The Incredible Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil
Do you enjoy the taste of coconuts? If you do, you’ll be happy to know that coconuts are very good for you. The people of Tokelau in the South Pacific obtain 60% of their calories from coconuts and as a people are known to have excellent health and extremely low rates of heart disease, obesity, dementia and cholesterol.
Despite these amazing facts, the Western world seems, for the most part, to misunderstand how the coconut can benefit a person’s health. In fact, through the 1990s many thought that coconuts were causing heart disease because it was said they were high in saturated fats. However, this is a complete misunderstanding of the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats. Someone who stood out as totally different was Dr. Johanna Budwig. She used coconut oil in several of her recipes and she was one of the early pioneers to discover the difference between good and bad oils.
Fortunately, recent research has debunked the concept that coconut oil contributes to diseases and has revealed that cold pressed coconut oil can offer a variety of health benefits.
The Different Types of Coconut Oil
There are two different types of coconut oil on the market. The quality depends on the amount of processing and refining that the oil is subjected to. We should only use extra virgin or unrefined virgin coconut oil for cooking purposes.
Virgin coconut oil is closest to its natural form. There has been no artificial filtering or processing, and no chemical solvents have been used in its elaboration. It has a rich smell and retains the sweet taste of the coconut. Good quality coconut oil will always taste and smell like the fruit itself. You may see Extra Virgin coconut oil for sale locally, however, there is actually no official classification for extra virgin as is the case in the olive oil industry.
Good coconut oil will rapidly melt in the palm of your hand, if it doesn’t then you know you have inferior quality oil. Coconut oil has a long shelf life of two or more years and does not need to be refrigerated, just keep it out of direct sunlight. Coconut oil is derived from the flesh of the fruit and should not be confused with coconut milk.
Why Is Virgin Coconut Oil So Good for Us?
Many experts classify coconut oil as a superfood. The unique combination of fatty acids in coconut oil is known to be helpful with weight loss and to enable better brain function.
Whenever a certain food proves to be good for one’s health and provides one with energy the sports industry will soon discover it. It seems that many athletes are now using coconut oil. The current England rugby squad have been able to increase an average of 2 kg of muscle in comparison with squads from previous years. According to rugby union nutritionist Matt Lovell, virgin coconut oil can raise the metabolic rate and therefore help your body to burn fat far more effectively.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
We hear a lot about Alzheimer’s disease today. It’s a horrible disease to have to deal with and has become a worldwide concern. It is believed that Alzheimer’s patients have limited ability to use glucose for energy in various parts of the brain. The ketone bodies found in coconut oil supply provide alternative energy for the brain helping to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.
The existence of ketone bodies in coconut oil is also beneficial for people who suffer from seizures. Currently, coconuts are being used therapeutically by treating drug-resistant epilepsy for children. The children are given a diet very low in carbohydrates but with larger amounts of healthy fat. This means that the level of ketone bodies is increased in the blood. This seems to reduce the rate of seizures, including those who haven’t had any success with other types of pharmaceuticals.
For people trying to lose weight, some studies have shown that ketone bodies in coconut oil may reduce your appetite. Test subjects who ate the most MCTs at breakfast went on to eat smaller lunches. Over a long period of time, this results in a reduction in body weight and you eventually find yourself eating less without really thinking about it.
As we get older we tend to get more belly fat, what some have nicknamed the “beer belly”. Well, coconut oil also seems to be particularly effective in reducing the abdominal fat that lodges in the abdominal cavity and surrounding organs. According to many medical researchers, this is the most dangerous fat of all because it is associated with many diseases common in the West such as liver disease, heart disease, and diabetes. In one study, a diet supplemented with 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day lead to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference over a period of 12 weeks and this was without exercise or a restrictive diet.
The fatty acids in coconut oil are an important source of Lauric Acid. Lauric acid can kill off bacteria, viruses, and fungi and help to ward off infections. As coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it turns into lauric acid as well as a monoglyceride named monolaurin that attacks harmful pathogens such as Staphylococcus Aureus (a cause of a variety of skin conditions and respiratory diseases) and yeast Candida Albicans, among others. Monolaurin is one of the natural world’s greatest antivirals, antibacterials, and antifungals and it can kill off various viruses, including measles, herpes, influenza and possibly even HIV. These claims are now being taken seriously and are subject to further medical research.
