A switch to a raw, vegan, natural foods lifestyle requires a little creativity and a lot of getting used to. It may feel at first as if we are giving up more than we are gaining. When I became a ‘raw dude’ I expanded my tastes by experimenting and trying different foods that I previously paid little or no attention to. One of these newfound treasures was coconut.
I am blessed to live in a tropical climate where coconuts grow in abundance so that also had an influence on my desire to include more coconut in my daily diet. I’ve heard amazing things about the healing properties of coconut oil- some of which I will share in this article in hopes that you’ll be convinced to give coconut a try.
You can’t keep a good oil down!
The false and misleading information that has been widely distributed marking coconut oil, or saturated fats, as bad was pushed by the corn oil industry. As we know, whenever huge profits are at stake, the truth is hidden and replaced with lies to support the profit agenda.
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However, coconut oil which is far more nutritious and beneficial than corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, and even olive oil- contains no dangerous trans-fatty acids. Trans-fats can raise LDLs, commonly known as ‘bad’ cholesterol, and lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more.
Coconut oil increases metabolism and supports healthy weight loss.
Coconut oil’s saturated fat is a medium-chain fatty acid which means it is digested more easily than other fats. Whereas, other fats are stored in the body’s cells, the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are rapidly broken down and converted into energy putting less strain on the liver, pancreas, and digestive system. By activating the metabolism, coconut oil is outstanding for those with thyroid issues.
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Coconut oil is antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-cancerous. It enhances the immune system by destroying lipid-coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, influenza, and various pathogenic bacteria.
There are many uses for pure, virgin coconut oil. If you are interested in getting a more in-depth view of healthy saturated fats that should be included in your diet, Dr. Mary Enig’s, Eat Fat, Lose Fat : The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats, is a clear, understandable read on ‘good’ fats. Dr. Enig provides a lot of information on coconut oil as well as other healthy, saturated fats.
Uses of Coconut Oil:
- As a stable cooking oil
- salad dressing
- shakes, smoothies, juices
- skin moisturizer
- massage oil
I feel the best and most complete benefits come from the whole, natural coconut eaten regularly as a part of a natural foods diet. But if you don’t happen to have a coconut tree in your backyard then you must make sure you are getting the highest quality virgin coconut oil.
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Some requirements to look for would be:
- certified organic, USDA standards
- low-level heating to preserve natural nutrients
- made from fresh coconuts, not dried
- no chemical additives
- no refinement
- no hydrogenation
- no hybridized coconuts
Superior quality makes a big difference, not only in regards to health and safety, but also in regards to taste and cooking quality if you use it in sautees and stir-frys. However you use your coconut oil, you can be assured that you are fortifying yourself with healthy, natural foods that taste good and are good for you!
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