Cuckoo for Coconut Oil!

April 13, 2012
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One of nature’s perfect superfoods – coconut oil has almost endless uses and is definitely on my must-have healthy shopping list!   In Sanskrit, coconuts are called “Kalpa Vriksha” which means: “The tree that gives all that is necessary for life.”  When choosing a coconut oil, I like to look for quality unrefined, organic cold pressed oils – such as Barleans.  Each & every Barleans coconut is sourced from the Phillipine isles and hand selected and picked fresh from the tree at it’s peak of flavor, aroma & nutritional value.<

 

1. A Healthy Fat:

Many people think because it is a saturated fat, that it is not good for you. But that could not be further from the truth!

  • Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid, which gets burned as fuel faster (so less likely to be converted to fat).
  • Coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.  Coconut oil boosts HDL cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol that helps to usher out cholesterol.
  • Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, assisting with preventing and treating diabetes.  I have found that coconut oil in tea can even help to crush sugar cravings!
  • Coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important vitamins and minerals, including including calcium and magnesium, which are necessary for development of strong bones.
  • Coconut oil has also been shown to help boost and balance the thyroid gland.

2. Ideal Cooking Oil:

  • It has a high smoking point so it is great for cooking because it does not oxidize at high temps (even olive oil should not be heated above medium ideally).
  • Some Suggested Ways to Cook with it:
    • Make popcorn – toss out the microwave popcorn, and pop your own on the stove top with 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil, and top with melted Earth Balance organic coconut spread & sea salt or pink Himalyan salt- yummy & good for you!
    • Saute your veggies in it (your body absorbs fat soluble vitamins better when they are consumed with healthy fat like coconut oil).  Some people even like to take their multivitamin with a little coconut oil.
    • Make home made dark chocolate – it is super easy to make, and only has 5 ingredients, try this recipe!!   (Cacao is another superfood too, read more.)
    • You can even pour the homemade chocolate on ice cream for some homemade magic shell – the chocolate sauce that hardens on ice cream!!  YUM! Kids love it.

3. Great for Skin & Hair:

  • A great skin moisturizer for skin and hair, it is useful for hydration, but also for wrinkle prevention and healing.
  • Because it is moisturizing and anti-bacterial/viral, coconut oil helps to treat various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, or skin infections.
  • Helps to heal and soothe bug bites, it can also be used as a natural bug repellant (add a few drops of tea tree oil and/or rosemary oil).
  • Massaging coconut oil into the scalp not only can moisturize hair, but it contributes protein to the hair and can help to prevent dandruff, and even lice.

4. Boosts Immune System

  • Coconut oil is rich in polyphenols and Lauric acid – which are shown to boost the immune system, and fights fungal, bacterial and viral infections.  Lauric acid is one of the main reasons that breast milk is immune-boosting.
  • Has natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, so great for digestion and cleansing, it can even be used as a natural deodorant (internal and external)!
5. Good for your Brain!
  • Shown to boost brain functioning (potentially even lowering Alzheimer risk/reducing symptoms). Some experts recommend taking 1 or 2 spoonfuls a day for Alzheimer prevention, there are currently studies underway to determine the effectiveness of coconut oil on Alzheimers prevention/treatment.   One delicious way to get coconut oil is just to stir it into coffee or tea, or another way is from homemade dark chocolate – try this recipe – it has 4 ingredients and you can make it in about 15 mins!  Or these chocolate almond butter cups are another delicious option.  Definitely guilt free chocolate.

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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