can result by consuming fresh meat consistently are:
  • It helps to regulate digestion and elimination.
  • It assists in weight loss.
  • It's a powerful germ fighter.
Almost half the weight of fresh meat comes from water. It also contains less sugar than meat from other fruits like oranges or apples.
The mineral levels of iron, phosphorous and zinc are high.
Mature meat keeps longer than younger meat but is still perishable. It must be stored in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.

I've been trying to eat a few teaspoons daily - it is said to increase your metabolism and as other fats somehow coconut oil does not end up as stored fat, it is all burned off! Amazing really!!
I've been also putting it in big boy's milk smoothie/shake he doesn't even know it's in there (I also sneak in ground flax - sneaky Mommy)
I do find that when I eat coconut oil - I've been putting it on toast with cinnamon and honey - that I do not get as hungry as quickly, I really believe that it helps with your diet.

A note on Coconut oil: 
Make sure you are buying un-refined, virgin, or raw coconut oil - other than that they may be processed and lose all of it's health benefits.  Probably a good idea to buy a higher end one, as the cheaper ones just might be refined and over processed.

So get out there and start to add coconut oil to your cooking, baking, and drinks!

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