Guest post by Nina Lynn, Holistic Nutritionist, Wellness and Empowerment Coach
Your body needs saturated fat for healthy cell walls, bone health, (calcium needs it to be absorbed into the bone matrix) a strong immune system and proper functioning of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. Coconut oil is a very healthy saturated fat. It contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and has antioxidant properties. Because of its chemical structure, coconut oil is easily converted into usable energy by the liver and not readily stored as body fat. Furthermore, it boosts your metabolism by increasing thyroid function. In fact, in the 1940’s farmers fed coconut oil to their pigs in an attempt to fatten them up. To their surprise the pigs became lean and active! Of course, once they went back to just grains, the pigs once again fattened up and became lethargic. Sound familiar?
Coconut oil is a saturated fat that is actually good for the heart. It raises HDL (good) cholesterol levels, thus improving the cholesterol ratio (LDL/HDL) and reducing your risk of heart disease. It also helps prevent strokes by lowering blood pressure and keeping blood platelets from sticking together and forming atherosclerosis.
Your immune system also benefits from a daily dose of coconut oil, (approximately 2 tbs.) and a strong immune system is your best defense against cancer. Coconut oil improves digestion and increases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Diabetics greatly benefit from eating coconut oil because it enhances the body’s use of glucose, and improves insulin secretion and absorption.
There are a variety of coconut products on the market. Virgin, organic coconut oil is the most pure. Coconut milk is a delicious alternative to dairy. Canned coconut milk is rich and creamy and can be used in place of cream or half and half. Coconut oil is perfect for cooking, as it can be heated to any temperature without damage, unlike vegetable oils that become rancid when heated. It is also great for the skin and hair. I must admit, when I use coconut oil for cooking, I wipe the extra off the spoon and rub it on my face. Mmmmmm.