Coconut oil has sparked quite a bit of controversy in the recent weeks since the American Health Association raised it's red flag on the product due to its high saturated fat content. What they failed to point out is every thing, even things that are deemed healthy, can fight back when eaten outside of moderate levels. I'm here to try and redeem coconut oil's reputation by giving you the inside scoop on its benefits and the contents of this fine superfood.
I have been wondering about where to begin on Coconut Oil since I began writing. It just has so many uses: stove to body, inside and out, from head to toe, this is something that you should ALWAYS have on hand. When choosing coconut oils, it is always best to go with extra virgin. Although it will cost you more, it is a better quality, therefore more beneficial and worth the cost in the end, trust me.
It is great for cooking at high temperatures, it won't burn like most oils or pop and splatter. Usually on the jar you buy, it says the max temperature the oil can be heated to if there is any that applies. Coconut oil has a shelf life of two years, although a regular sized jar doesn't last two weeks in my house!
What sets coconut oil apart from other oils? Why is it so healthy, huh? Well, I'll tell you!
Coconut oil is predominantly a MEDIUM CHAIN FATTY ACID (but I'm probably going to call those MCFAs because that's a lot to type) which makes it very special. Most other oils are LONG CHAIN FATTY ACIDS (or LCFAs, I'm hoping you get the picture?). Our bodies break down and metabolize fatty acids differently, but when it comes to coconut oil, the break down of its fatty acids has no negative effects on cholesterol and studies have shown that it even lowers the risk of heart disease. I'm serious when it comes to eating foods that lower the risk of heart disease. It is such a high cause of death in our country and can be prevented just by eating the right foods and cutting out the bad ones.
When our bodies break down common oils, the liver and gall bladder are needed because the LCFAs are present, but with coconut oil, since it is a MCFA, the liver and gall bladder get to take a break. Do you want to know what this causes?
It's an immediate rush for your metabolism, causing it to boost between 45-65% (depending on body fat), and circulation, causing your body to warm up and make you want to move!
Do you know what's great about your body temperature rising? Fat digestion.
Do you know what's great about fat digestion? Weight loss.
Can I also say that it is a great blood sugar stabilizer and food craving controller? Do you know who that is especially great for? People with diabetes!
Are you reading this on the way to the store to buy some coconut oil yet?! Well, BE CAREFUL! The best part is... I'm not even halfway done.
When I was 16, I got the dreadful "kissing disease" MONO. I'm pretty sure I didn't get it from kissing anyone, I was barely a sophomore in high school, but you can draw your own conclusions. Anyways, I was down for the count for six months. I lost twenty pounds. I had to have teachers come teach me at home because I was too sick to go to school. It was bad. I was in and out of the doctor's office twice a week, but mono is a virus that there is nothing you can do for except rest. Well, I rested, and finally got over it, but my poor immune system never fully recovered. Every time anyone around me got sick, I got sick, but I didn't just get sick, I got extremely ill.
It has been that way for almost eight years and it wasn't until about three months ago, when I began vigorously introducing organic foods, along with coconut oil, into my diet, that things started changing for me.
This past weekend, my husband was really sick with a head cold, and I spent most of the weekend nursing him back to health. Now, normally, I would be too sick to even be sitting up to type this post because his sickness would have came and attacked my body, and I would have sorely lost. Instead, all I got was one day. ONE DAY!
Yesterday, I had the worst stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezy, congested head cold, but I could still function. I still got up early, did my morning routine, went to the eye doctor, exercised, studied, cooked dinner, and it wasn't until last night that I actually felt drained. So what did I do? Took a shower, laid down with my husband and went to sleep early. I woke up this morning feeling rested, recovered, and I can breathe perfectly.
THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE! This is such great improvement, I feel wonderful!
Let me tell you what I think contributed to it:
Lauric acid. Coconut oil is, yes, a saturated fat. A high percentage of this saturated fat is Lauric Acid though, and you want to know what Lauric Acid turns into? A toxin that is known to destroy the lipid membranes of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms, therefore destroying them.
Basically, Coconut Oil is a great healer for bacterial infections, an excellent immunity booster/repairer, and helps reduce incidences of illnesses.
Have I mentioned its a great moisturizer?!
You can use it right out of the jar, or make your own lotion out of it.
To make my own lotion out of it, I take about half a jar of Coconut Oil, place it in a medium sized bowl, and just mix it with an electric mixer. NOT A BLENDER. THEY ARE TOO HOT AND WILL JUST MELT THE OIL. If you want to add some essential oils, that's your call. This is a great moisturizer to rub in your temples if your stressed or have a migraine, so adding some Essential Lavender Oil would be a great idea if that's what you're into. It's also a great moisturizer for eczema!
If you have dandruff, massage the oil into your scalp a few times a week.
Have you ever heard of CANDIDA?
Probably not, but it is the culprit behind many misdiagnosed health problems.
Symptoms associated with candida are: fatigue, poor memory, mood swings, chronic coughs, frequent sinus infections, reoccurring fungal infections, blurred vision, sugar cravings, and abdominal pain.
Something like 40 million Americans suffer from candida and don't know it. They get the symptoms treated, instead of dealing with the root of the problem. Again, America lives through chemistry. Diet and nutrition are our best options to save our health.
OK, so what the hell does candida have to do with Coconut Oil? Well, in countries where coconuts are a regularly consumed food, candida is pretty low. Hmmm... interesting observation.
Well, this all goes back to Lauric Acid, and now she has a friend named Caprylic Acid. Both of those bad bitches together target harmful bacteria growth and destroy it, but just wave a friendly hello to the nice bacteria as they pass.
Well that's pretty awesome, right?
There are so many other health benefits, I've composed a list, if you want more information about any of them, just let me know :)
CONTINUED HEALTH BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL
NATURAL REMEDY FOR PNEUMONIA
ASSISTS IN BONE HEALTH AND CHRONIC FATIGUE
PROTECTS AGAINST CANCER AND HIV
LOWERS INCIDENCE OF HEMORRHOIDS
COLD SORE HEALER
REDUCES JOINT AND MUSCLE INFLAMMATION
ENRICHES MOTHER'S MILK
FADES KERATOSIS PILARIS
KILLS HERPES VIRUS
YEAST INFECTION RELIEF
HELPS ABSORB MINERALS
BUG BITE RELIEF
HEALS CUTS AND SCRAPES
KILLS FOOT AND NAIL FUNGUS
SPEEDS UP HEALING PROCESS OF BRUISES
ACID REFLUX REDUCER
BLOOD SUGAR STABILIZER
FOOD CRAVING CONTROLLER
MENSTRUAL CRAMP RELIEF
AIDES WITH DIGESTION
BALANCES BODY WEIGHT
CREATES HEALTHY SKIN AND HAIR
BOOSTS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Hopefully I was able to shed a more positive light on Coconut Oil and it's wonderful benefits. Be advised though: a fat is still a fat, so despite its many benefits, coconut oil should be consumed in moderation with its caloric density taken into consideration at all times.