What about Coconut oil…?
It’s been called “the healthiest oil on earth,” and that just might be true. Coconut oil has been used for centuries in Ayurveda because of its healing properties and positive effects on the body and mind. And now, coconut oil is making its way into mainstream popularity as one of the ultimate superfoods.
Modern adopters know that coconut oil is ideal for cooking under high heat, and it adds a tasty flavor to meals, but many people don’t know its true potential. To find out what coconut oil can do for you, Coconut Oil for health let’s take a look back at some of the ancient wisdom and traditions.
What about Coconut oil…?
Ever heard of oil pulling? Well before the invention of toothpaste, the act of swishing oil around the mouth was a method of cleansing the mouth of bacteria and for helping to heal the nasty ravages of periodontal disease. An abundance of MCT’s is the reason why coconut oil is one of the many effective oils to pull with. Basically, the oil lifts the bacteria from the surfaces within the mouth and that’s great because removing oral bacteria greatly reduces your risk of disease around your gums Coconut Oil for health. Experts recommend coconut oil pulling 3 times a week for 20 minutes a day to protect your mouth and its valuable contents.
Coconut Oil for Hair– This nourishing oil has been used for centuries in hair and its unique fat composition makes it especially beneficial for certain hair types. Use it as a hair mask, hot oil treatment, or in homemade hair products.
- Rub into scalp daily to stimulate hair growth
- Or use in homemade shampoo bars
- A tiny dab rubbed on your hands and then through hair makes a great anti-frizz treatment
- As an incredibly intensive natural conditioner- Rub into dry hair, put a shower cap on and leave for several hours before washing out with several rounds of shampoo
A 2004 study published in the journal of Neurobiology of Aging demonstrated that the MCT’s found in coconut oil improved the memory problems their older subjects were experiencing. All patients felt the benefits of coconut oil in the study and saw a marked improvement in their recall ability after taking the fatty acid. It’s though that this is due to MCT’s being absorb more easily in the body. As they can be accessed in the brain without the use of insulin, they are able to more efficient fuel brain cells.
It’s a Long Term, Weight Loss Godsend
A meta-analysis of 13 studies published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) can help you lose weight. When they replace long-chain triglycerides (like those from soybean and canola oil) in your diet. A Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology showed that the MCT in coconut oil can increase diet-induced thermogenesis in humans by as much as 6 percent. And yet another study found MCTs to increase 24-hour energy expenditure in humans by as much as 5 percent. Now, burning an extra 100-120 calories per day might not sound like much but over a year, it amounts to at least 36,000 calories. That’s more cals than you’d find in over 10 pounds of dangerous and unsightly belly fat.
It Kills Bacteria
Around half of the fatty acids in coconut oil are lauric acid. Lauric acid is particularly good at killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi; therefore, it’s great in helping you stave off infections when use externally. To get the most potent antibacterial properties, a Journal of Medicinal Food study find virgin coconut oil—rather than refine—to be your best bet.
On the other hand, when you ingest coconut oil, it reacts with enzymes to forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin. And guess what? Monolaurin is great for killing harmful pathogens, too! In addition to keeping all kinds of nastiness at bay, both of these substances have been shown to kill the bacteria and very dangerous pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus and the yeast Candida albicans, which is a common source of yeast infections. The benefits of coconut oil don’t end there though.
Coconut oil is high in natural saturate fats. That may not sound like a positive but the saturated fats in coconuts work in a different way. Than those found in animal-derived foods like butter, cream, cheese and meat. According to an Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine study, coconut oil increases. The healthy cholesterol (known as HDL) in your body. By increasing the HDL in the body and changing the ratio of HDL to LDL. The saturated fat in coconut oil helps promote heart health and lower the risk of heart disease.
Allergic to Coconut?
So coconut is great, but many people are allergic or intolerant to it.
I’m often asked what alternatives there are to coconut products for those who are allergic. Those who can’t tolerate coconut may find these alternatives helpful:
- Oils: Instead of coconut, try using palm shortening or oil or animal based fats like lard, butter or tallow. These fats are solid at room temperature like coconut oil is and substitute well in recipes. In recipes calling for a liquid oil, avocado oil and sesame oil substitute well.
- Flour: Coconut Flour is a great grain-free high-fiber flour. But those who can’t tolerate it can experiment with almond flour, cassava flour or oat fiber.
- Milk: Coconut milk is a common alternative for those who can’t tolerate dairy products. But pecan milk, cashew milk, and almond milk are good alternatives. Rice milk is also an option for those with nut allergies.