While there is probably no absolutely perfect food that fills every nutritional need, coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods you can put into your body. Coconut oil is an oil that has been extracted from the meat of a coconut or from coconut milk.
This oil has many health benefits, but it’s important to understand what it does, which products are most effective, and how to use it.
The Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains three unique fatty acids: lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid. These are called medium chain fatty acids (MCFA’s). MCFA’s have many health benefits. They are easy to digest, they go directly to your liver – where they are immediately converted into energy – and they stimulate your body’s metabolism. These are the types of fats your body needs.
The three fatty acids contained in coconut oil have their own tremendous health benefits. These include:
- Antiviral and antimicrobial properties
- Fights antibiotic resistance
- A healthy energy source
- Assist weight loss
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Linked to lower heart disease risk
As you can see, the fatty acids contained in coconut oil are incredibly healthful.
Coconut oil itself has fantastic health benefits. However, coconut oils produced in different ways and at specific quality levels will be able to impart these health benefits more effectively than other oils. That brings us the our next section.
How to Find the Most Effective Coconut Oil
There are two main ways coconut oil is extracted and processed. One is most commonly called “refined” or RBD (refined, bleached, deodorized.) The other is called “virgin” coconut oil.
Refined coconut oil comes from dried coconut that has been further processed through a variety of heat-related methods. When a package says that your coconut oil has been expeller pressed, hydrogenated, or is “liquid coconut oil,” that is a refined oil. Additionally, if no description is given and it simply says “coconut oil,” it’s very likely that oil has been refined.
Refined coconut oil have had some of the nutrients stripped away from them. That’s why it’s a better bet to get virgin oil. However, there is no industry standard that defines “virgin coconut oil” so you will have research your oil beyond just assuming that the label will tell you which oil has all of the vital nutrients you want to consume.
All virgin coconut oil comes from fresh coconut – not dried coconut. When you are researching the perfect coconut oil for your needs, look for oil that has been “pressed” or “wet-milled.” Both of these processes extract the oil without damaging its nutritional content.
How to Use Coconut Oil to Improve Your Health
Now that you know which coconut oils are the best for your health, I’m sure you’d like some ideas for using coconut oil. Here are several great ways you can consume coconut oil and reap all of the great health benefits it has to offer:
1. Cook with coconut oil
Coconut has a high smoking point, which makes it a great oil to cook with. Refined coconut oil has a smoke point of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, while unrefined oil has the smoke point of 350 degrees.
2. Add coconut oil into foods
Coconut oil has a great texture and a mild flavor, so it goes with many food. You can add a spoonful of oil to your coffee or a smoothie for a smooth texture and hint of coconut flavor. It goes extremely well with most chocolate-related recipes. There are also many, many recipes which you can swap out other fats like butter or other oils with coconut oil.
3. Use coconut oil on your skin and hair
Coconut oil is a fantastic moisturizer and can be used as a body lotion, lip balm, and shampoo. If used as a shampoo, simply use apple cider vinegar to rinse. Additionally, coconut oil can be used a a mild sunscreen (it is naturally SPF 4) and as a sunburn remedy.
4. Take advantage of coconut oil’s anti-fungal powers
Topical fungal infections like athlete’s foot can be treated with coconut oil.
5. Use coconut oil as medicine
Because coconut oil has so many health benefits, it can be utilized as a medicine. You can use it to kill yeast infections and candida, it can be used to heal and sooth eczema and psoriasis and it can help lower cortisol and regulate hormones.
Coconut oil is a fantastic food that provides many natural, healthy benefits. If you would like to find out how we can help you using coconut oil and many other simple, effective tools to improve your health, contact us today.