This health enhancing tropical food is delicious and versatile.
Coconut oil has been a widely used food staple of traditional tropical cultures including Hawaii and the South Pacific islands for centuries. These islands depend on coconut as a diet staple and make use of its milk, meat and oil. Coconuts provide a majority of these islanders' food, but they are not alone. Around one third of the world depends on coconut products to some degree for food.
The Many Benefits of a Healthy and Holistic Oil
Coconuts are a healthy natural food that produces an oil high in flavor and numerous health benefits. Many people have used coconut oil as a supplement for relief from kidney problems, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer.
These benefits, discovered by Dr. Jon Kabara, are attributed to lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid found in coconut oil. These naturally occurring fatty acids have health enhancing properties and act as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial agents. This means an enhanced immune system for those who consume coconut products.
Coconut oil’s diverse applications include beauty treatments including hair care and skin care. Coconut oil supports repair of damaged tissue as well as moisturizes. Consumed as a food, it is proven to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, support weight loss, increase immunity, and aid in proper digestion and metabolism.
Coconut Oil Gains Favor for Healthy Eating
Unfortunately, in the 1930s the U.S. Department of Agriculture passed a tax on imported tropical oils intended to “protect domestically produced vegetable oils in their use in the production of edible products.” This act, and a campaign by the US vegetable oil industry to cast tropical oils in a bad light in order to promote vegetable oil products, caused coconut oil to fall out of favor and into disuse in the United States.
Recently, scientific research has brought coconut oil’s health benefits to light. One study by the department of biochemistry at the University of Kerala, India, showed the beneficial effects of virgin coconut oil on blood lipids (fats in the blood). Although rich in saturated fat, an incorrectly maligned form of fat found mostly in animal products, coconut oil has proven to be a health promoting food.
Saturated Fats Beneficial to Health
Saturated fats first found disfavor when a biochemist name Ancel Keyes attempted to prove they caused heart disease. This theory has since been proven wrong but remains a part of the American zeitgeist.
Saturated fats like those found in coconut oil are necessary to good health. The benefits of saturated fats in the human diet are proven in over 22 recent studies listed by the Weston A. Price Foundation including one showing saturated fatty acids constitute at least 50% of human cell membranes.
Coconut Oil is Uniquely Beneficial to Human Health
Coconut oil stands alone as a superior fat for human health. One major reason for this is coconut oil’s unique fatty acid profile that enhances the immune system. A movement of alternative health advocates, including the paleo and low carbohydrate movement, has recently worked to reestablish coconut oil as a healthy food.
Coconut oil is a healthy and versatile natural oil with many benefits. This gift from nature should be a part of everyone’s diet and beauty regimen. To support improved health and a healthy immune system add coconut oil to your diet.