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The Amazing Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil

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The Amazing Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is often described as the “healthiest oil on earth.”

This wasn’t always so. For years it had a reputation of being unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content.

We now know coconut oil is different from most fats and is actually good for us. We have listed twelve of the most important health benefits of this newly declared PowerFood.

How Did Coconut Oil Get a Bad Reputation?

  • Coconut oil is saturated oil. Saturated oils were understood to raise blood cholesterol and cause heart disease.
  • A specific study conducted 40 years ago seemed to verify this concern. Yes, it did increase heart disease.

But, what no one at the time seemed to take into account was that this study was done on hydrogenated coconut. The problems with hydrogenated oils are well documented by numerous studies.  Even the general theory of saturated fats is now suspect. Read more about this here: Is Saturated Fat Bad For You?

Coconut oil has been used throughout Asia and the Pacific for thousands of years as both a food and a medicine.

In tropical climates like Polynesia, Sri Lanka, and the Yucatan where they have a diet high in coconut oil, the people are healthier, have less heart disease, cancer, and colon problems than unsaturated fat eaters. It is now accepted that there is good cholesterol and there are good saturated fats.

To quote Dr. Mary Enig: “The research over four decades concerning coconut oil in diet and heart disease is quite clear: coconut oil has been shown to be beneficial.”

Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil (cold pressed):

1. Thyroid-stimulating: Research shows that coconut oil contains a medium-chain fatty acids accelerate that stimulates metabolism, gives you more energy.

2. Get candida in check: Coconut oil has a good quantity of caprylic acid in it which is well known to kill off excess candida by targeting harmful bacteria.

3. Lowers cholesterol: It is rich in lauric acid which protects your heart by reducing total cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.

4. Helps with weight loss: Here is an interesting fact about coconut oil; even though it is a fat, it actually helps with weight loss!  Read more here: Weight Loss With Coconut Oil. The healthy medium chain fatty acids do not circulate in the bloodstream like other fats; they are sent directly to the liver and are converted into energy. Thus the body does not store the fat in coconut oil as fat; it uses it to produce energy instead.

5. Helps keep diabetes in check: It does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream. Instead it helps control blood sugar by improving the secretion of insulin. Note: This is not a free pass to eat a lot of sugar and other dumb carbs

6. Reduces heart disease: studies on people in the Pacific Islands found that their total caloric intake included thirty to sixty percent from fully saturated coconut oil. These Pacific Islanders have nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease.

7. Gastrointestinal malabsorption diseases: Combining Vitamin E supplements with coconut oil through the skin proved to be a good alternative for those with gastrointestinal malabsorption diseases. Study in Canada 1999 University of Western Ontario

8. Supports the immune system. It is rich in lauric acid, a nutrient that supports the body’s immune system.

9. Good for the skin: When applied externally it forms a protective antibacterial layer protecting the infected body part.  Also, coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by helping to repair damaged tissue.

10. Nourishing for the brain: Studies show that it improves cognitive function, and stalls, or even reverses, neurodegenerative diseases in their early stages.

11. Ancient medicine:
Coconut oil has been part of Ayurvedic medicine for 5,000 years in India.

12. Speeds Recovery:
People in Panama drink a glass of coconut oil to protect themselves from illness as it is also believed to speed recovery from sickness.

Read about the numerous research studies done on coconut oil: Coconut Oil Research

“Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the anti-viral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria!” according to research by Dr. Mary Enig.

Next page:  History and fascinating trivia

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Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network and Healthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).


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6:39AM PDT on Aug 14, 2015

I have a bit of a bone to pick with the sixth item on this list. While studies may have found nearly nonexistent rates of heart disease among populations of Pacific Islanders despite a diet which is thirty to sixty percent saturated coconut oil, all reputable scientists understand and follow one vitally important rule -- correlation does not imply causation.

It's a mistake to assume that coconut oil is the sole factor -- or for that matter, a primary factor (or perhaps even a factor at all) -- in the low rates of heart disease among these people, and also a mistake to assume that other populations would experience similar results simply from adding coconut oil to their diet. Both the diet and lifestyle of Pacific Islanders are very different from those of most people in the West, and their populations are also far more isolated. It's quite possible that the rates of heart disease among Pacific Islanders would go up exponentially and match that of people here in the West if they followed the same diet and lifestyle that most of us do -- as the rate of heart disease among many Japanese does when they move to the West, despite the fact that people in Japan also historically have very low rates of heart disease. That being said, the possibility cannot be entirely ruled out that there is a genetic component to the resistance of Pacific Island peoples -- perhaps people who were more vulnerable to the effects of a diet heavy in saturated fat died at a younger age and they w

5:15AM PDT on Jun 20, 2015

Thanks for the information.

7:02AM PDT on May 20, 2015

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11:54AM PDT on Mar 21, 2015

Thank you.

7:42AM PST on Feb 24, 2015


10:49AM PST on Feb 20, 2015

Good to know , thanks

5:23PM PDT on Aug 29, 2014

Interesting article, thank you!

8:22AM PDT on Aug 12, 2014

Thanks! I love coconut oil. I use it as a hair conditioning treatment before I wash my hair and apply it as a skin moisturiser all over my body after a shower. Great stuff! It makes my skin and hair so soft.

12:19PM PDT on Mar 31, 2014

I use extra virgin olive oil in salad dressings but never in cooking, it gives a weird taste.
Pure unrefined extra virgin coconut oil is special for cooking but I use moderate amounts.
These two oils are just special

5:55PM PDT on Mar 9, 2014

More things to try - thank you for the recipes and ideas!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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