Better Body Clinical Nutrition
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Saturday, November 5, 2022 10:04 AM
*Excerpt from the book “Virgin Coconut Oil” written by Brian & Marianita Jader Shilhavy.
This book can be obtained FREE at Tropical Traditions which we recommend as a source for your virgin coconut products.
Image by Irene Kredenets on unsplash.com
There are quite a few studies that have been done on traditional diets in tropical areas that are high in coconut oil consumption. In a study published in 1981, the population of two South Pacific Islands (Pukapuka & Tokelau) were examined over a period of time starting in the 1960s, before western foods were prevalent in the diets of either culture. The study was designed to investigate the relative effects of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol in determining serum cholesterol levels. Coconuts were practically a staple in the diets, with up to 60% of their caloric intake coming from the saturated fat of coconut oil. The study found very lean and healthy people who were relatively free from the modern diseases of western cultures.
VIRGIN COCONUT OIL
Most commercial grade coconut oils are made from copra. Copra is basically the dried kernel (meat) of the coconut. It can be made by: smoke drying, sun drying, kiln drying or derivatives or a combination of these three. If standard copra is used as a starting material, the unrefined coconut oil extracted from copra is not suitable for consumption and must be purified, that is refined. This is because the way most copra is dried is not sanitary. The standard end product made from copra is RBD coconut oil. RBD stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized. High heat is used to deodorize the oil, and the oil is typically filtered through (bleaching) clay to remove impurities. Sodium hydroxide is generally used to remove free fatty acids and prolong shelf life. This is the most common way to mass-produce coconut oil.
There is no industry standard definition for “Virgin Coconut Oil” as there is in the olive oil industry for “Virgin” and “Extra Virgin” olive oil. Today there are many coconut oils on the market that are labeled as “Virgin Coconut Oil”.
Tropical Traditions was the first company to publish standards for the use of “Virgin Coconut Oil” in terms of edible oils, and here is what they published years ago:
[Virgin Coconut Oil can only be achieved by using fresh coconut meat or what is called non-copra. Chemicals and high heating are not used in further refining, since the natural, pure coconut oil is very stable with a shelf life of several years. ]
One of the main differences between Virgin Coconut oil and refined coconut oil is the scent and taste. All Virgin Coconut Oils retain the fresh scent and taste of coconuts.
Here are some of the benefits of Non-Refined “Virgin Coconut Oil”
• Antiviral, Antibacterial and Antifungal
• Reduces blood sugar levels.
• Helps with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia (increases energy levels)
• Helps with digestion issues, i.e., irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, Candida
• Increases metabolism and promote weight loss
• Natural antioxidant
• Improves skin appearance
• Helps with yeast infection in the skin
• Natural sun protection
• Helps with Alzheimer’s disease
In closing, a good Virgin Coconut Oil, is something you should have on hand. Use it for cooking instead of vegetable shortening and use it for frying. It adds a bit of a nutty taste to food which I find very tasty.
Use it on your skin to improve its appearance and protect it from the sun, bacteria and viruses. You can even use it in your hair as a conditioner before shampooing (you will need to wash your hair several times to eliminate the oil.
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