Coconuts have shot to stardom in recent years and, in my humble opinion, quite rightly so, as they have many health benefits.
To date, there are over 1500 studies asserting coconut to be one of the healthiest foods on Earth.
In many tropical countries the coconut tree is referred to as ‘the tree of life’ because many indigenous cultures have known of coconuts’ healing properties for centuries.
While there will always be sceptics who vilify coconuts on the outdated notion of them being a source of saturated fat, more and more people recognize their invaluable contribution to our overall health. Besides, not all saturated fats are created equal. Some occur naturally in foods (such as coconuts), while other fats (e.g. fats from nuts and seeds) are artificially manipulated into a saturated state through a man-made process called hydrogenation.
Thankfully, the scientific and medical community stand united when it comes to hydrogenated vegetable fats; the verdict is that we should avoid them!
Some of the health benefits of coconut oil:
· Increases fat loss due to high content of MCT (i.e. medium chain triglyceride)
· Improves cognitive function - a well-known study from 2006 showed that daily consumption of coconut oil can lead to measureable cognitive improvement in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
· Assists wound healing – some compounds in coconuts like lauric acid make them healing ‘agents’ par excellence!
· Diverse antimicrobial properties, even inhibiting the growth of C. difficile, Streptococcus and Candida.
· Balances hormones.
Coconut oil is a staple food in our household. Not only do I use it liberally in cooking, baking and smoothies; I also use it as a body moisturizer and for ‘oil pulling’ – another wonderful practice that has stood the test of time and is highly beneficial for the health of our oral cavity.