Fats #3: The Benefits of Coconuts
After my last few posts about fat and it wonderful benefits, I thought it would be good to look more in depth at specific fats available, there benefits and uses.
So to kick it off with a bang today, I am going to look at coconut oil.
Now, coconut oil is a relatively recent obsession of mine (along with coconut cream and desiccated coconut), as I only really started to incorporate it into my diet properly about 5 months ago. I can now say that it is the most versatile and beneficial thing that I have in my kitchen, bathroom/beauty shelf and something I am very happy to spend a bit of money on.
There has been quite a lot of chat about coconut oil, with celebrities be photographed in magazines drinking coconut water (which is actually really good for you) and models saying they eat coconut oil to lose weight. But today we are going to look at the hard facts, as this is not about what is fashionable but about how we can gain lasting health!
Lets jump straight in…
- It is one of the most saturated fats provided by nature. Saturated fats are good for lots of reasons but as Dr Natasha Campbell Mcbride points out in her GAPS book,
‘ saturated fats are heart protective: they lower the Lp(a) in the blood… reduce calcium deposition in the arteries and are the prefered source of energy for the heart muscle’ (note Lp(A) is a harmful substance that causes the artery walls to thicken = blocked arteries = heart disease).
I tend to think nature know best, so if breast milk is 48% saturated fat then that tell me its something our bodies need. Also coconut oil is great for vegetarian as it totally plant based.
- You can cook with it at high temperatures. In my last post I explained more about the ‘stability’ of fats and what this means. Basically coconut, due to it being a saturated fat is a safe and stable fat to cook with. None of its goodness is lost in the cooking process, plus it adds a great flavour.
- Natural hair conditioner. It has a small molecular structure which means it can pass easily into your hair making it a great conditioner. I told you it was versatile.
- Antiviral. It contains lauric acid which is a essential fatty acid that has an antiviral effect on the body.
- It fights candida/yeast infections. Coconut oil contains naturally occurring caprylic acid which is a potent antifungal natural substance that helps kill yeast overgrowth.
- You skin will love it. It contains triglycerides that can deeply penetrate your skin, leaving you moisturised and with a protective barrier against environmental pollutant and free radical damage. It will also help fight skin infections and conditions like eczema, keratosis polaris etc.
- Natural sunscreen. It has a natural spf 5-8.
- It is antibacterial. So it makes great toothpaste, deodorant and loads of other stuff. I always have a mixture of coconut oil mixed with oregano oil for any pesky skin infections or rashes – works a treat!
- Filled with antioxidants. These help protect your skin and body from free radical damage, which means you can look your best and not 20 years older than you are!
- Vitamins and minerals. They also contain B vitamins and Vitamin C and E, as well as minerals like potassium, copper, iron and magnesium.
- Helps you lose your excess belly. This study was done and show that women consuming coconut oil seemed to decrease their waist circumference more so that the other groups tested.
- Boosts your metabolism. There have also been other studies to show that consuming coconut oil can help increase your metabolism . Coconut oil naturally contains high amounts of Medium Chain Triglycerides (lauric acid being an example of one) which in lots of studies are shown to raise the basal temperature – meaning our metabolism is working fast and better. See here for more info.
So, I hope I have convinced you of its amazing benefits. Whether you want to lose weight, boost your metabolism or thyroid, clear up your skin, rebalance your gut flora or just gain more energy, then coconut is a total must have
Next time I will be sharing with your 20 uses for coconut oil, so make sure you stay tuned !
Here is what I use…