The trend of all things coconut seems to be super-hot right now and I can’t get enough of the health benefits that coconut oil has to offer. I’ve become obsessed with using this healthy fat as a replacement for butter or oil when cooking and baking. A simple 1:1 swap is all you will need to compliment the flavor of any dish, from savory to sweet! I came across an article on The Benefits of Coconut Oil on How Stuff Works that gave a good breakdown of why adding coconut oil into your daily routine can be so beneficial.
Health Properties – According to the article, “the coconut provides a unique type of oil, made of several ingredients including medium chain fatty acids, lauric acid and saturated fat.” Medium chain fatty acids are absorbed through the liver and used immediately as an energy source, being one reason why I cook with coconut oil each morning. Coconut oil is now considered one of the healthier cooking oils, being that it can remain stable in high heat, while other oils may become damaged upon heating. Just remember when choosing an unrefined coconut oil, the temperatures shouldn’t go above 375 degrees. The editors from PureHealthMD state “over the past years, nutritional advice has focused on the avoidance of fat, particularly saturated fat. We are now learning that healthy fats can include saturated fat and that many vegetable oils that were once considered healthy are known to become damaged with heat.” For more information on the health properties of coconut oil, visit The Facts about Fats, Coconut Oil and Heart Health, and Dr. Perlmutter’s Tips for a Better Brain.
Antibacterial Properties – Out of the many ingredients found in coconut oil, there are specific ones that give this oil its antibacterial properties. The article suggests, “monolaurin, an ingredient found in coconut oil, has long been recognized for its bug-fighting properties. Coconut oil seems to encompass the unique ability to help protect against bad bugs while leaving good bacteria alone – which is a rate and unique property and ideal way to prevent infections.” Check out Lani’s DIY Frozen Bug Bite Remedy or try the method of Oil Pulling for Oral Health, which also may help destroy harmful bacteria.
Healing Properties – Going beyond cooking and baking, coconut oil can also be used topically. “Coconut oil can further benefit the skin by treating and preventing skin infections.” suggests the editors from PureHealthMD. Applying coconut oil to the skin may act as a moisturizer, which helps so much when the colder weather appears! For chapped lips, you can make your own lip balm, use your own all-natural moisturizer for dry skin, or my all-time favorite using a soothing aloe vera cream for sunburn relief. Visit my list of homeopathic uses for more helpful tips and information.
For the full article, make sure to head over to How Stuff Works.
Have you tried coconut oil yet?