Coconut oil is said to be nature’s second most perfect food- next to breastmilk. Breastmilk is considered perfect because it contains all of the vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins, and enzymes necessary to feed a baby for the first year of life! Breastmilk even protects a baby from various diseases. Truly amazing. So for coconut oil to be on par with breastmilk, you know it’s got to be good for your body.
At one time, coconut oil was thought to be bad for you because of the saturated fat content. However, as more and more research is proving, saturated fat- if it’s natural- is not bad for you! In fact, your body needs it. Coconut oil is primarily made up of medium chain fatty acids, which are very easy for your body to digest. One of the good fats that comprises about 50% of coconut oil, is lauric acid. Lauric acid is a rare medium chain fatty acid (also found in breastmilk) that supports healthy metabolism. This unique form of saturated fat actually helps prevent heart disease, stroke, and hardening of the arteries. Also, lauric acid is antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral. Therefore, coconut oil has been used to fight all kinds of infections, from yeast infections to cancer! Coconut oil also improves digestion and absorption of fat soluble vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Therefore, people suffering from digestive problems (IBS, Crohn’s Disease) will find that a daily dose of coconut oil will alleviate some of their painful symptoms.
Coconut oil has a very long shelf life and has many uses.
Cooking: Coconut oil is the BEST oil to cook with. Obviously, as with most things, it’s better if you don’t heat it over high heat, but if you are going to cook with oil, use coconut oil because it won’t easily turn to trans fatty acids when heated. Coconut oil is a very stable oil, even at high temperatures, whereas other oils become toxic when cooked. I’m sorry to say this, but most of the oils you see on the shelf at the store are already rancid. And cooking with them does even more damage to the oil. When you cook with unstable oils (canola, corn, soybean, safflower… most vegetable oils), you accelerate the rate of oxidation and free radical formation. Cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other diseases have been associated with free radicals in the body. (This is why eating foods loaded with antioxidants is so important.) Saturated fat is less likely to oxidize, making good old fashioned fats (butter, coconut oil, palm oil, lard, tallow) from healthy animals or plants the best oil to cook with.
I also love to bake with it- it adds a very nice flavor and texture and works just like butter.
Sometimes I eat a spoonful right out of the jar! Or I use it in salad dressings or other sauces. It’s also good on my sprouted grain toast.
Beauty: Coconut oil can be used as an all over moisturizer. In fact, it’s the only moisturizer I use! It helps protect your skin from the aging effects of free radicals. The skin absorbs coconut oil beautifully, where it helps keep connective tissues strong and supple. It feels great on your skin! You can also use it as a leave in hair conditioner, and apply it to the scalp to reduce dandruff (dandruff is a fungus, and if you remember, coconut oil is antifungal). Coconut oil provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. Coconut oil can also be used as a makeup remover and sunscreen. Finally, something I can put on my body without worrying about whether or not my skin is absorbing toxins. I even use it on my precious baby as a lotion and diaper rash ointment!
So there you have it! Coconut oil is simply amazing!
I could write a small book about the wonders of coconut oil…
But there already exists a wealth of information on coconut oil. So if you would like to read more about its healing properties, check out these sites:
I guess I should mention that, when buying coconut oil, look for a high quality oil that is organic, extra-virgin, and cold pressed. I get my Nutiva Coconut Oil on Amazon.com for a great price!! Coconut oil can be expensive, but this is the best price I have seen!