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The Amazing Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil

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Coconut Trivia:

  • Spanish explorers called it coco, which means monkey face. They thought that the three indentations on the hairy nut looked like the head and face of a monkey. They called it Cocoa, named after a grimacing face or hobgoblin.
  • When cocoa came to England, they added nut to it and that is how the name came about.
  • The natives of Hawaii anointed Captain Cook with coconut oil during their Makahiki festival in 1778. This was an offering to the gods and was a time of spiritual cleansing.
  • Captain Cook and his sailors were struck by the health and beauty of the people on Polynesian islands.
  • The Philippines is the top Coconut producing country

Interesting fact:

Unsaturated oils in cooked foods become rancid within a few hours, even in the refrigerator. Once fresh unsaturated fats are inside the body, they oxidize (turn rancid). Coconut oil does not go rancid even after one year at room temperature. Most of the saturated fat in coconut oil is easy to digest and converted into quick energy so people are less likely to become obese as the fat is not stored.

Coconut Oil Nutrition:

  • Is nature’s richest source of lauric acid which protects your heart by reducing total cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.
  • Has a small amount of vitamins and minerals.
  • Choline is one of the most abundant nutrients (0.3 mg per 100 g of oil).
  • Vitamin E (0.9 mg per 100 g of oil) and vitamin K (0.5 mcg per 100 g of oil). Both vitamins are important for cardiovascular health.
  • Contains a small amount of iron (0.04 mg per 100 g of oil).

How is Virgin Coconut Oil made?

Fresh coconut flesh is used also called non-copra.

Chemicals and high heat are not used.

There are currently two main processes of manufacturing Virgin Coconut Oil:

1. Quick drying of fresh coconut flesh. Low heat is used to quick dry the coconut; the oil is then pressed out with mechanical means.

2. Wet-milling. The oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat without drying first. Coconut milk is made by pressing. Then the oil is separated from the water. The methods used to separate the oil from the water include boiling, fermentation, refrigeration, enzymes, and mechanical centrifuge.

Next page: How to use coconut oil and delicious recipes

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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.

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!

3:38AM PDT on Mar 9, 2014

And it is very good for repairing the damaged hair as it penetrates to the cortex cell of the hair's shaft

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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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