I think all real food is super food, but coconut oil really does live up to all the hype and can be genuinely classified as a superfood!
Its unique combination of fatty acids gives coconut oil its amazing health properties. These fatty acids are termed Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) and are actually very rare in our food chain.
Coconut oil, and all saturated fats have been demonised in the past, but now many health experts (myself included) consider saturated fats to be natural and harmless to humans, and especially the saturated fats from coconut oil.
Some of the known benefits of coconut oil are:
Antimicrobial- due to the lauric acid in coconut oil which acts to inhibit the energy production of various pathogens such as Helicobacter pylori and Candida Albicans.
Thermogenic and fat loss- coconut oil increases the metabolic rate by assisting in the conversion of thyroid hormone T4 into the active T3 in the liver; increase energy expenditure as the fatty acids are metabolised by the liver and used as a quick source of energy; increases satiety by affecting the hormones that signal ‘fullness’ and thus can regulate appetite.
Normalise cholesterol- contrary to popular belief, cholesterol is incredibly useful and beneficial to our bodies, it is the pre-curser to our steroid and sex hormones, manufactures bile salts for proper digestion, is a major component of healthy cell membranes and is essential for all animal life! Coconut oil, via action on the thyroid, helps support proper cholesterol synthesis particularly the ‘good’ HDL, and protects LDL from being damaged (this is important as the damaged or oxidised LDL can be problematic).
Antioxidant- being so saturated and resistant to oxidation, coconut oil can reduce the damage from free radicals. This is why some use it as a sunscreen!
Chemical free cosmetic- coconut oil might be the last beauty product you ever buy! It is an amazing moisturiser, face wash, make up remover, hair conditioner and massage oil. (FYI it is also a fantastic ‘sexy massage’ oil- if you get my drift! Warning NOT to be used with latex!)
How much to use?
Aim for 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil a day. Either refined or unrefined is ok, coconut oil is so stable the refining process is harmless and actually can be better for those who are hyper-sensitive or just dislike the coconutty taste.
How to use it?
Off the spoon. If you have never seen coconut oil, realise that it is solid at room temperatures (sometimes called coconut butter) yet it will liquify in the warmer weather. It can be easier for some to take off the spoon when its in the oil state, but I find its not an issue when its solid.
Cook with it. Saturated fat is stable in heat and less vulnerable to oxidation so it makes the perfect cooking oil. You can also add it to a hot dish at serving like soups or stews and it will melt right in. It can be easily used in baking, just melt it down like you would regular butter. (NOTE don’t let it smoke in the pan- way too hot and it will spit hot oil out- OUCH!)
Slather it on. Keep a jar in the bathroom/shower and apply to wet skin under hot water (if cool water the oil will solidify and be harder to work into the skin). It will make your skin feel like silk!
TRY: mix 1 tablespoon coconut oil with 2 tablespoons baking soda to make a paste. Add a few drops of peppermint oil = face wash!
I could go on forever about this stuff, but I’ll save it for another post. Just go out and get some and enjoy the coconutty goodness!
Love Food, Love Life!