The Benefits of Coconut Oil
I first stumbled upon coconut oil in my massage therapy practice. I didn’t like using lotions on my clients so I was looking for the cleanest, most natural oil that I could find. After a little research, I found that 100% Organic Extra Virgin Coconut oil seemed to be the best option. At first I thought it was a bit strange that this “cooking oil” could be used on skin, but if you think about it, your body absorbs everything you put on it (your skin is, in fact, your body’s largest organ). It would only make sense that the best thing to put on your skin is also something that is so natural and pure that you can eat it.
So I started using it in my massage practice and the follow up phone calls with my clients went from, “Hey! My neck feels so much better!” to “Hey! What was that oil you used on me? My skin has never felt so good.” Here I am working hard to effect positive change with people from my massage work and suddenly all they want to talk about is the oil I used on them.
After putting my ego aside, I realized that coconut oil was winning over clients with its moisturizing benefits. So I started to look up some more information on it. Ends up that not only does it moisturize but it protects the skin from UV rays. I read that you can also use it as a hair conditioner, as it works really well for dry scalp and helps promote thicker hair. All that and you can eat it.
I used coconut oil exclusively as a massage oil for a long time before I added it to my diet. After hearing my colleagues talk about using it to fry eggs and even eat it straight out of the jar, I finally dug my spoon in and went for it. It’s pretty tasty and, since I started consuming it, I’ve definitely noticed a difference in my energy levels, especially on the days when I’ve slept very little.
Now, I understand that a lot of people have some misconceptions about coconut oil. Mainly, they’re concerned about the saturated fat in it. But the saturated fat found in coconut oil is unlike the fats found in meats and veggies. In fact, it’s identical to the special groups of fats found in human breast milk called medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). These fats stimulate metabolism, improve digestion, strengthen the immune system and protect against bacterial, viral and fungal infections. They also help prevent heart disease.
MCFA are utilized by the body for fuel thus boosting metabolism and burning calories in the process. Studies have shown that the boost in metabolism remains elevated for as long as 24 hours after consuming foods high in MCFA. That means that not only will you have a more sustained level of energy, but it’s possible you’ll also be burning calories at an accelerated rate for an entire day after eating coconut oil.
I keep a jar in my cupboard and eat a few tablespoons a day. Coconut oil can stay fresh for a long time and doesn’t need to be refrigerated, which is a plus. I personally use Garden of Life’s 100% Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
**** THIS JUST IN: As I sat to publish this blog, a customer here at Healthy Living just came up to me and thanked me for recommending coconut oil as a deterent to stretch marks a few months back. She said that, after having her baby, she has absolutely NO STRETCH MARKS. Wow. That was quite timely, no? Just thought I’d share that.
There are so many health benefits in using coconut oil that I feel it would be ridiculous of me not to eat it or use it for my skin every day. It’s rare to stumble upon something that is such a quality food-source, fairly inexpensive and readily available at most health food stores.
Some interesting ways to incorporate coconut oil into your everyday diet would be to maybe mix it with honey and cinnamon and spread it on toast. You can mix it in your tea or morning coffee or you pop popcorn with it.
A very informative book on coconut oil is The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil by Bruce Fife, N.D. All of the information contained in this blog was taken from that book and another of Mr. Fife’s books, Eat Fat, Look Thin: A Safe and Natural Way to Lose Weight Permanently.
The information in this blog is not meant to diagnose or treat any conditions. If you are sufferring from serious health conditions please seek the advice of a trained healtcare professional.
To contact the author of this post email Vitamins & Supplements Specialist Scott Mangan at [email protected]