By Nancy Mehlert, MS
If you haven’t incorporated coconut oil into your lifestyle, it is time! From every standpoint, nutritional or supplemental, it is a wise and healthful choice for the whole family. It should be one of the primary cooking oils used in your kitchen every day. While you are at it, add it to your personal hygiene and first aid kit too. According to Mary Enig, Ph.D., the nation’s leading expert on fats and oils: Coconut oil has a unique role in the diet as an important physiologically functional food which offers health and nutritional benefits. We recommend the real thing rather than a coconut oil pill. We don’t recommend broccoli pills either. Eat the real thing.
What’s unique about it?
- Unlike most vegetable and seed oils, coconut oil is nature’s richest source of medium-chain fatty acids (rather than a long-chain fatty acid). This quality makes coconut oil much more capable of permeating cell membranes easily, and much more easily digested.
- Medium chain fatty acids, such as coconut oil, go directly to the liver where they are immediately converted to energy rather than being stored as fat.
- Medium chain fatty acids are also able to stimulate metabolism which can support weigh loss. One way it does this is by stimulating the activity of the thyroid.
- Coconut oil also has anti-microbial action due to the lauric acid it contains. Lauri acid is also found in mother’s breast milk. Lauric acid fights dangerous micro-organisms such as viruses, bacteria, yeasts, parasites and molds.
- Coconut flour and coconut oil are considered gluten free and hypoallergenic, unlike most nuts and flours.
How do I know what to buy?
- As with most oils, it is very possible and likely that cheaper versions will be manufactured, refined and chemically treated. These will not yield the health benefits desired. Look for these key words and phrases on the jar to ensure the highest quality:
- USDA Certified Organic
- Raw, unrefined, cold or expeller pressed
- If the container does no more than to say it is “pure”, even if it is organic, it is likely coconut oil made from copra, a dried, old and moldy coconut that must be refined, bleached and deodorized using chemical processing with chemicals such as hexane.
- We recommend Tropical Traditions, Fresh Shores, Dr. Bronners, Nature’s Way to name a few. We carry Tropical Traditions at our facility for your convenience.
How do I use it?
- In our world of internet information, and to save space, I will suggest that you explore internet resources because frankly, coconut oil has too many uses to list here. But know this:
- If you eat, you need coconut oil: It is a perfect oil for stir fry, baking, and sautéing literally anything from eggs and veggies to meat. Toss a tablespoon into your morning smoothie and add to your cup of coffee! Then season your cast iron skillet with it.
- If you bathe and groom your body, you need coconut oil: From makeup remover, to lotion or deodorant, hair conditioner and toothpaste, solving diaper rash or jock itch, coconut oil is an outstanding choice for personal body care.
- If you have a medicine cabinet, you need coconut oil: Antimicrobial action protects scrapes and burns, soothes away baby rash, psoriasis or eczema, works as a lubricant for anal or vaginal use without disturbing normal flora and so much more.
- If you have a home, you can even explore polishing furniture and leather with it (look for good instructions and test a small hidden area first).
The uses are many, the benefits are countless. Go coco-nuts!