Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Coconut Oil Conga

Does coconut oil make you want to conga? Well it should! Coconut oil has many health benefits to not only make your skin, hair, and body look good but also to help it function better inside too!

Coconut oil has been shown to help with hair and skin care, digestion and metabolism, weight loss, healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, relief from kidney and heart problems, diabetes, cancer, HIV, osteoporosis and healthy bone strength, and even better dental care and increased immunity. According to Dr. Newport it can also be used to help with Alzheimer's disease. Wow, and top that all off with great stress relieving properties and you'll want to kick back with a Pina Colada!

Coconut oil gains its antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, and soothing properties from its life changing composition. It's made up of 92% saturated fat, wait wait WAIT! Don't go anywhere, keep reading I promise you this gets better. The saturated fatty acids present in coconut oil are primarily medium sized chains of acids, such as lauric, capric, and caprylic acid.

Lauric acid is natural acid produced as an energy source in plants and animals and can be found in human milk, dairy products, nuts, and oils. It has been shown to have antibacterial and antiviral properties and has also been shown to help with acne. Lauric acid helps to fight off infection by disrupting the lipid membranes of bacteria, viruses, yeast, and even fungus. It has also been shown to help combat helicobacter pylori (linked to stomach ulcers/gastritis)and Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Read more about that here.

Capric acid has been linked to regulating insulin levels and decreasing insulin resistance and is even included in some diabetic medication to help with insulin response. According to the EPA this acid safe and has no known toxic dosage. However this acid has also been refined for use as an antimicrobial pesticide in commercial products such as dye, medicine, soaps, etc. and its refined form has been linked to skin, eye, and pulmonary irriation. Want more info?

Caprylic acid is an effective Candida or yeast killer and can also be used to restore proper stomach acid pH for those with gastrointestinal complaints. Our stomach acid should have a pH of around 1 or 2, however people with gastric complaints usually have too high of a pH level which can lead to stomach irritation, yeast overgrowth, and improper digestion. As we age our stomach acid production decreases normally, however many people complain they have reflux because of too much stomach acid when in actuality its because their food cannot be digested because they don't have enough or acidic enough stomach acid to digest their food properly!

So how can you incorporate the benefits of coconut oil into your life? Coconut oil is naturally solid and has a high melting point so if you need it in liquid form for use just place bottle in sun or in warm water. You can also heat a small quantity in a bowl over a flame, but don't microwave it!

1. Warm up the oil to liquid form and massage into scalp to reduce dandruff and dry skin as an a prevention for lice and lice eggs. It is also an excellent conditioner and helps to nourish and regrow damaged hair.

2. Warm up the oil and use on skin as a massage oil or moisturizer. It is also great for preventing wrinkles and sagging skin and can be used in treatment of psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and other skin infections.

3. Use in place of vegetable oil in cooking for all the internal benefits for heart, digestive, immunity, and bone health. It can also help with thyroid and pancreas function, weight loss, and preventing artherosclerosis. Plus coconut oil is heat stable and much better able to withstand the high temperatures associated with high temperature cooking than olive oil. (Don't cut out other cooking substrates such as butter, dairy, or olive oil as there are benefits with all of these!)\

4. Need some stress relief? Give yourself a scalp and forehead massage with coconut oil to lessen tension and some natural aromatherapy too.

Here's a few tasty recipes to use at home.

Banana Orange Smoothie
Apple Chicken Stir-fry
Coconut Flour Meat Loaf
Coconut Oil Tortillas
Coconut Oil Sauteed Carrots