Origin: Southeast Asia, South America, New Zealand and India
Description: Known as Sanskrit “the tree which provides all the necessities of life”, the Coconut Palm yields 50-75 coconuts per year and not a part of it goes unused. Coconut water contains sugars, fiber, protein, anti-oxidants and a variety of vitamins and minerals. The sap from cutting the flowers from the tree is used to make a drink called “toddy”. The fibrous husk from the tree, the coir, is used in many things including ropes, mats, brushes and potting soil. If you no longer need a coconut tree, the apical bud of an adult tree can be eaten as “palm-cabbage”, and the “heart of the palm” is a delicacy in gourmet salads. The ‘no longer’ clause due to consuming these will kill the tree. And of course, there is the white meat of the nut that can be eaten directly or used to make coconut milk, coconut cream, and coconut oil of which we will focus today.
Benefits: Researchers have increasingly revisited the health benefits of coconut oil. The findings have associated it with many healthful benefits starting with weight loss due to the medium length of the fatty acid chains (aka MCT’s). Though it is considered a saturated fat, coconut oil is a different structure from the notorious saturated animal fats, and even offers benefits not available in the longer chained plant oils. The medium length of the coconut’s fatty acid chain enables rapid breakdown in digestion as well as ease of use when burned for energy. These same MCT’s, along with monoglycerides, are found primarily in coconut oil and breast milk and contribute toward well-being, which includes a role in thyroid health. It has tested well in helping prevent hypothyroidism due to its evasion of rancidity. Studies show that rancidity is harmful to the thyroid as well as many cells throughout the body. (The plant oils used by mainstream food manufacturers have a high propensity toward rancidity and must be processed through hydrogenation into trans-fatty acids.)
Another benefit of using coconut oil is that it supports the suppression of Candida (aka, yeast) in the digestive system. While yeast commonly inhabits your digestive system, it is kept controlled due to the body’s presence of probiotics (aka “good” bacteria). In the event the person starts taking antibiotics, prescription medications, birth control pills or maintains a poor diet and experiences daily stress, Candida yeast begins to fiercely outnumber the good bacteria, causing evidence of infection. Also, digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease and IBS can have positive results from one consuming coconut oil. The MCTs will not only be easily digested, but will also assist in the absorption of the nutrients from other foods.
Blurb: While time may be limited on the amount of pampering a mother can do for herself, there are steps that can be taken to look our best and coconut oil is here to help. Coconut oil is used for treating damaged hair, dry scalp and pimples, moisturizing dry and aging skin, and enabling anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral effects throughout the body. It has also shown great reduction of keratosis polaris, rosacea and psoriasis. You do not have to pay absorbent fees for beauty products. Instead, buy a large jar of the solid oil and use it directly on the appropriate area as well as ingesting it for overall well being…it tastes great and goes down smooth!
Author: Sherri L Dodd