I have recently become quite the huge fan of coconut products, everything from coconut oil to coconut milk. I am still not on the coconut water train but because of it’s high electrolyte content (mostly from it’s insane amounts of potassium – take that Mr. Banana) it is a better sports drink for endurance athletes in my opinion – Natures Gatorade. But on to some of the benefits that I have learned about coconuts.
Get ready for the ultimate anti-drug.
Coconuts are not only good for your heart health but it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic… it is simply a superhero in my world. A majority of these benefits come from coconut oil specifically. Scientific research shows that the medium-chain fatty acids (the good stuff, we’ll get there in a second) help fight off all those bad bugs, parasites, viruses and so forth.
What are medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) you ask? They are extremely unique when it comes to fats because they get metabolized by the body quickly into usable energy. This is great because most fatty acids take a long time to be used for energy due to the processing through the liver into lipoproteins that normally has to happen with short-chain and long-chain fatty acids (enough sciency mumbo jumbo). Think of a time-released caffeine effect from this powerhouse. While on the topic of metabolism, polyunsaturated fatty acids can slow the function of the thyroid, which regulates metabolism, but coconut oils MCFAs can support the function of the thyroid increasing metabolism and increasing energy.
Do you like wrinkles? I didn’t think so…
Coconut oil also has an anti-aging component! I am amazed as you are because I know that even my baby face some day will soon fade… (See picture to the left) but I’m going to rock it as long as I can! The saturated fat in coconut oil (remember the MCFAs?) doesn’t oxidize as easily as unsaturated fat. In short, the quicker oil oxidizes the worse it is for our body because that can translate into more free radicals and that ages us quicker. Boom! Anti-aging! Not to mention you can lather this stuff all over your body for a clear coat!
This article could go on much longer about the unique properties of coconut oil and how it can aid our quest for optimal health but let’s discuss how we can get more coconut into our bodies!
Most of the fantastic benefits of coconut are seen in the oil but that doesn’t mean other coconut products don’t help our quest! In fact, I am munching on some unsweetened dried coconut flakes. Don’t hesitate to try some coconut milk (in your coffee too!), coconut butter (on whatever you might put regular butter on) and the dried coconut flakes (I like to make a trail mix with raw nuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, cocoa nibs and a dash of sea salt).
I suggest replacing your cooking oils with coconut oil and you will start to reap some of these benefits! Be aware that there is virgin and expeller pressed varieties but stick to the one you prefer (the virgin coconut oil has more coconut flavor which I personally prefer) but both have the same benefits.
“Nutrition is 100% of the battle; ironically so is Exercise.”
Now go coconuts!