Coconut oil is at least 90% Saturated Fat and is great for your health!
WHAT ?? I hear you say. How can it possibly be good for you! Surely it must cause weight gain/obesity, cause cholesterol issues and increase heart disease. If I use it on my skin won't it feel greasy and won't I get facial breakouts?
Well the truth is quite the opposite and here I will help to shed some light!
The Coconut Oil that I will be referring to is Raw, Extra Virgin, Organic Coconut Oil. We just need to get that straight as not all Coconut Oil is equal. Here at blossom we have the most pure, unadulterated form of coconut oil. It has not been heated, refined, chemically treated, bleached or deodorised and as such has much higher antioxidant, vitamin E, anti-microbial and medium chain fatty acid properties. It was not expeller extracted so no Hexane or other solvents have been used in obtaining the oil.
Right, now that we have got that out of the way we can get on with it!
Coconut Oil is very beneficial for the skin when applied topically. It has the ability to easily penetrate the skin due to its small molecules, unlike mineral oil (a refined petroleum oil that is commonly found in skin care as it is cheap) so there is no greasy residue. It has a high emollient content so has been found to have softening, moisturising, anti-ageing, regenerative, inflammation reducing properties. It is also protective due to the fact that it increases the level of lipids on the skins surface which in turn protects from microbes, it has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, contains powerful antioxidants and vitamin E content. These are the same reasons that it is said to help improve acne. Virgin Coconut oil is not comedogenic, this means that it will not block pores. It is just as good for softening, conditioning, hydrating and moisturising the hair too.
When it comes to eating Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera), yes it is a saturated fat but not all saturated fats are equal. Saturated fats have often been 'created' in a lab by a process called hydrogenation. This is a process where hydrogen atoms are added while heating, resulting in a rancid, thickened sustance that has no purpose other than that is manufactured to prolong shelf life on processed foods. Yuk! These manipulated saturated fats are also called "Trans Fats" and are bad for you. It is the hydrogenation that has caused the problem. Coconut Oil is on the other hand not 'created' or a trans fat but has been viilified in the past because of it being clumped into the "Saturated Fat" group along with these other "created, hydrogenated, trans fat, saturated fats".
Coconut Oil is natures richest sources of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are also called medium chain triglycerides or MCTs. Most other common vegetable oils are made up of long chain fatty acids/triglycerides (LCFAs or LCTs). These LCT are large molecules and are usually stored as fat due to the fact that they are hard to break down. MCTs are much smaller and are therefore more easily broken down, digested and immediately burned by the liver for energy, like carbohydrates are but without the insulin spike. They actually boost your metabolism and help your body use fat for energy rather than storing it and this is how it can help you become leaner.
Many vegetable oils oxidise and become rancid quickly, which is accelerated by heating during cooking and this tends to be damaging to the thyroid gland and a sluggish thyroid can be one of the reasons that you can't loose weight. Coconut oil is very stable and slow to oxidise so is one of the best oils to be consuming. It also has a high heat tolerance and smoke point so is the healthiest oil to cook with. This means that it is less prone to oxidative damage due to heat than other vegetable oils during cooking. After consuming 2-3Tbsp per day many people have reported better thyroid function, increase in energy and a drop in weight.
Here is a video from the respected Dr Joseph Mercola that helps to explain why Coconut Oil is so good:
Some people find that their cholesterol levels rise after consuming coconut over a period of time but that is a rise in the total cholesterol count. This is generally due to a rise in the HDL (good cholesterol) and not the LDL (bad cholesterol). This improves the HDL : LDL ratio which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease.
On average coconut oil boasts a Lauric acid count of around 50%. Lauric acid is rarely found in nature, another source is human breast milk and it is a miraculous compound because of it's unique health promoting properties. Our bodies convert Lauric acid into Monolaurin which is know for it's anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Monolaurin is known to kill lipid coated viruses.
Coconut Oil is also very high in Caprylic acid which is an antifungal agent so if you suffer from Candida overgrowth Cadida albicans), especially in the gut will find including Coconut Oil in the diet beneficial. It is also this Caprylic acid that when inside the body produces ketones which are an alternative energy source for the brain. The brain usually uses glucose as a source of energy but brains affected by alzheimers use less glucose and it is these ketones that can help as another source of essential energy for the brain..
Because of it's great antimicrobial properties, Coconut oil is often used in the ancient Ayurvedic practise of "Oil Pulling". This involves swishing oil around in the mouth, pushing it backwards and forwards and between the teeth for up to 15 mins and then spitting it out. This is said to help detoxify, clean the gums and help fight decay. Some even say that it is also beneficial for those that have sinus issues.
If you are wanting to "Minimise" your beauty regime and reduce the number of different products that you use then Coconut Oil may be right for you. If you want more specialised skin care products that target different aspects then we have a comprehensive range of blossom eco skin care products.
So, don't forget that to get all these benefits you need to buy premium quality, Raw, Virgin, Organic Coconut Oil!
101 Uses for Coconut oil:
Perfect for skin- moisturiser for face/body, make-up remover/eye make-up remover, helps improve acne, dryness, helps form protective lipid barrier. Great for massage or for a bath oil and you can add some essential oils. Great for an all over, general body oil to help combat dryness.
Perfect for hair- hydrates, softens and conditions. Can be used as a treatment - apply to dry hair, leave overnight and shampoo out the next day. (cover pillow with a towel).It can also be used sparingly as a serum on dry, frizzy or flyaway hair.
Perfect for the kitchen- use in place of other oils for cooking, add to cup of tea or hot chocolate for a little sweetening, use in homemade chocolate recipies with raw Cacao. Replace butter with Coconut Oil.
Perfect for your health- eat straight off the spoon 1-2T bsp per day first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to help with detoxifying. Great for "Oil Pulling" for oral health. (See above)
Start with a 1Tbsp per day and gradually increase as you become accustomed to it.
So isn't it time that you discovered what all the fuss is about for yourself?
So next time you are enjoying some delicious Coconut Oil, there's no need to feel guilty, just remember all the good it is doing!
Dr Joseph Mercola - Leading Expert in Natural Health