Coconut Oil: Something You Didn’t Know
I am sure you’ve heard a lot about coconut oil. But there is always more…
First, some facts about coconut oil:
Today you can find more than 1,500 studies proving coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
The secret of the healthy benefits is in healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), these unique fats include:
- Caprylic acid
- Lauric acid
- Capric acid
Unlike long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) found in plant based oils, MCFAs are:
- Easier to digest
- Not readily stored as fat
- Are anti-microbial and anti-fungal
- Smaller in size, allowing easier cell permeability for immediate energy
- Processed by the liver, which means that they are immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat
Because of the energy creating abilities of coconut oil, it is no wonder that it is beneficial in losing weight. It helps to burn fat, decrease appetite, and in studies it was especially helpful in losing belly fat!
It also contains lauric acid which has been linked to amazing health benefits. It has anti-viral, antibacterial, anit-microbial, and anti-fungal properties. It’s been shown that consuming coconut oil is good for overall immunity, reduces hypertension, helps reduce arterial injury, and helps keep proper cholesterol balance. It’s a great source of healthy saturated fats.
How to store:
Depending on the temperature, your coconut oil can have a different look. Coconut oil is liquid above 75 degrees F. (25 C.), otherwise it is a solid fat. You can liquefy coconut oil by just placing it into a pot with warm water. Or you can make it solid by putting it in the fridge.
Coconut oil can be stored in either its liquid or solid form; the only thing to avoid is direct sunlight. You can store coconut oil for about two years, as it will not go rancid.
How to buy:
It is better to avoid commercial coconut oil found in any grocery store. Some oils are refined using chemical processes; some coconut oils are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.
I would suggest to go for high quality coconut oil – even for external use. It’s pricey, but health stores often have discounts on coconut oils – use it!
Please check that the oil you buy is:
1) Virgin (and not refined)
2) Expeller-pressed (if you prefer less coconut flavour) or cold-pressed (if you want more coconut flavour)
3) In a glass jar (and not plastic)
4) Organic vs conventional. Coconut is not a high-risk food when it comes to pesticides, nor is it genetically-modified. So to buy organic is less critical but still preferable.
How to use:
You can use it as an all-purpose cream: from softening cracked heels to reducing under the eyes puffiness
An additional usage that I discovered while on my trip to India – use it as a shower gel! You just wash your body with the coconut oil and then rinse! Because you rinse it, your skin will not feel too oily, but at the same time you will not need any after-shower lotion – your skin will feel soft and silky.
You can use coconut oil in cooking, baking or just eating it as is instead of butter (I hope you don’t use margarine at all).
AND… a recipe. I got it from one of David Wolfe’s posts, made it and loved it!
Raw coconut-cacao bites …
1 cup of desiccated coconut
1 cup of almonds
1/2 a dozen medjool dates
4 tablespoons of cashew butter
2 tablespoons of raw cacao
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Put the almonds and coconut in a food processor and blend for a minute or two, until a flour starts to form. Then add the cashew butter, coconut oil and cacao blending for a few seconds before slowly adding in the dates.
Continue to blend until everything has been combined together to form a sticky mixture. This mixture can then be rolled into balls and covered in more coconut and left in the fridge to firm up for an hour.