A Healthy Alternative for Home Cooks
We’re a nation of people who like convenience and versatility. Why, then, wouldn’t we naturally gravitate toward foods that are versatile in their uses and conveniently found in nature and, most recently, in most stores?
Coconut oil is no longer the quintessential moisturizer for long, silky, luxurious hair. It’s no longer relegated to just lotion for our bodies. For hundreds of years, indigenous people have extolled the benefits of coconut. Now, finally, the rest of the world – our consumerism-driven world – has caught on. From raw goods to baked and fried foods, coconut oil can bring health benefits and add a unique flavor to any dish. It’s pressed directly from the fruit of a coconut palm tree. Its popularity is growing, especially as a replacement for artery-clogging butter.
Besides being readily available, it also provides a significant number of health benefits. To date, there are seventy-seven uses known for coconut oil and a great number of curing properties associated it. For example, coconut oil is believed to have the ability to suppress cells that can become inflamed by illness, ailment, or injury. It’s also used to assist with memory impairment issues and to help ease digestion by destroying harmful bacteria that make their way to the stomach.
What is coconut oil?
Also known as copra oil or edible oil, coconut oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. It contains a high saturated fat content, thus making it slow to oxidize. It is resistant to rancidification – meaning, it won’t go bad quickly. It can last up to six months at twenty-four degrees Celsius or seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it ideal for storing for long-term use.
There are several varieties of coconut oil, not all of them appropriate for cooking. Refined, bleached, and deodorized (RBD) oil is pressed in a heated hydraulic press to extract the oil and prepare it for use in food consumption/preparation. This process yields almost all the oil available. It has almost no coconut taste or aroma. It is widely used in commercial food processing, cosmetic manufacturing, and home cooking.
There are tremendous benefits to cooking with coconut oil. Number one: it is easy for the body to burn as fuel for energy. Number two: it has anti-microbial properties.
Lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid are rare substances that are found in nature under the proper circumstances. Coconut oil provides those unique conditions.
Lauric acid is the substance that enhances digestion and absorption. This is the same substance that is touted to benefit babies while breastfeeding. It has antiviral, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties.
Capric and caprylic acids have been found to disintegrate human gallstones. They are a safe and proficient method of dealing with gallbladder disease. Along with that benefit, coconut oil as a whole has a great many other benefits, including:
- Moisturizing skin
- Reducing cellulite
- Decreasing age spots and wrinkles
- Killing candida
- Providing hormonal balances
- Balancing the level of blood sugar
- Improving digestion
- Burning fat
- Increasing HDL and lowering LDL
- How to cook with coconut oil:
- Cook on high heat when frying or sautéing
- Use it as a replacement for butter
- Use as creamer in your coffee
- Use as a delicious popcorn flavor
- Add it to smoothies or granola mixes
- Substitute for cooking spray
- Use it as a healthy base for homemade mayonnaise
- Replace unhealthy fats like creams, spreads, butter when baking
By Davide Castellano