Coconut is a SuperFood. In our house, we consume several giant containers of coconut oil a year. We use it in cooking, personal care products, and medicinally.
Here’s the why’s and how’s.
Coconut oil is about 50% saturated fat, 35% monounsaturated, and 15% polyunsaturated. Most of the saturated fat is a fatty acid called Lauric Acid. The only other natural source of Lauric Acid? Human breast milk. ( coconuts……breasts……….coconuts………breasts…….hmmm) Our body converts lauric acid to Monolaurin; monolaurin is a powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal agent. Monolaurin can actually destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV and herpes, influenza, measles, gram-negative bacteria ( such as LYME ), and protozoa (such as giardia lamblia).
Other components of coconut oil include capric acid, caprylic acid, tocopherols and tocotrienols. (Vitamin E lipids that act as potent anti-oxidants). (Trick: a combination of coconut oil and oregano oil has been shown to be better than antibiotics against certain staph bacteria; use the same recipe to defeat the herpes virus.)
Coconut oil has excellent healing properties, both internally and externally.
For wound healing, coconut oil actually increases collagen production, and skin regeneration. Do you battle candida, or yeast infections? Supplement with coconut oil: “In 2004, 52 isolates of Candida species were exposed to coconut oil. The most notorious form, Candida albicans, was found to have the highest susceptibility.”
There are antioxidants in coconut oil that are so anti-inflammatory, they have positive effects on arthritis, swollen prostates, and ulcers ( yes, ulcers are inflammation ). What about Heart Health? The studies consistently show that the fatty acids and nutrients in coconut oil lower LDL and raise HDL; which should eliminate any arguing about this fat clogging our arteries. As a matter of fact, the high lauric acid content helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Coconut and Brain/Neurological Health: Grain Brain neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter says that coconut oil is such a powerful brain superfood, that it’s part of his “triumvirate approach” to restoring and improving brain function.
For those of us with kids in school where occasionally Lice rears it’s ugly head: According to research published in the European Journal of Pediatrics, a combination of coconut oil and anise was found to be nearly twice as effective as the commonly prescribed permethrin lotion for the treatment of head lice.
Nursing a baby? According to the research, when a lactating mom adds coconut oil to her diet, the amount of lauric acid available in her breast milk increases to three times the original level and nearly double the amount of capric acid. A single serving of coconut oil affects the breast milk fatty acid composition for 1 to 3 days. Wow!
Want more testosterone? Did you know that ALL our sex hormones are comprised of saturated fat and cholesterol? ( Statin users, this is a problem…) It matters that we eat HEALTHY fats because ANY fat we put in our mouth goes on to be incorporated – in a million ways – into our body. Bad fats = an Unhealthy Body. No fats/low fats = an Unhealthy Body.
What about the fat? What if it ends up on our stomach or our butt? Not going to happen. The saturated fat in coconut oil actually accelerates the loss of belly fat (the most dangerous kind). And coconut oil helps boost metabolism; some of it’s fatty acids are called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which travel directly to the liver where they’re used for energy and not stored as fat. There are now two solid, human studies showing just two tablespoons a day (30 ml), in both men and women, is capable of reducing belly fat within 1-3 months.
Personal Experience: Mark and I have been eating about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil most days of the week for a couple of years now – zero weight gain.
How do we use it? Obviously in cooking, that’s easy. You can either saute your meats and vegetables in the oil or use it as your fat in baking. We add coconut oil to smoothies, tea, and coffee, it’s delicious, but it’s not just for eating. I all use it in our homemade lotions and creams. From acne to wrinkles to age spots, coconut oil works. Not a homemade type person? No problem, it’s easy to find great products containing coconut oil, try Tropical Traditions ( Mark loves their face creams – he’s 50 with NO wrinkles ). As a make-up remover and hair conditioner, it’s excellent.
Coconut water’s a great staple to have around; it’s very high in electrolytes, and minerals. Use this as a sports drink, the liquid in your smoothie, or for your sick kid on the couch who needs the nutrients.
Then there’s my all time favorite: Coconut Butter. Coconut butter is different from oil; oil is 100% fat, but butter is 60% fat and the rest is fiber. Coconut butter is made from blending all the coconut meat together including it’s natural oil; it has a texture, flavor, and consistency that makes it perfect for adding to desserts.
My favorite treat that I have several days a week?
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp coconut butter ( it’s expensive, so I use less )
4-5 drops stevia
pinch of salt
EITHER: lemon oil, or cocoa powder, or pumpkin pie spice, or or mashed bananas and pumpkin seeds ( weird? ) Freeze
Eat for Health, and your Happy Weight happens, I promise.