For years, researchers demonized coconut and coconut oil, stating that it was a saturated fat and that saturated fats always were connected to the development of heart attacks and heart disease. Meanwhile, certain countries consumed coconut as a major part of their diet – and didn’t have heart attack or heart disease rates anywhere near the rates of those in Western countries.
In some tropical countries, the people call the coconut the Tree of Life. Coconut is the major fat in their diet, accounting for up to 80% of the total fat they consume. Over 90% of coconut fat is saturated fat.
What’s going on here? Well, coconut may be a saturated fat but it’s primarily medium-chain fatty acids not long-chain fats like ones found in animal proteins.
Medium-chain fats are metabolized completely differently than long-chain fats. Long-chain fats are tied in with the cholesterol pathways; coconut fats are not.
What Exactly Does Coconut Do For Your Health?
The studies on the benefits of coconut oil continue growing leaps and bounds every year. There are now over 3500 different studies on coconut and some of them are pretty interesting.
Ready to find out some of the results? Here’s a list of only nine of them:
- The medium chain fats in coconut could potentially act as an antidepressant.
- Virgin coconut oil has been found to raise levels of brain antioxidants.
- Coconut lowers total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels.
- This tropical fruit also lowers triglyceride levels.
- Coconut consumption lowered corticosteroid levels in animal studies, thus showing an anti-stress effect.
- Coconut oil penetrates into the skin better than grape seed oil, avocado oil, crocodile oil and emu oil (but less that olive oil). Thus, if you wanted to add essential oils to coconut oil, it would most likely deliver the goodness of the essential oils into the skin.
- In certain third world countries, Coconut oil applied topically twice daily by nurses to newborn babies and massaged into their skin for the first 28 days of life (by either nurses or moms) drastically lowered the chance of developing an infection in the children.
There were additional benefits in the coconut oil babies. They gained more weight and their skin condition was a lot better than the other babies. This study proved the antimicrobial effects of coconut.
- Coconut oil helps improve skin rashes in children with dermatitis. In one study, 117 children were given either coconut oil or mineral oil for their skin issues and told to rub it into the affected area daily. The children were given scores for how bad their skin condition was, and the higher the number, the worse the skin really was.The children using coconut oil decreased their high scores by 68% after 8 weeks while the children using mineral oil only decreased their scores 38% in the same amount of time.Some studies report excellent results in adults with dermatitis, too.
- Coconut oil mixed with anise in a spray cured 82% of participants with an active head infestation of lice, compared to toxic permethrin lotion that only killed 42%. This is great news because the lice have become wise to the permethrin lotions and adapted to it. This means the poor victims of the lice end up scratching for longer periods of time until something is found to kill the critters.
What Can You Do with Coconut Oil?
Now that you know about some of the studies, the next step is to simply think up ways you’re going to consume this coconut gold. Here’s a list of 10 of the possibilities:
1. Eat Coconut Cream Concentrate as a Spread on Crackers
Coconut cream is a mixture of coconut oil and some of the coconut flakes that have been pulverized to very small particles. The result is a smooth and creamy, spreadable food that works well on home-made breads and biscuits instead of butter.
2. Create Your Own Body Scrub
Mix some coconut oil with Dead Sea salts to get a mixture that will become your personalized body scrub. You may even want to add a few drops of essential oil for an invigorating scent. Then scrub away and exfoliate all the dead cells you accumulated today in the shower. Your skin will love you for it.
3. Make a Nourishing Hair Oil
Since coconut oil is solid at room temperature, you can only add a little bit of warm coconut oil to either olive oil or almond oil. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils, mix and apply to your scalp once a week to nourish the hair roots. Let it sit on the scalp for a good hour before washing it out.
4. MakeUp Remover
Makeup removers are greases or oils. Why not use natural, antimicrobial coconut oil as your makeup de-greaser?
5. Anti-Stress Coconut Milk Drink
Create amazingly creamy smoothies using coconut milk, add a straw and sip whenever you are stressed.
6. Coconut Milk Smoothies
Add a tablespoon of coconut milk to your smoothie every day. You’ll have lasting energy and feel nourished.
7. Tropical Paradise Drink – this one is just for your tastebuds
Pineapple and coconut go well together. Why not blend the two together and sip as an appetizer for an upcoming meal? You’ll need about ½ cup pineapple juice and 2 tablespoons shredded coconut.
8. Sweeten Wok Dishes
When you need a new idea about what to add to your organic beef and vegetable mix in the wok, add 2/3 cup coconut milk. This will perk up any dish!
9. Make Your Own Massage Oil
Mix ½ cup coconut oil with ½ cup almond oil and ¼ cup olive oil. Add your favorite essential oil – about 3-4 drops will be perfect. Then use it as a massage oil for your feet, your hands, your neck or even your back prior to turning in for the night. You’ll sleep better all night long.
10. Mouth Deodorizer Or Oil-Pulling
Take one tablespoon coconut oil and swish it in your mouth first thing every morning. Swish for a full 1-3 minutes. Then spit it out. What you’re spitting out are all the microbes that had a chance to reproduce all night long. For great oral hygiene, do this at night, too.
Now you can think, live and breathe coconut. And get healthy while you do it.