Coconut Oil / Butter and it's Health Benefits
The humble coconut or rather it's oil, finally has its big moment. Who would have thought that something that delicious could be good for you. Yes, it's like having your cake and eating it too, and in the process of it, you don't get fat or add cholesterol, you get a host of benefits instead.
Even so Coconut oil consists of more than ninety percent of saturated fats, which may sound terrible to you after years of fat phobia, however "not all saturated fats are created equal".
Here are some reported beneficial properties, which are attributed to the 50% Lauric acid, Capric acid and Caprylic acid content.
The beneficial Coconut Oil properties are: antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti ageing
Weight loss, maintaining or lowering cholesterol levels, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, gallbladder stone prevention, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid, dental care, and bone strength, and many more...
Explanation of Benefits:
Most people know three kinds of fat, saturated, unsaturated and polyunsaturated.
However another classification is based on molecular size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid.
These are the short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA).
Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).
The vast majority of fats and oils in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or come from animals or plants, as in meat, milk, eggs, and plants, including most all vegetable oils, some 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are LCFA.
The size of the fatty acid is very important. We respond to and metabolise each fatty acid differently depending on its size.
The effects of MCFA in coconut oil are vastly different from those of LCFA .
MCFA with it's 50% lauric acid content, are assimilated very well, they do not have a negative effect on cholesterol and help to protect against heart disease.
MCFA help to lower the risk of heart disease, including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, it also reduces the incidence of injury in arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels.
It is primarily due to the MCFA in coconut oil that makes it so special and so beneficial.
Coconut oil is nature's richest source of these healthy MCFAs
.. but wait there is more ...
50 % of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat which is hardly found in any other food, is lauric acid.
Lauric acid is converted in our bodies into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.
Monolaurin is a monoglyceride which can destroy lipid coated viruses such as:
• HIV, herpes
• Influenza virus
• Various pathogenic bacteria
• Protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
Lauric acid is a powerful virus and gram-negative bacteria destroyer, and coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on earth!
Capric acid, another coconut fatty acid present in smaller amounts, is another antimicrobial.
This is one of the key reasons you should consider consuming coconut oil, because there aren't many sources of monolaurin in our diet.
Another powerful reason to switch to Coconut oil is the convenient fact, that it will support you eating less of the long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), which have some detrimental effect on your health, such as:
• LCFAs are difficult for your body to break down -- they require special enzymes for digestion.
• LCFAs put more strain on your pancreas, liver and your entire digestive system.
• LCFAs are predominantly stored in your body as fat.
• LCFAs can be deposited within your arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol.
• LCFAs are easy to go rancid, are not heat stable and should not be used for frying.
MCFAs however, are smaller, easily digested, easy to permeate cell membranes, and do not require special enzymes to be utilised effectively by your body.
MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
MCFAs help stimulate your body's metabolism, leading to weight loss.
Medical and scientific communities are now fairly united in the opinion that hydrogenated vegetable and seed oils should be avoided.
These unsaturated fats, artificially manipulated into saturated fats, are also called trans fats.
For more on Fats And Oils - click >> Diet Suggestion - and scroll down a bit...
Here are more reasons to use Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is extremely convenient in cooking. It is actually the only oil you ever should use for cooking, even frying.
Coconut oil is an excellent oil to use whenever high temperatures are needed, such as stir frys.
Since it is a stable cooking oil, you can simply replace unhealthy oils in the diet with it. Being solid most of the time at room temperature, it can be a butter or margarine substitute for spreads or for baking.
Any recipe calling for butter, margarine, or any other oil can be substituted with Coconut Oil. Many people simply eat it by the spoonful.
Try adding a tablespoon to coffee, or stir some into your oatmeal.
It helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. Does not deplete the body's antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
Coconut oil has anti microbial properties and helps combating various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that can cause indigestion.
Coconut oil also aids in absorption of other nutrients.
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.
Because of these beneficial properties esp. for an oil which can be used for cocking, you automatically eliminate one of the greatest health offenders, the heating of any other oil is causing oxidation problems and changes a good oil into a bad one. It has been always a controversy to buy a more expensive "cold pressed oil" for it's health benefits, and than start heating it up, it never made any sense.
All these problems are avoided by using Coconut oil for cooking, it will not destroy it's beneficial effect, and even if fried will not add cholesterol.
The perfect cooking oil, healthy, stable, does not go rancid, does not add LDL Cholseterol ( the bad one ) but increases HDL - the good cholesterol.
There are two types of cholesterol;
HDL - High Density Lipoproteins ... the good guys
LDL - Low Density Lipoproteins the bad one.
While the Bad Cholesterol (LDL) gets deposited in the inner walls of arteries and poses a threat for heart (in extreme cases, it can give heart attacks), the Good Cholesterol (HDL) does just the opposite. It helps lower the level of Bad Cholesterol, provides energy and nutrition to cells and benefits the body in other ways too.
( To read more about cholesterol click >> Is Cholesterol Really Harmful to the Heart? )
Coconut oils contains saturated fatty acids like Capric Acid and Lauric Acid, which will raise the level of High Density Lipoproteins in the body, lowers Bad Cholesterol, boost immunity and fight ageing. They also increase rate of metabolism and thus help shed weight.
Disease states which may benefit from using Coconut Oil.
Coconut Oil Helps in the fight against Diabetes and it's side effects.
