There is a reason why many people have begun to talk about the health benefits of virgin coconut oil – actually there are many reasons. This oil is loaded with 44% lauric acid which is essentially a saturated fatty acid that is claimed to help the body fight off viruses and bacteria causing diseases.
Although coconut oil is mainly comprised of saturated fats, most of them are medium chain triglycerides which break down well and convert easily into immediate sources of energy as opposed to being stored as fat. Studies have shown that individuals that ingest coconut oil on a regular basis lost more abdominal fat and increased their HDL cholesterol compared to those who used soy or olive oil as their main oil choice.
It is even the perfect choice for cooking above traditional extra virgin olive oil due to its higher smoke point. The smoke point of an oil references the temperature that an olive can be heated to before it begins to loose health benefitting properties as well as its flavor. Coconut oil has a smoke point of 365′F which makes it a safer choice for sauteing, baking and as an all-purpose cooking oil.
Coconut oil is made by removing the coconut meat from whole coconuts and grinding it at a low temperature into small granules and then drying it out. Once these granules are dried, they are put through a cold process expeller which squeezes out the oil at a temperature of under 113 degrees. The expelled oil is strained to remove moisture and any debris and is then bottled for the consumer. Because it is not heated above a certain temperature, all of the raw nutrients from the coconut are kept intact which is why it provides such amazing health benefits to consumers.
Use coconut oil in the same way that you may use olive oil, such as in marinades, salad dressings, or when sauteing vegetables or pan-frying meat. Or, use it in place of butter when baking or making desserts such as icing or ice cream treats. It is even good for your skin and hair. Warm a small amount of beeswax and mix with some coconut oil to create your own skin salve or use as a conditioner for the hair. If it is massaged into the scalp, it can help with the regrowth of damaged hair as well as prevent dryness and flaking of the skin.