Praised by many and condemned by others, coconut oil is one of the the most popular sources of saturated fat in a paleo/primal diet. Although critized by conventional health experts for its high contents of saturated fats, we in the paleo/primal community know how to appreciate this nutritious and health giving oil.
Coconut oil is made by extracting the oil or fats from the meat of the mature coconut. There are several methods used to extract the coconut oil, and what kind of method that’s used, is very important for the benefitial and nutritional outcome of the oil. I’m not going into details about the extraction methods, other then to emphazise that organic cold pressed low heat extracted ones are the best, containing the properties I’m going to discuss here in this post.
Coconut oil is made up of about 92% saturated fats, 6% monounsaturated fats and 2% polyunsaturated fats. The saturated fatty acids is mostly medium chain fatty acids, generally consisting of about 44.6% lauric acid, 16,8% myristic acid, 8,2% palmitic acid and 8% caprylic acid. The only monounsaturated fatty acid is oleic acid while the only polyunsaturated acid is linolenic acid.
At room temperature it’s solid, but becomes liquid at about 75-77 degrees farenheit.
It’s the perfect oil to use for cooking, even at a high temperature, as it oxidizes slowly, which means its resistant to rancidity and thus can be used for deep frying.
Coconut oil is mentioned as a health remedy all the way from Ayurvedic medicine to the local philipines, who’ve been using coconut oil for generations.
Coconut oil has so many health benefits and rank as one of the most versatile oils out there. Here are some of its benefits:
As a food:
Let’s start with what coconut oil is probably most famous for, which is being a food, and for us primal/paleo people out there, a valuable source of saturated fat. What you may not know however, is that it’s also a source of vitamin E, vitamin K and minerals like iron. As I’ve already mentioned, the saturated fats in coconut oil is mostly medium chain fatty acids. This means that it’s broken down and absorb faster by the body then other fats with long chain fatty acids. It doesn’t need bile to be digested, and thus is absorbed and transported directly from the digestive tract through the portal vein to the liver. It’s known to increase metabolism and thus often recommended as a natural supplement for people with low thyroid. It also helps in the absorbtion of vitamins, minerals and aminoacids.
Antibacterial, antiviral, antifugal and antiparasitic properties:
Coconut oil is said to help in fightings various infections ranging from systemic candida, tonail fungus, as a remedy for ulcer patients suffering from the bacterial infection H. Pylori to people dealing with herpes infections from the herpes virus.
Immune system benefits:
Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, which converts to monlaurin in the body. Monolaurin helps strenghtening the immune system and fighting off infections. Its said to help conditions ranging from influenza to HIV.
As a topical remedy:
When applied topically, coconut oil forms a protective layer, protecting the infected area from dust, bacteria fugus etc. This speeds up the healing of the tissue, and works particularly well for bruises. Coconut can even be used as a sunscreen, protecting the skin from being burned. Some people are also making their own toothpaste using ingredients like coconut oil and baking soda.
It’s used for alot of health conditions as an alternative remedy ranging from conditions like liver disease, diabetes, gallstones, pancreatitis and alot more.
So there you have a list of good reasons why you should include coconut oil in your daily life! Besides all the benefits and uses mentioned, it tastes delicious in lots of different recipies! Include coconut oil in you diet, your body will thank you for it!