I have said on many occasions that I’m quite certain that one day I will wake up as a coconut. Maybe I am a tad excessive, but I have coconut EVERYTHING – coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut water, coconut flesh, coconut butter, shredded, chipped, desiccated coconut… you name it, I LOVE it. Today we are just going to focus on coconut oil and TEN reasons why you should fall in love too:
- It is an amazing ANTI-MICROBIAL – This means it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-protazoal. Laboratory tests have shown that the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are effective in fighting VIRUSES that cause such conditions as the flu, glandular fever, and hepatitis C, BACTERIA that cause stomach ulcers, pneumonia, dental cavities and UTIs, FUNGI that lead to ringworm, candida and thrush, PARASITES that cause intestinal infections, as well as many more conditions.
- It speeds up your METABOLISM and supports THYROID health – The medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are metabolised differently to other fats. They are processed by the liver to be used for energy, rather than stored as fat. This process increases the basal metabolic temperature, and subsequently increases metabolism. Furthermore, the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil also help to rebuild cell membranes and increase the enzyme production that assists the conversion of thyroid hormones.
- It promotes WEIGHT LOSS – DID YOU KNOW – in the 1940’s a group of farmers began feeding their cattle coconut oil in an attempt to fatten them up. Instead of gaining weight, the cattle LOST weight! Same goes for humans. One study found that after a 12 weeks, a group of women who had been consuming 2 tbsp of coconut oil a day had gained NO weight, and had in fact LOST ABDOMINAL FAT.
- It is an AMAZING MOISTURISER and HAIR TREATMENT – I think this speaks for itself… who doesn’t want to smell like summer all year round! It is also fantastic to apply to eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis – you can even add a couple of tablespoons into the bath.
- It helps to balance your BLOOD SUGARS and CURB CRAVINGS – The ingestion of any fat or protein will help to slow the release of sugars into the blood, however coconut oil has the added benefit of improving insulin secretion and blood glucose utilisation. Coconut oil is also fabulous for DIABETICS. An Australian study in 2009 found that a diet rich in coconut oil actually protects against insulin resistance.
- It is SAFE and STABLE (and delicious!) to cook with – Due to the fact that it is a saturated fat, coconut oil can withstand high temperatures without going rancid. This has a positive impact within the body as the liver won’t have to work as hard to detoxify rancid oils and the risk of INFLAMMATION is reduced.
- It supports HEART HEALTH – Did you know, in the Pacific Islands there are populations who get 30-60% of their daily kilojoule intake from coconut oil? And that studies of these populations have found nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease? Furthermore, several reviews have been conducted of the scientific literature regarding coconut oil, and they have found that dietary intake of coconut oil does not promote ATHEROSCLEROSIS (the artery clogging that we are all told to fear), nor does it increase serum cholesterol. In fact, including coconut oil in your diet helps to increase your HDL cholesterol (the good one) while balancing and reducing the LDL levels (the bad one).
- It is great for OIL PULLING – Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic technique that helps to rid the body of toxins and support oral health (more info here). Coconut oil is pleasant tasting so can easily be kept in the mouth for 15 minutes, and is also anti-microbial, as I mentioned in point 1.
- It improves the ABSORPTION of many nutrients – A number of studies have shown that coconut oil improves the absorption of the B group vitamins, vitamins A, D, E, K, beta-carotene, CoQ10, minerals such as CALCIUM, MAGNESIUM, and some AMINO ACIDS. This means that it is effectively making the food that you eat go further in terms of your body’s utilization of the nutrients.
- It prevents DEMENTIA and ALZHEIMER’S disease and supports COGNITIVE FUNCTION – There is emerging evidence to suggest that coconut oil and coconut products play an extremely valuable role in preventing and reversing neurodegeneration. This is due to a number of mechanisms but mainly that it REDUCES INFLAMMATION and provides BRAIN FOOD in the form of ketones.
I hope that you can now understand why I am completely in love with coconut oil! There are many ways you can include this amazing food into your diet – mix a tablespoon into your tea/coffee or smoothie, use it in your cooking, spread it on toast instead of butter or even eat it straight off the spoon. Stay tuned, as later today I will be posting a delicious recipe that utilises coconut oil
I’d love to hear about how you use coconut oil in your life! Feel free to leave a comment below…