What exactly is coconut oil? Coconut oil is made by extracting its oil from the coconut “kernel”, the white meaty part of the coconut beneath the shell. Its unique, nutritional profile is a game changer for anyone mindful of their health. Just one tablespoon of coconut oil contains 14 grams of fat and only 116 calories. About 90% of the total fat found in coconut oil is saturated, making it one of the richest sources of saturated fat around.
People have been using coconut oil for thousands of years, but it has faced some nasty press over the past few decades. Around fifty years ago, the mainstream medical establishment, believed that saturated fats clog arteries and lead to heart disease. However, new evidence has come to light which disproves the supposed connection between heart problems and eating food high in saturated fat. For around 75% of us, eating saturated fat won’t raise our cholesterol because coconut oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s), instead of Long Chain Fatty Acids. Your body metabolizes them differently than it would fats found in meat and cheeses. And they’re worlds apart from the man-made, hydrogenated fats found in processed foods. New research has destroyed the supposed link among saturated fat, cholesterol problems and heart disease.
Coconut oil is a wonderful versatile oil and is way more than just a tasty source of fat. Here are some of the incredible benefits it can offer you.
It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s true! The MCT’s in coconut oil help you burn more fat because they go straight from your digestive tract to your liver allowing your body to use them as a quick energy source.
Its antibacterial properties make its use the perfect way to keep your mouth and teeth healthy, whether it is used in homemade toothpaste, mouthwash or oil pulling.
Coconut Oil can be used to keep your skin moisturized, smooth and youthful.
Hair and Scalp Care
If you are struggling with dry hair or dandruff, coconut oil might just be the remedy you’re looking for.
Antifungal, Antibacterial and Antiviral
Lauric acid in coconut oil helps fight bacteria and makes it extremely difficult for viruses and fungi to survive. Many modern health issues, from athlete’s foot to yeast infections and digestive problems, are caused by the overgrowth of bad bacteria, fungi and viruses.
Promotes Brain Health
Coconut oil is easily absorbed into the body and accessed in the brain without using insulin. One study of elderly participants (with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease) found that the MCT’s in coconut oil improved their memory.
Improves Cholesterol and Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
Coconut oil actually raises good HDL cholesterol and decreases harmful LDL, resulting in a healthier cholesterol profile. This lowers the risk of heart disease.
Coconut oil is healthy, Paleo friendly and stable, even at extremely high temperatures. Unlike other cooking oils which can oxidize and go rancid during frying.
So, the bottom line is that you can eat coconut oil, cook with it and mix it into drinks. You can also apply it to your skin, hair and teeth to experience all kinds of incredible health benefits. How’s that for versatility?
For a delicious way of enjoying its benefits, here’s a recipe for healthy Chocolate Coconut Balls:
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup gluten free oats
¼ cup maple syrup or raw honey
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut flakes
Mix together and roll into balls. Store in the fridge.