About Coconut Oil: Use and Coconut Oil Benefits

Published: 23rd April 2010
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Organic coconut oil is truly a miraculous gift from nature, especially in its purest extra virgin form. I am not aware of a more versatile oil. Produced from fresh coconut meat (non-copra), without the use of chemicals or high heat, it retains high levels of antioxidants and health-giving properties. A delicate coconut scent and taste is characteristic of the virgin oil.

Do not compare organic coconut oil to the commercial grade oils made from copra. These oils are typically refined, bleached and deodorized. But there are some reputable companies that produce expeller pressed refined coconut oil the "old" way with mechanical extraction. That means they do not use solvent extracts. The oils they produce are not hydrogenated and do not contain trans fatty acids. Since they are deodorized (with physical refining) the taste tends to be bland.

It is best to buy from a reputable company since there are not many industry standards in the processing of the oils.

The many benefits of using coconut oil include:

*Excellent for cooking & baking

*Reduces inflammation

*Supports heart health

*Balances cholesterol

*Improves thyroid function

*Supports weight loss

*Increases energy and stamina

*Improves digestion

*Supports immune function

*Antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral

*Kills candida, parasites and other microorganisms

*Aid in preventing gingivitis and periodontal disease

*Skin conditions (dandruff, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, fungal infections, burns)

*Skin care

*Hair care

Coconut oil was widely used prior to the 1950's. Due to its high saturated fat content it fell out of favor because it was believed to increase the risk of heart disease. The opposite is now known to be true. Containing medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), this oil has numerous health benefits especially for the heart and thyroid. Regulating the thyroid and balancing cholesterol levels are just a couple of its amazing benefits. Increased energy and stamina have been widely reported as well as weight loss due to increased metabolism. Unlike trans fats which cause inflammation in the body, coconut oil soothes and reduces inflammation.

Contrary to what we have been led to believe, studies have demonstrated it is actually inflammation and not cholesterol that leads to heart disease. I recommend coconut oil to clients who have arthritis or heart disease because inflammation is a contributing factor to these conditions. Always consult your doctor before starting any natural supplement protocol.

Coconut oil has also been used successfully for periodontal disease which is another contributing factor to heart disease. Aside from being an anti inflammatory, this oil is also antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral. Having these properties explains why it is beneficial against bacteria that cause gum disease.

Due to caprylic acid, a medium chain fatty acid derived from the oil, it has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of candida (yeast overgrowth) and other fungal related health conditions. You rarely see women with candida infections in cultures that eat a coconut based diet.

The uses and benefits in skin care are numerous. Apply the oil as a face cream, body lotion, makeup remover, scalp treatment and to treat a variety of skin infections and skin disorders. Burns and irritated skin are quickly soothed. Try it out for natural chemical free sunscreen protection.

While it is not a panacea for everyone, it is certainly an easy and delicious way to combat many illnesses and diseases. I often wonder how many illnesses it prevents.

Cooking and baking with extra virgin or expeller pressed coconut oil brings a wonderful delicate flavor to foods. It is an outstanding replacement for vegetable oils, margarine and butter in all your favorite recipes. Unlike some other oils, it is stable at all temperatures, keeps for years and does not become toxic when used for frying. You can continue to fry and sauté your favorite foods knowing you are getting a dose of good health. The oil changes from from solid to liquid depending on temperature.

Either extra virgin or expeller pressed oil can replace butter in most cooking and baking recipes. The extra virgin oil has more of a coconut flavor and the expeller pressed is quite bland.

It is advisable to incorporate this oil slowly into the diet. Due to its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral benefits, uncomfortable detox symptoms can occur as microorganisms are dying off.

I recommend starting with one teaspoon and slowly working up to a maximum of 2 or 3 tablespoons a day. If you ingest more than that your liver might not be able to comfortably keep up with the detox. Listen to your body. Everything in moderation.

Personally, I use about one or two tablespoons a day of the extra virgin oil. I scramble eggs in the oil, add it to rice, quinoa, cooked cereal, cooked yams and potatoes. It's a great alternative to butter on whole grain breads and wonderful for stirfry. Try adding it to your smoothies for a light coconut flavor.

Whichever type oil you are purchasing read the label to assure it has not been processed using high heat or chemical solvents. Look for "mechanically pressed" when purchasing expeller pressed and "centifuge extracted" or "traditional" methods for extra virgin.

When I first began using coconut oil it was very hard to find. Now it is sold everywhere. You can find it in supermarkets, health food stores and online.

Discover new ways to use coconut oil in cooking. Find healthy cookie recipes and more delicious healthy recipes at delicious-healthy-eating.com.

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