Why I Love Coconut Oil

Why I Love Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is truly an all-round health-food rock star! The benefits derived from the regular consumption or topical application of coconut oil are endless. In this case the current hype surrounding coconut oil is undeniably justified. If you are the type who appreciates the nourishing and healing properties of food as do I, then you are in the right place.

So how is Coconut Oil Made?

Coconut Oil is obtained by means of quick drying fresh coconut meat after which the oil is pressed out.

What is the difference between refined and unrefined Coconut Oil?

A refined coconut oil is usually rather tasteless and odourless. Due to the fact that it has been refined, it can usually withstand slightly higher cooking temperatures before reaching its smoke point. Refined coconut oils do not offer the same health benefits of a virgin, completely raw coconut oil, but they are still excellent sources of most of the beneficial fatty acids. An unrefined coconut oil on the other hand is typically labelled “virgin” or “extra-virgin.” To my knowledge, there’s not any consistent difference between virgin and extra-virgin coconut oils across all brands. Each brand tends to have their own definition of these labels. In general, though, virgin and extra-virgin coconut oils are made from the first pressing of fresh, raw coconut without the addition of any chemicals.

What Type of Coconut Oil should I be buying?

Your best bet is to opt for unrefined virgin or extra virgin coconut oil. As with any food, the more refining or processing involved in getting a product on the shelf, the unhealthier it becomes. The term "Extra Virgin Coconut Oil" in the Coconut oil industry today means that this form of coconut oil processing is the most unrefined and most natural form - no artificial filtering or expeller pressing (centrifuge spinning -also known as oil polishing) is used. The oil remains in its most natural form and retains a rich smell and sweet taste of coconut. Good quality Extra Virgin or Virgin Coconut Oil should taste and smell like coconut. It should be a very fine oil, and should quickly melt in the palm of your hand with body heat.

So Why is Coconut Oil so Great?

Metabolism and Fat Burning

  • Contains medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently and can have therapeutic effects on several brain disorders
  • Increases 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term
  • The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term
  • Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help you lose weight
  • Effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs

Immunity and Body Functioning

  • The fatty acids and breakdown products in coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, potentially helping to prevent infections
  • Reduces cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease

Mental Health

  • Increases blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in epileptic children
  • Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketone bodies, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients and relieving symptoms
  • Contains medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently and can have therapeutic effects on several brain disorders

Topical Use

  • Can be applied topically as a skin moisturizer
  • Adds moisture and shine to hair and protects against damage
  • Can be used as a mild form of sunscreen
  • Useful as a mouthwash

Where can I buy Coconut Oil in South Africa?

Coconut Oil is easily available at most Dis-Chem pharmacies and health stores in South Africa.

Use coconut oil instead of olive oil to fry, grill, roast and bake. Coconut oil is also a delicious alternative to butter/margarine on rye breads, health loaves or health muffins and can even be used in smoothies.

So if you want healthy-looking skin, a great metabolism, and a healthy heart then coconut oil is a sure and delicious way to get all three!

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About Author

Hi, I’m Cara-Lisa, South African health blogger, wholefoods producer, personal trainer, wellness consultant and founder of the Caralishious brand . I am absolutely adamant about adopting a back-to-basics approach to nutrition, and embracing the...
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