Your body sends medium-chain fatty acids directly to your liver to use as energy. This makes coconut oil a powerful source of instant energy to your body, a function usually supplied by simple carbohydrates.
Coconut oil does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream, it helps in controlling blood sugar, improves the secretion of insulin and helps in effective utilisation of blood glucose.
Coconut oil acts on your body like a carbohydrate, without any of the debilitating insulin-related effects associated with long-term high carbohydrate consumption!
Coconut oil has been shown to help stabilise weight gain, and even helps in losing weight, which can decrease your likelihood of getting adult onset type-2 Diabetes.
Common side effects of diabetes, such as circulation problems, heart problems or high blod pressure, will also benefit.
Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
There have been some reports that is has helped Prostate problems, - we would like to encourage anyone to try out and report back to us. - To read more about Prostate Problems - click on >> Prostate Health Option
Coconut oil 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.
Because of the antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties, the coconut oil targets harmful bacteria but leave friendly bacteria alone, which helps balances the flora in the digestive system.
They also kill off excess yeast and other fungal overgrowth in the body.
Dosage: It is suggested to slowly working up to consuming about three tablespoons of coconut oil daily.
Start with one teaspoon per day and then work up to the full amount. The more severe the candida, the slower you should work up to this number to prevent overwhelming die-off symptoms as excess yeast is killed off. These symptoms are flu-like and include headaches, chills and fatigue. They will normally last about 3-5 days, depending on the severity of your candida.
Coconut Oil on Your Skin
Many professional massage therapists use coconut oil. You can use coconut oil as you would any other oil or lotion.
Coconut oil is ideal for skin care. It helps protect your skin from the aging effects of free radicals, and can help improve the appearance of skin with its anti-aging benefits.
Many believe coconut oil may help restore more youthful-looking skin. When coconut oil is absorbed into your skin and connective tissues, it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep your connective tissues strong and supple, and aids in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making your skin smoother.
For specific Virgin Coconut Oil see > Tamanu Oil - Anti-aging benefits
Healing and Infections - External use
When applied on infections, it forms a protective antibacterial - antifungal anti viral layer which protects the infected body part from external elements such as air, dust, fungi, bacteria and virus.
Coconut oil is helps on bruises, speeding up the healing process by supporting repairing damaged tissues.
Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.
It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, thrush, nappy rush.
And some more ways you can use Coconut Oil:
( feel free to send us your favourite way of using Coconut OIL)
Colds and Sore Throats - the antimicrobial properties can help you recover from a cold. Mix it with warm tea or water with Lemon or Lime and honey for a very soothing throat remedy.
Dandruff and Cradle cap : Massage coconut oil it into your scalp several times per week
Detoxification - There are many methods for detoxifying the body, but coconut oil is unique because it can provide energy while cleansing the body.
One popular method is to take 1-2 tablespoon of coconut oil seven times per day for one to seven days to cleanse the body from toxins, impurities and candida.
Fungal Infections - Coconut oil contains strong antifungal agents, and can be used to treat fungal infections like athlete's foot, ringworm, thrush and vaginal yeast infections. - Use it internally and topically for these conditions.
Lip Balm - Try coconut oil - just apply to your lips.
Make-up Remover - Coconut oil is a very effective make-up remover, and natural moisturizer, so it won't cause dryness or irritation.
Skin Conditions - Since coconut oil is moisturizing, antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory, it's a great natural remedy for all kinds of skin problems ranging from eczema to acne to nappy rash and general dry skin complaints.
Possible Sun screen - Coconut oil provides natural sun protection without exposing your body to the toxic chemicals and metals in conventional sun block.
Coconut oil protects against free radicals, which provides added protection against skin cancer.
Which Coconut Oil should you buy!
Buy only the Organic Virgin Coconut OIL made from fresh coconuts -- opened less than 48 hours after they are picked from the trees.
Coconuts should be grown and processed organically, (No GM) without potentially harmful fertilizers, additives or chemical solvents.
In contrast, most commercial coconut oils are made from copra, the dried up meat from coconuts, often many days or weeks old before processing.
The oil should not be refined or purified. This type of inferior coconut oil is called RBD -- refined, bleached and deodorized.
NO Hexane – Hexane is a color less liquid derived from petroleum. It’s found in glue used for shoes, leather goods and roofing.
We do have tried out some brands on the market and have been satisfied with the quality.
Unfortunalty, you may not find any good quality Coconut oil in a supermarket as yet, or ... if you do, you better let us know ...
You may have to search online for your prefered Product Source, you also will find a host of other information on Coconut Oil.
NOTE: Whenever a substance is claimed of doing something, like it is good for such and such. It always only means that, it is good, which means it supports your bodily functions, it does not mean that it is a cure all.
Naturally, anything which is good for you and supports your Health, will be automatically more beneficial than doing the opposite.
The beneficial effect of Coconut Oil is dose dependent.
Dosage suggested to help various conditions:
It is suggested to slowly working up to consuming about three tablespoons of coconut oil daily.
Start with one teaspoon per day and then work up to the full amount.
This is easy to do, by using it instead of butter or margerine or any of the other oils, and for cocking.
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Many Natural Therapy Practitioners stock Coconut Oil, to find a practitioner in your area, clcik one of the following >>
Acupuncture - Ayurveda - Naturopath - Herbalist - Homeopath - Colonic Irrigation - Yoga
... thank you ... Dieter L. Editor
Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.