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Crazy for Coconut Oil!

Coconut oil is extremely popular right now and constantly in the media spotlight! Its health benefits are being touted for good reason. 

Research from a variety of studies has demonstrated that coconut oil contains a unique form of saturated fat called medium-chain triglycerides. These medium-chain triglycerides do not increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, research indicates that they could actually lower your risk for developing cardiovascular disease. 

According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil also helps your body absorb nutrients, speeds up the metabolism, gives you more energy, and is an antimicrobial.

Coconut products can be used to make cooking oil to prepare foods and in infant formulas. It is used in tube feeding and intravenous feeding preparations to provide nutritious options for hospital patients. Many skin care products, such as lotions, skin creams, and sunscreen, are made with coconut oil.

Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of the coconut and can be taken internally or applied topically. When you buy pure coconut oil in the store, it is usually in its solid form. Simply remove an appropriate amount from the jar and heat it gently in the microwave or on the stovetop until it melts. Let it cool before applying it to your skin, hair, or scalp to prevent injury. 

Coconut oil is a great choice for cooking and frying because it has a high smoking point and is not damaged at high temperatures.

The antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties of coconut oil make it a good option for the prevention and treatment of infections. The lauric, caprylic, and capric acids in coconut oil are what help it fight infection. Your body turns these medium-chain fatty acids into compounds that kill the microorganisms that cause diseases such as HIV, herpes, the flu, hepatitis C, and strep throat. 

These same medium-chain fatty acids are also used by the body to provide energy for the brain. Eating coconut oil on a regular basis may be a good treatment for neurological disorders that are caused by the improper metabolism of glucose. 

As coconut oil is digested, the body converts the medium-chain fatty acids it has absorbed from the coconut oil into ketones, an important fuel source for the brain. Many neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, are linked with chronic inflammation. This inflammation causes the body to improperly metabolize glucose and produce lower amounts of ketones. When you eat coconut oil, the body automatically produces ketones, regardless of inflammation levels, and gives the brain the fuel it needs to function properly. 

According to the Coconut Research Council, Alzheimer’s patients who took coconut oil saw an improvement in their symptoms and were able to stop the further progression of this crippling disease.

When eaten in moderation, coconut oil can also be a part of your healthy weight loss strategy. Your body quickly digests the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil and uses them right away for fuel instead of turning them into body fat. This increases your metabolism to help you lose weight. The short and medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil help your thyroid function properly to protect the pancreas and burn more energy.

In the past, the high saturated fat content of coconut oil has made some suggest that it is dangerous for your heart. However, countries that use the most coconut oil have the lowest amount of cardiovascular disease. The lauric acid in coconut oil can also repair injuries to your arteries and prevent atherosclerosis.

Coconut oil boosts your body’s ability to absorb of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to promote healthy digestion. It also kills bowel-irritating bacteria, parasites, and fungi to help your digestive tract function properly. Coconut oil helps you grow healthy hair, moisturizes your skin and prevents wrinkles, and builds stronger teeth. Coconut oil can benefit almost every part of your body, inside and out! 



Image courtesy of Suat Eman /