Coconut has become my new best friend! Finally a superfood that not only works wonders for our bodies, but also tastes delicious! It is creeping in to my diet in a variety of different forms, and I just can’t get enough-coconut water, coconut oil, coconut cream, coconut milk… It is enlightening to know that something so yummy can actually be this good for me!
Back in the day, coconut oil was wrongly accused of increasing cholesterol levels and was considered a ‘bad fat’. It is only in recent years that modern medical scientists are discovering what traditional islanders have known for thousands of years. All over the globe people from different cultures, races, languages and religions have honored the coconut as a valuable source of food and medicine. Wherever the coconut palm grows, the people have known its powers as an effective medicine. It has long be used in traditional local folk medicine for treating a number of different health problems including, asthma, bronchitis, burns, colds, constipation, cough, flu, irregular or painful periods, jaundice, malnutrition, nausea, rashes, scabies, scurvy, skin infections, sore throats, swelling, syphilis, tuberculosis, tumors, upset stomaches, general weakness and wounds.
Although the coconut is renowned for its health benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content, it is the coconut oil, which is the true beauty.
“Coconut oil is the healthiest oil on earth.”
-Bruce Fife, N.D.
Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid and is one of the most prized substances of coconut oil. Pure coconut oil contains around 50% Lauric acid, making the most abundant natural source of Lauric acid available. The only other abundant source found in nature is in human breast milk.
When Lauric acid is present in the body it is converted in to Monolaurin-a monoglyceride, known for boosting the immune system due to its antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Monolaurin also specifically targets bacterial infections as well as lipid-coated viruses like herpes, measles, influenza, cytomegalovirus and hepatitis C. Which in other words means it is incredible good for you! Researchers in the Philippines have even begun studies to prove the effectiveness of Lauric acid against HIV/AIDS because of its strong antiviral properties. Without sufficient levels of monolaurin in the body all of these benefits are lost. Many people who regularly consume coconut oil experience less sickness, which could explain the drastic decrease of infections in breastfed babies. Other benefits of coconut oil includes stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, candida (yeast) overgrowth, proper digestion and metabolism, improved dental health, weight loss, strengthened bones, and relief from kidney problems, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Tips when looking for coconut oil…
- Don’t settle for the cheap brands found next to shortening on grocery store shelves. Much of this coconut oil is hydrogenated, which negates all of its benefits. In addition, this is commercially-processed coconut oil that has been stripped of its natural properties. 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 type of coconut oil is the organic extra-virgin unrefined variety, which is closest to its natural state. It will also retain its light coco-nutty aroma and taste in addition to its amazing health benefits.
Use coconut oil to fight the common cold (www.naturalnews.com)
Benefits of Lauric acid in coconut oil (www.naturalnews.com)
Coconut oil increases beneficial properties in human breast milk (www.emaxhealth.com)
Coconut water has been a popular beverage in the tropics for generations, and acts as another lifeline from this wonderful palm. Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young green coconuts (in stores, they are usually shaved white). It is a natural isotonic beverage filled with immune boosting vitamins and nutrients.
Coconut water is actually more effective in treating dehydration than plain water, and (bizarre as it sounds) has even been used as an IV fluid. During World War II Japanese and British military doctors were using IV coconut water in field hospitals to treat the wounded. After the war the successful use of IV coconut water sparked further investigation and led to publication of a number of studies involving its use, which found it to be a suitable alternative to commercial IV fluids. Not only is fresh coconut water sterile, but it also contains a very similar chemical profile to human blood plasma, making it well tolerated by the body. Research has also found it to be just as effective in oral hydration. It has been used as a treatment for dehydration-related diseases such as cholera and influenza, where dehydration in these cases can often be fatal. Coconut water contains a mixture of natural sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, amino acids and hormones essential for rehydration, as well as growth and development. In fact due to its unique chemical profile coconut water is absorbed into the intestinal wall quicker than plain water, bringing faster recovery and in many cases eliminating the need for intrusive IV rehydration therapy.