So what makes coconut oil so great? Well coconut oil has been used in Ayruveda for thousands of years. Ayruveda is used in India and is known as "the science of life."
Unlike other fats, coconut oil is high in medium-chain fatty acids which can help us to lose weight, lower cholesterol, improve diabetic conditions and reduce the risk of heart disease. Coconut oil has a completely different effect on our body than long chain fatty acids found in meat and vegetable oils. Medium chain fatty acids, once consumed, are broken down and used as immediate energy rather than being stored as fat or converted into triglycerides. Coconut oil is therefore a great Superfood for athletes because once glycogen stores have been used up during exercise, coconut oil is then used as the second source of energy.
1. Coconut oil speeds up metabolism allowing the body to drop excess weight and toxins.
2. Coconut oil is high in lauric and capryllic acid which is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, so they are beneficial for the immune system. Try putting it in tea to help them fight colds! The components of coconut oil target harmful bacteria, but leave friendly bacteria alone, which help balance the flora in the digestive system (similar to probiotics). It has also been shown to fight Candida or yeast overgrowth.
3. Coconut oil keeps skin looking young and radiant. As a topical application, it can be useful for restoring luster to your hair, making it an ideal conditioner and moisturizer.
4. Coconut oil also an excellent choice for cooking, because the oil is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage. Oils such as olive oil, canola oil or safflower oil are actually the worst type of fat for cooking. They oxidize at high temperatures, which means they become toxic.
5. Coconut oil potentiates omega 3 fatty acids making them more absorbable and readily available for the body.
Coconut oil has a fantastic flavor. Try as a replacement in any recipe that calls for a form of fat. It's a great substitute for everything from butter and margarine, to olive and vegetable oils.
What Kind to Buy:
Be sure NOT to buy coconut oil that has been hydrogenated. This destroys the beneficial attributes of coconut oil and makes it high in dangerous trans-fatty acids. The best kind of coconut oil is organic virgin coconut oil, which is closest to its natural state and will provide the most health benefits. You can use it as you would olive oil.