Coconut Oil has so many benefits!

Written by Changing Habits

April 21, 2011

“I was called by Channel 9’s A Current Affair last month to see what I thought about Coconut Oil.  They wanted to know if I was a nutritionist that believed coconut oil was good for our health.  There concern was that coconut oil is 94% saturated fat.

Here is a link to the story ACA story on coconut oil with Cyndi O’Meara

If you have read my work you would already know that I love saturated fat, I think it is a super food.

The reporter and her camera and audio team arrived at my house the next afternoon and spent a couple of hours with me, you can watch the article that went to air in the first week of April. The link is at the top of the page.

I’ve been using coconut oil for a long time, I not only eat it but use it externally.  If I wear toe nail polish too long (yes I wear that toxic stuff on occasion because after all sometimes I like to do something radical and it’s nice to have pink toes every now and then) and a fungus takes hold on my nails, all I do for a few days is get a cue tip and rub coconut oil onto the toes and the fungus disappears.  I love using coconut oil on my skin along with some beautiful essential oils, so that I don’t smell like someone who has smothered herself in suntan oil and gone to the beach.  I have naturally curly hair and sometimes it becomes a bit fly away looking so I dab some oil into the palms of my hands, rub them together and then scrunch up my curls.

Coconut oil has short chain and medium chain fatty acids which means that these fats have the ability to be antiviral, anti-fungus  and antibacterial.  Placed on the skin, coconut oil does wonders for any eczema or infections.  Taken internally it has been known to keep the colon healthy, inhibits yeast and candida growth and feeds the body with instant energy.

There are three ways that we get saturated fat in our diet, in my opinion two are healthy and one I would never consume knowingly.  Numbers 1 and 2 are the best.

1.   Plant Based Saturated Fat – coconut oil
2.   Animal Based Saturated Fat – butter, cream, meat
3.   Hydrogenated Oil Saturated Fat – margarine, vegetable shortening, vegetable fat, hydrogenated vegetable oil and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, fractionated vegetable oil. 

Saturated fat has been made a scape goat for disease.  Scientist have looked down the barrel of a microscope and victimised this totally natural fat that has been in the human diet for at least 200,000 years.  Plant and animal based saturated fats that are natural and not made in a chemical laboratory have a lot of good qualities.

Coconut oil  has medium and short chain fatty acids that are digested and absorbed differently to long chain fatty acids.  Basically they are a quick form of energy as they do not use the enzyme system of the body but are used by the liver for instant fuel and energy and satiety from hunger.  

Coconut oil has one down fall it does not have essential fatty acids.  These are fats that you must consume for health as your body doesn’t make them.  So using coconut as well as other sources of fat would be a prudent rule.

Remember coconut is not just the oil.  Coconut water is pure health, especially for athletes.  It’s full of electrolytes and is perfect for a ‘during race supplement’.  If you are an athlete that has been taking those ghastly coloured drinks during races then an alternative would be coconut water.  Make sure it is free from colours and flavours as the coconut water is becoming popular and of course, as it always happens, whenever something becomes popular there are always companies that want to enhance it to make it cheaper and better (so they believe).

When I was in Fiji last September one of the Fijians climbed up a tree and cut down several coconuts.  We drank the juice and ate the young flesh every day.  We are lucky here in Qld there are coconut trees everywhere it is just a matter of harvesting and using them.  We do not need to buy our coconuts from Thailand.

This is a link on how to open a young coconut

This is a link on how to open a hard coconut

Once you’ve opened your hard coconut, put the coconut meat in the thermomix or a very good food processor and process until the consistency you want.  There is so much nutrition in the coconut meat as well as the fat content  that if you leave it in the fridge it will go off within a week.  So I recommend you freeze your fresh coconut meat.

Coconut milk is also a wonderful source of nutrients but make sure you read the ingredients as many of the milks and creams, have added preservative and thickeners.   And of course you can make you’re own coconut milk (recipe following).    Desiccated or dried coconut:  Be very careful that before you buy your coconut that you check the ingredients.  Most coconut has a preservative in it and some go as far as having propylene glycol (not a good additive).  I buy my dried coconut from my health food store it is a little yellow as it has no preservative, but it is naturally dried for preservation.

To get the benefits of coconut use it externally as well as eating it. One of the recipes this month is using coconut oil in a delicious recipe – Lime Cashew Cream.  Enjoy!

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