The humble coconut, used around the world for its flesh, juice, milk and oil for generations, is now being more fully appreciated. Tropical islanders have always fully understood the endless possibilities not only of the coconut itself, but the whole tree, using every part as a source of fuel, shelter and nutrition, and making the cultivation of the coconut palm one of the most sustainable practices on the planet. The trunk is still used to make furniture and homes; the leaves to create roof thatching; the shell to make traditional musical instruments; the nut to provide the husk, which repels mosquitoes and supplies kindling for-fire lighting; the roots for an antiseptic mouthwash; the juice for a refreshing drink; and the white flesh to provide nutritional food, flavoring, sweetness and the oil.
The oil of the coconut has now reached super-food status, in all parts of the world, due to much research into its unique combination of fatty acids, which have been proven to have positive effects on our health. Significant weight loss, therapeutic effects on the brain and the ability to kill bacteria and fight infections are just some of its star qualities.
- The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil increase our expenditure of energy by up to 5%, which leads to weight loss.
- The lauric acid in coconut oil and monolaurin, a monoglyceride, have been proven to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus and the yeast Candida Albicans by many University studies.
- The energy, called ketone bodies, help brain disorders such as Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Caprylic acid and caproic acid, as well as the lauric acid, in coconut oil have antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. which provides its outstanding germ-killing properties.
Coconuts are also loaded with other health benefits–for example the moisturizing effects it has on your skin and hair, and its ability to maintain good cholesterol levels, relieve stress, aid digestion, improve bone health, aid the immune system and boost energy and endurance. With so many amazing uses all throughout the body, you can understand why the ancient Indian word for the coconut tree, kalpa vriks ha, means “the tree that sustains life.”
Of course, the best thing about coconut oil is that it is a completely natural product that provides an alternative treatment to many conditions. There are many delicious ways to include this natural product in your foods, and it is easy to get, use and digest. In fact it helps our body digest other vitamins and minerals properly.
There are a few different varieties of coconut oil available and you may find it confusing as to which kind you should buy when choosing between pure coconut oil, refined coconut oil, organic coconut oil, virgin coconut oil, organic virgin coconut oil and extra virgin coconut oil. The properties of the different varieties of oil do not differ that much, though virgin coconut oil seems to be the most respected variety. Virgin coconut oil is derived from the milk of fresh coconut meat. As little heat as possible is used in the extraction process, so the oil retains its antioxidants and medium-chain fatty acids. However most of the coconut oil in the world is refined coconut oil, or RBD, which stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized. Most research on the health benefits of coconut oil is done on RBD coconut oil. The medium chain fatty acids, which make coconut oil unique, are in refined coconut oils.
The info graphic has 10 simple ideas, many handed down from ancient island wisdom, to use the versatile coconut and all its goodness and help you feel happy, healthy and wise.
10 DIY Uses For Coconut | blendtec