coconut oil benefits, autoimmune conditions, heart disease, nutrition

Coconut Oil!

The health related questions I get asked most frequently are about coconut oil. “How do I use it?” “What are the benefits?” “How should I add it to my diet?” “What about the saturated fat content?”

There are many amazing health benefits to coconut oil!

It is loaded with antioxidant properties and is a great source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs are easily digested and can be used immediately for energy production. Coconut oil also does not produce any spikes in insulin which makes it a great source for a quick energy burst. It is sent straight to the liver for energy production and can boost metabolism. Coconut oil has high amounts of lauric acid (over 40%) which is also found in human breast milk and provides many outstanding benefits including boosting our immune systems. Our bodies convert the lauric acid to monolaurin which has been found to destroy viruses such as influenza and measles, and when combined with oregano oil can even attack bacteria such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in in vitro studies. Coconut oil has amazing antimicrobial benefits and can also be used effectively on athlete’s foot and ring worm.

There has been some concern in the past regarding the high saturated fat content of coconut oil. These concerns have been put to rest as study after study have shown there are cardioprotective effects of coconut oil. It has been shown to increase HDL’s (the good cholesterol), decrease LDL’s (the bad cholesterol) and lower blood pressure. The high lauric acid content of coconut oil has been shown to be effective in helping to prevent atherosclerosis. There is even research about its protective qualities against Alzheimer’s.

Amazingly, this oil can also show improvement in focus and concentration in those with ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. It is fantastic for thyroid health and can help increase bone strength because of its ability to assist in better absorption of calcium, Vitamin D and other important nutrients. Because it is sent directly to the liver for immediate energy use, it is not stored as fat and can actually help in weight loss.

We use coconut oil for literally everything in our house! We cook with it, bake with it, use it on sunburns, use it as a diaper cream. It's also fantastic for rashes, bug bites, as a makeup remover, facial cleanser, moisturizer, overnight hair masque, lip balm, shaving lotion, and toothpaste. I even blend it in my coffee (Bulletproof Coffee :)).

This fabulous oil can be used in replace of almost any cooking oil and it has a high burn temperature so it is really one of the best oils for cooking at high temperatures. I use it to scramble eggs and sauté vegetables. Additionally, we will add it to our smoothies (blended) and oatmeal. I’ll add a tablespoon to soups and stews which also helps aid in the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and various minerals in the vegetables.

This oil even has useful benefits around the home including getting gum out of hair or fabric or being used on squeaky door hinges. It is a very versatile oil with many benefits!

References:
Chen CH, et al. 'An Innate Bactericidal Oleic Acid Effective Against Skin Infection Of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus: A Therapy Concordant With Evolut... - Pubmed - NCBI'. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.
Fernando WM, et al. 'The Role Of Dietary Coconut For The Prevention And Treatment Of Alzheimer's Disease: Potential Mechanisms Of Action. - Pubmed - NCBI'. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.
Feranil AB, et al. 'Coconut Oil Is Associated With A Beneficial Lipid Profile In Pre-Menopausal Women In The Philippines. - Pubmed - NCBI'. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.
Babu AS, et al. 'Virgin Coconut Oil And Its Potential Cardioprotective Effects. - Pubmed - NCBI'. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.
Yeap SK, et al. 'Antistress And Antioxidant Effects Of Virgin Coconut Oil In Vivo. - Pubmed - NCBI'. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.

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