As already mentioned coconut oil is good for the heart. Studies in both humans and rats have demonstrated that coconut oil improves blood cholesterol levels. Rat studies, for example, have shown that consuming coconut oil helps reduce triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL and improving blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status.
If you want to have nice shiny hair while protecting your hair from sun damage, coconut oil is for you. It can also moisturize the skin and is an excellent sunscreen protector. Unless you get a very high-quality natural sunscreen protector most of the sun blocking lotions being sold today are loaded with dangerous toxins. Coconut oil can help lock up to 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Oil pulling, a process whereby a person swishes natural oils in their mouth, has become well-known for its health benefits. Coconut oil is an excellent mouthwash and can be used for oil pulling to kill harmful bacteria as well as reduce bad breath.
One tablespoon of coconut oil contains 14 grams of total fat, of which 12 grams are saturated. Whereas the saturated fat found in most other foods, such as meat and cheese, is mostly comprised of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). The saturated fat found in coconut oil is mostly comprised of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are fatty acids that metabolize swiftly and orderly, moving from the digestive system to the liver quickly and becoming a rapid source of energy.
The MCTs in coconut oil work to increase energy expenditure compared to the same number of calories that you would consume from foods which form longer chain fats such as meat and cheese. In fact, one research study demonstrated that eating 15-30 grams of MCTs per day would actually increase your 24-hour energy expenditure by 5%. This means that eating foods with MCTs such as coconuts can potentially lead to weight loss.
Include Coconut Oil in your Cancer Healing Journey
Although coconut oil cannot prevent or kill cancer by itself, it does have some special qualities. As we have described, coconut oil is a medium-chain triglyceride fat (MCT) that is easier for the body to metabolize than long-chained triglycerides. These MCTs do not shrink cancer by themselves, but they have proved promising as a treatment for cancer if they are combined with the Budwig protocol and an activity program.
Dr. Budwig made her own butter called Oleolox. Here’s the recipe:
Note: This is referred to often throughout this book and is Fat to be used as a spread on bread, vegetables, buckwheat, rice, etc. (or in soup).
Ingredients of Oleolox-Fat:
250g coconut fat,
10 garlic cloves,
125 cc Flax Seed Oil.
Cut 1 medium sized onion in half and brown slightly in 250g of heated (100ºC) coconut fat. Cook for approximately 15 min., add 10 garlic cloves and heat for additional 3 minutes only. Strain the fat through a sieve into 125ccm of Flax Seed Oil (previously chilled for 1/2 hour in the freezer) Keep this mixture refrigerated and bring to the table in small portions as required.
Note: As a rule, Flax Oil and OLEOLOX should never be heated. If you prepare sauces according to my recipes, the sensitive, unsaturared fatty acids of Flax Oil are somewhat protected by the sulfhydryl group of spices (eg: pepper). Be careful not to heat the OLEOLOX more than one minute.
Other Ways to Enjoy Coconut Oil
There are myriads of ways to consume coconut oil, especially if you don’t like the taste of coconut oil neat or if it gives you an upset tummy.
Coconut oil in its natural state is quite like butter. It is a soft solid at lower room temperatures but becomes a liquid when warmed up. This means it can be consumed in a variety of ways. At breakfast, it is easy enough to stir your liquid coconut oil into yogurt or just drizzle some over your toast. For lunch or dinner, you can roast vegetables in coconut oil or try flavoring your pasta or rice with it.
Probably the simplest way to consume coconut oil is just to add it to other drinks, try a spoonful in your tea or coffee for example. Blend the oil first just to emulsify it a little and this will create a smooth and creamy consistency rather than an oily consistency. Even better, just melt some and carefully blend the oil with your favorite Smoothie recipe.
Alternatively, add the oil to a flapjack or other cake recipes if you’re baking. Coconut oil is a good replacement for butter in baking recipes. Or why not try stir-frying using coconut oil? Coconut oil has a high heat point, so it is a really great choice for a stir-fry and really adds to the flavor.
For a supper time snack why not spread solid coconut oil on crackers or bread rolls?
Other Ways to Enjoy Coconut Oil
There is no recommended daily dose of coconut oil, but research into the traditional diets of Pacific Islanders has shown that they consume several grams of lauric acid, or at least 1 tbsp of coconut oil, every day. Certainly, 10g to 20g of lauric acid taken daily can be a benefit to health according to certain biochemists. Coconut oil contains 50 percent lauric acid, so taking 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per day will provide you with 7g lauric acid. An appropriate dose would, therefore, be in the region of one to three tablespoons daily.
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