Coconut Oil

 Posted by at 5:35 pm  Nutrition & Health  Add comments
Jan 212014
 

Coconut oilI have to say that I had a hard time swallowing that Coconut Oil was nutritious and healthy.  When I first started on my nutrition journey, fats–like Coconut Oil and many others–were considered unhealthy, and could contribute to heart disease. We now know that this isn’t true. In fact, Coconut oil is actually a heart-healthy food that can keep your body running smoother in a many different ways.

As an added bonus Coconut oil, when used topically, has a positive effect on skin and hair health, including lessening wrinkles and combating dandruff and dry, brittle hair.  

Keep reading to learn how Coconut oil can help keep weight balanced, benefit the heart, promote healthy blood sugar levels, and boost your brain.

As it turns out, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. Coconut fats have special fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).  Without getting too scientific, just know that our bodies can quickly use the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil for energy rather than storing them, whereas that doesn’t happen with long-chain fatty acids.

It has been shown that breaking down these types of healthy fats in the liver leads to efficient burning of energy. Coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as you commonly find in vegetable oils. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, and it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.  It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system.

Coconut oil is great for cooking, baking, and personal care.  Check out these tips if you want to include coconut oil in your diet, or use for its amazing cosmetic benefits:

  • To substitute for vegetable oil, use the amount of oil called for in the recipe, melt the coconut oil and be sure that the other ingredients (eggs, liquids, etc.) are at room temperature or at least warm enough so that they do not cool the coconut oil enough to make it solidify.
  • If you want your coconut oil to be liquid, fill a bowl or the sink with hot water (hot tap water is fine) and then just set your jar of coconut oil in the water until it melts.  This works really well if you want to add it to a smoothie, because there’s always enough melted by the time you get the rest of the ingredients together.
  • Coconut oil has a melting point of just 76 degrees Fahrenheit. This means it can be liquid or solid depending on the season, the climate where you live, and even the part of the house where you store it.  I don’t recommend the microwave for melting—it can degrade the healthy benefits.
  • Mix coconut oil with sea salt or sugar for a luxurious bath scrub, and then apply directly to elbows or heals to moisturize and soften.
  • Make you own moisturizer by using a mixer and several drops of your favorite essential oil.  It will stay in a whipped consistency so no need to worry about it hardening up again.
  • Coconut oil can be used as a bug repellant.  Just mix with a few drops of peppermint oil and apply.

There are many more amazing uses for coconut oil in the bathroom as a treatment for cancer soars, to fight fungus, as a cuticle softener, lip balm, and pre-shampoo conditioner for hair.

I recommend keeping a jar in the kitchen, and one in the bathroom!

Try the recipe for Chunky Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Enjoy your journey~

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