The health programmes are back. Last week’s edition of Trust Me I am a Doctor tested the effectiveness of coconut oil.
Coconut and its benefits are not a new story within the health food trade. We thought it was time to refresh you on the many coconut products, their uses and health benefits.
The reason Trust Me were testing coconut oil is that it is a saturated fat that is promoted as healthy. We have all been trained to avoid saturated fats because they are perceived to be bad for us and our health.
Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid which means behaves differently in the body to other saturated fats. For example:
- It is a great source of energy
- Digestion is easier and quicker than other fats
This was confirmed by the trial run by Trust Me. Their trial split a group of 100 people aged 50 plus into three groups. Each group had to consume 50g of butter, coconut oil or olive oil.
The results showed an unexpected result (to the Trust Me team but not to us!) and that was that coconut oil fared best against LDL (bad) cholesterol production. Not only that, but it increased HDL cholesterol by 14%. This is a great result because HDL helps to remove LDL. So eating more coconut oil gives you more HDL which then in turn reduces LDL levels even further!
Different coconut products
We love coconut’s versatility and to demonstrate that here is a list of the coconut variants that we sell
- The fruit itself
- Coconut Oil – the oil will appear solid at room temperature but liquefies easily. This makes it great for cooking and a substitute for olive oil which is not so stable at higher cooking temperatures
- Coconut Butter - this will look the same as the oil at room temperature but is actually spreadable. It is made from the flesh of the coconut. The oil is extracted from the flesh thus giving a different consistency
- Essential oil – use in oil burners or in your massage mixes to soothe your skin
- Coconut milk – a tasty alternative to milk if you have lactose issues. I use it in my porridge every day.
- Coconut yogurt and ice cream are amazing too
- Flour made from coconut is often a part of a flour combination used in gluten free recipes. It adds density to a mix giving your baking shortness and bulk. If you have a problem with almonds it can be used as a substitute but the results will be more dense
- Nectar from the coconut tree is being used as an agave substitute, in baking and as a raw food treat. It is low GI, low fructose and has nothing added to it
- Coconut Water will address your dehydration – useful after a heavy night!
- Desiccated Coconut is often used in baking for example it adds extra sweetness to cacao truffles or in flapjacks.
- Just in case you don’t like the taste but want the benefits we also offer coconut in supplement form
Daily uses for Coconut
- Skin care
- I use an organic virgin coconut oil as my skin moisturiser and I am regularly complimented on my soft skin
- Gum disease
- Rub the oil on your gums and let its anti-inflammatory properties work their magic
- Hair care
- I have mentioned this before. Put a tablespoon of oil into your hair overnight and wash off the next morning for hair in great condition
- Female lubricant
- If you need support in this sensitive area what better than a natural product. Many of my patients swear by it
- Weight control
- This amazing nutrient helps us burn fat and reduce our appetites! Particularly useful after the festive season!! It also increases our metabolism too
- Coconut oil goes straight to the liver making it a ready source of energy
- In the same way that coconut oil moisturises my skin it helps men with skin issues associated with shaving providing anti-inflammatory properties
- Immune protection comes from the oil’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties
- Nappy rash
- This is a miserable condition for mum and baby. The oil soothes with its moisturising qualities and heals with its anti-inflammatory properties
- Make up remover. This is great for the sensitive eye area not only is it a gentle solution but its moisturises a fragile skin area
More Health Benefits of Coconut
From a health perspective coconut is supportive in dealing with:
- Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis
- Easing the signs of ageing
- Helping balance our hormones
- Improving our memory and brain function
- Supporting people with diabetes
- Acting as an aid to digestion
- Preventing Alzheimers disease
- Protecting the liver
- Reducing the impact of heart disease and high blood pressure
- UTI’s and kidney disease
In conclusion, coconut is a versatile and fabulous food. It is easy to incorporate into your daily regime. You will get so many health benefits why not give it a go? Let us know your favourite recipes or ways to use coconut.