As an acupuncturist who practices holistic medicine, my patients are always asking about nutrition. One question that keeps coming up is: What do you know about coconut oil? Here are the simple facts about the health benefits of consuming organic, virgin coconut oil.
Health Benefits of Coconut oil:
We need good fats, like those found in oils, for many reasons, not the least of which is brain function. We’re finding that coconut oil is heart healthy and several other kinds of healthy. Here are reasons to choose organic, virgin, pure coconut oil:
- It helps enhance the body’s ability to fight bacteria and viruses.
- It can help fight yeast, candida and fungus.
- It can help improve insulin use in the body; therefore, it positively affects hormones for thyroid and blood sugar balance. Poor thyroid function can contribute to higher levels of bad cholesterol.
- It has lauric acid, a saturated fat. It has been shown that lauric acid increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood. It also can kill pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
- Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are metabolized differently by the body than long chain triglycerides. The MCTs can significantly reduce appetite helping to manage weight.
- Studies show the fatty acids or MCTs, which are found in coconut oil, lead to immediate improvement in brain function in patients with mild forms of Alzheimer’s.
- A study from 2009 had women consume about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks. The women did not gain more weight, and they had lowered amounts of abdominal fat. Abdominal fat contributes to heart problems.
For the benefits described above, the coconut oil needs to be consumed. You can use it as cooking oil, drop some in your healthy shakes, mix some in some pineapple juice, and drizzle anywhere you want a little coconut flavor. Coconut oil can also be rubbed on the skin and in the hair for its moisturizing effects. There are lots of articles and testimonials on the Internet about the benefits of coconut oil. You might even have some friends you can ask about their experiences with it. Like everything, moderation is the key. Generally, 1-2 tablespoons a day seems to be the recommended amount to see results.
Acupuncture is a holistic and preventive medicine used to diagnose and treat the mind, body and spirit. Healthy digestion and inclusion of foods that act as medicine, like coconut oil, can help your body function optimally and prevent illness.