Coconut oil has become a popular ingredient of discussion over the past several years. It’s made from drying the kernel (or the meat) of the coconut and comes in several different types. The most common types of coconut oil that you will see are virgin (unrefined) and refined. Virgin coconut oil has a tropical scent and flavor, whereas refined coconut oil has minimal scent and flavor.
Not only is coconut oil extremely versatile in the many ways you can use it in cooking and for beauty, it also offers plenty of health benefits. Here are just a few of the ways that coconut oil can help improve your health.
Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which when broken down by the liver, create ketones in the body. Ketones are an excellent source of fuel for brain cells, especially in Alzheimer’s patients who have glucose utilization impairment. Another study that was published in the journal of Neurodegenerative Disease Management found that the medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil may help to improve the cognitive function of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
While glucose (from complex carbohydrates and fruits) are the preferred fuel for your brain cells, each brain cell has an outer layer of lipids (fats) that needs to be replenished as well. If you want to improve your memory, it might be worth adding coconut oil into your diet.
Lauric acid is a type of fatty acid that is found in coconut oil. This particular fatty acid has been tested as an excellent antibacterial agent. Lauric acid is the precursor to monolaurin, which acts like a bacteria-killer. Adding more coconut oil into your diet might help your body sweep out bacteria so that your immune system can continue doing what it does best. Additionally, coconut oil can help combat yeast and fungal overgrowth like Candida Albicans due to its antifungal properties.
Coconut oil can be used as a skincare product in many ways. It helps with dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis. You can also use it as a facial cleanser or a moisturizer. Contrary to what you might think, using coconut oil as a moisturizer does not make your skin oily. Using coconut oil as a lotion helps you to avoid many of the toxins that are found in conventional moisturizers and beauty products.
Luckily, incorporating coconut oil into your daily routine and diet is easier than you might think. Here are some fun ways to try it:
Coconut oil is an excellent cooking oil for high-heat cooking. Because coconut oil is a saturated fat, it helps to prevent oxidation when it is exposed to high heat. You can use it as a replacement for olive oil when roasting vegetables in the oven at high heat or in stir-fry dishes. Some good vegetables for roasting with coconut oil are:
The flavor of coconut oil tends to mix well with sweeter root vegetables and dishes that have Asian flavors. To use coconut oil for roasting vegetables in the oven, follow these steps:
When baking with coconut oil, measure in a cup when it is solid at room temperature. Once you have measured it out, melt it on the stove in a small sauce pan then add it to the “wet” ingredients in the baking process. Coconut oil is a healthier alternative to butter and processed oils such as canola oil, soy oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil.
Simply add 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to your morning smoothie and blend away. You can also add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to a cup of hot coffee or tea to create a creamier consistency.
Coconut oil serves as a great “binder” for these Lemon and Coconut Protein Bars. These bars only take 15 minutes to make and they don’t require any baking or cooking.
Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Line a small baking dish with parchment paper. Spread batter inside, using a spatula to flatten.
Refrigerate for 45 minutes. Cut into 12 bars then place in a glass Tupperware and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
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