The first time I heard someone promoting coconut oil I nearly barfed. You see, I used to work at a movie theatre and we cooked the popcorn in this horrible, glutinous goldenrod FAT that actually turned our fingers orange. That’s what I thought coconut oil was! I swear, it could easily break a big wooden spoon as we scooped it out for the popper.
I’ve recently learned: Medical research is in agreement that at least 30% of our daily nutritional intake should be made up of healthy fats or oil. However, the structures of different oils are as diverse as nature itself. The first studies of coconut oil came from the use of hydrogenated oil [which has been processed and altered from its original form], not on virgin coconut oil. That study negatively and unnecessarily skewed our feelings toward coconut oil until recently.
People are still fat-phobic! [Really fat people are still fat phobic!] They connect eating healthy fat with being fat. They should, instead, connect eating junk, sugar, sugar substitutes, preservatives, processed foods, sodas, fast food, ‘diet food,’ etc. with being really fat!
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 coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.
Apart from coconut oil, the only other source of lauric acid found in such high concentrations is in mother’s milk. Tropical oils and mother’s milk are by far the richest food sources of medium chain fatty acids available.
Weight Loss: Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help take off excessive weight. It’s also easy to digest and helps the healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. It increases our body’s metabolism by removing stress on the pancreases, so we burn more energy.
Coconut In Modern Medicine
Modern medical science is now confirming the use of coconut in treating many of the above conditions [listed up there in the fourth paragraph.] Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or another, may provide a wide range of health benefits. Some of these are summarized below:
- Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
- Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
- Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
- Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
- Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
- Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
- Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
- Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
- Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
- Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.
- Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
- Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
- Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
- Helps protect against osteoporosis.
- Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
- Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
- Improves digestion and bowel function.
- Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Supports tissue healing and repair.
- Supports and aids immune system function.
- Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
- Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.
- Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.
- Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
- Functions as a protective antioxidant.
- Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
- Does not deplete the body’s antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
- Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
- Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
- Reduces epileptic seizures.
- Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
- Dissolves kidney stones.
- Helps prevent liver disease.
- Is lower in calories than all other fats.
- Supports thyroid function.
- Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
- Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
- Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
- Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
- Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
- Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
- Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
- Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
- Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
- Provides protection form damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun.
- Helps control dandruff.
- Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
- Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
- Is completely non-toxic to humans.
Seriously!?! That’s quite the list! How to use coconut oil in your diet? Here’s a great site that is succinct and easy to read. Go to the store and get some virgin coconut oil and educate yourself on the many health benefits of this great food.