Have you discovered the wonders of coconut oil? For years, we’ve been told that coconut oil is bad for you, but the reality is coconut oil has just the right kinds of fats, the same medium-chain fatty acids found in mother’s milk and essential to optimum health and disease prevention. Coconut oil is in fact a miracle oil and one of the earliest oils used as a food and as a pharmaceutical. People who live in tropical climates with a coconut-based diet have fewer incidences of heart disease, cancer, digestive complaints and prostate problems.
Coconut oil adds protective and healthful qualities when eaten internally and used topically. How much do you need? Two to four tablespoons is recommended daily, obtained from cooking, as a supplement, or through the skin. Use coconut oil in all recipes calling for butter, shortening or vegetable oil. It’s an ideal all-purpose cooking oil and has 100% less cholesterol than butter. You can also get the benefits from coconut milk which comes in a can and is found in lots of Thai recipes, or from drinking coconut water, hailed as Nature’s Sports drink. More potassium than a banana, it helps with rehydration, replenishment and concentration. (I also hear it helps alleviate hangovers.)
Coconut oil is known to reduce blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. It stimulates metabolism so that you burn more calories (we all love that) and may promote lower cholesterol. Coconut oil is a concentrated source of medium-chain fatty acids. Research has shown that these fatty acids may help prevent and treat a wide variety of diseases too numerous to list here. Recent studies are showing its effectiveness in treating Alzheimer’s disease.
Coconut oil applied to the skin and hair absorbs quickly and not only adds luster and shine, but helps with dandruff, blemishes and other skin ailments. It’s the only moisturizer you need and a must try for winter’s dry, chapped skin! It is also anti-microbial and a natural germ fighter. Coconut oil is also used for oil pulling, an age-old remedy started in India thousands of years ago that uses oil to clean, detoxify, and nourish teeth and gums; it also whitens teeth.
I keep one jar of coconut oil in the kitchen for cooking and one jar in my bathroom for use as a moisturizer. As with olive oil, make sure you buy extra virgin, expeller pressed. You can purchase coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut water from Whole Foods, Trader Joes or natural food stores.
As you can tell, coconut oil is an extremely diversified and amazing product. I highly recommend replacing some of the fats you eat now with coconut oil.
Information compiled from The Coconut Oil Miracle byBruce Fife, C.N., N.D. This easy-to-read and informative book explains very succinctly the benefits of coconut oil and is worth the read. It also includes lots of delicious sounding recipes using coconut oil.
For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.