There are two types of it, virgin and refined. The latter is usually used for cooking or other applications and doesn’t even remotely taste akin to a coconut. It is the former, the virgin coconut oil that you are looking for regarding consumption. The primary difference between the two types lies in the extraction method; although each method involves pressing, the refined also adds heat to extract the oil. When this is done, a host of impurities come out into the oil that lead it to be further refined.
How Effective is Coconut Oil?
It is an excellent emollient and can be used very easily and safely on the skin. When used in the care of hair, it can help the hair to retain protein/suffer less protein loss. The oil is high in saturated fats; which doctors proclaim can lead to cardiovascular disease. The health benefits far outweigh any claimed risks. Coconut oil helps with digestion and immune system function, as it is anti-fungal and anti-microbial. It is also an anti-oxidant, helping to guard the body’s cells against free radicals, that oxidize and destroy the cellular tissues and are a large component of aging.
Some of the components of coconut oil such as lauric, capric, and caprylic acids help with fighting microorganisms. As a matter of fact, coconut oil fights yeast infections, such as Candida albicans that usually develop from unrestrained and uncontrolled growth in the human stomach. The essential fatty acid in coconut oil counteract the harmful effects of packaged and processed foods that lead to these yeast infections found primarily in the nations of Northern Europe and North America. These geographical areas have cold weather and damp conditions that when combined with the particular eating habits and lifestyles of peoples living in them, contributes to a rise in the incidence of yeast infections.
There is an organization known as the Coconut Research Center that has determined the effectiveness of coconut oil and its components in defeating a host of different illnesses, such as influenza, SARS, herpes, and measles, to name a few. Coconut oil helps diabetics with the maintenance of blood sugar levels as well as being a stimulant for the release of insulin by the human pancreas. Athletes can also take advantage of it, as it has fewer calories than comparable oils and thus can be more readily transformed into energy without a buildup of fat in the heart and blood vessels.
Where to Buy Coconut Oil
You can obtain coconut oil virtually anywhere, as it is no longer kept “in the closet” and out of the public view. I have found that Wal-Mart puts out an organic coconut oil that is a few dollars less in price for an equal volume you might find in the health food stores. As in all things to do with natural health, we recommend you speak to your all-knowing, certified, licensed physician prior to undertaking any regimen with coconut oil, and obtain his/her approval.
I try and take about a tablespoon of it a day. Half in the morning goes pretty well with some steel-cut oats, and the other half I just throw in my food and let it melt in…mixing it up with my dinner. Personally I think it sucks when eaten by itself, however, that choice is up to you. I lift a lot of weights, and I find that it is really good for the hands to keep calluses and thicknesses from forming up on my palms. In any event, do your research and learn more about it…life is a learning experience. You will find the benefits far outweigh the claimed drawbacks. Enjoy, and give us some feedback on your experiences with coconut oil. JJ out!