The Many Benefits of Coconut Oil
Five years ago today I was rushed to hospital for surgery to find out I had Cancer. I stand here today as someone who has been through Cancer on three separate occasions, had multiple rounds of chemotherapy and surgeries yet I am grateful for being put through the process. Cancer is no longer a death sentence, it’s not a dirty word and it’s nothing to be scared of. It is a gift, something to be proud of. Proud of because I know I had the strength and courage to face it head on and not let it take control of my life, proud of, not because I am a survivor but because I now truly understand what it means to be alive and proud because I can share my experience with the world and spread my message of both inspiration and hope.
So today, I wanted to share one of my favourite ingredients: Coconut Oil
Coconut is certainly a hard nut to crack, but its disadvantages just end there. Everything else that can be associated with a coconut – be it coconut water, coconut flesh, coconut milk or coconut oil – is all good. Oil of this noble nut had to suffer from unjust criticism for the past 30 years. All these years, coconut oil has been criticized as a food likely to cause heart disease because it contained saturated fats. However, a variety of research carried out and published in year 2003, 2004, and 2005, proved otherwise.
The research established that coconut oil is actually extremely beneficial for our health. Coconut Oil Goodness When it comes down to it, coconut oil does contain saturated fats, the good kind. Lauric acid makes up the main saturated content of coconut oil while most of the other vegetable oils contain low-chain fatty acid, which, in certain doses is harmful for your overall health. Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid, that actually helps to raise the HDL level in your blood; the good cholesterol. It is the high level of this very saturated content coupled with Vitamin K, E and minerals that gives the coconut oil its superpower.
The many benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil has been called a “functional food” because it provides several health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Here are some good reasons to give coconut oil a try:
Digestion: The health-friendly saturated fats in this oil are known to possess anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties; these help to control fungi and parasites that can cause indigestion or other digestive system related issues such as IBS. The fat content of coconut oil is also known to aid in the absorption of minerals, amino acids and vitamins from the food, thus making you generally healthier. Coconut oil is the perfect option to use when cooking, rather than say olive oil which, when cooked under high temperatures, the properties change and turn into the bad fats you want to be avoiding.
Skin care: When you apply coconut oil directly onto your skin it functions as a fabulous moisturizer. Skin appears younger, softer, hydrated, and balanced. Also, its anti fungal and antibacterial properties can help against conditions like ringworm, psoriasis, age spots, eczema, dandruff, acne and more.
Fitness and overall health: It has been established that coconut oil can improve the functioning of the thyroid, fuel your metabolism, and escalate your energy levels. All of the above-mentioned activities help in decreasing unwanted fat, making you fit and healthy in the long run.
Heart health: Now this may seem impossible. How can a product with so much saturated content be helpful to heart health? It’s thanks to the lauric acid. Lauric acid helps guard against bad cholesterol, hypertension and assorted heart problems. What’s more, it can even help prevent the arterial wall build-up.
Which coconut oil?
Now that you know coconut oil is something you SHOULD include in your daily regimen, the next question is can you pick up any bottle from the supermarket’s aisle that says “coconut oil”? Well, No. Just as with all other products, quality does matter. Most of the commercially processed coconut oil are refined, deodorized and bleached and would certainly not offer you any of the health benefits mentioned above. You should only go for a quality brand that offers extra virgin, cold pressed and preferably organic coconut oil. The coconut oil that I use is Raw Organic Virgin Coconut Oil from Nugine Organics. You will find it at your local health food store. Do you use coconut oil or have you ever tried it? Love to hear your thoughts on this amazing product.
To a happy and healthy future