At the Aspen Clinic, we try to stay up to date on the latest trends in health and nutrition that way we can keep our patients informed as well. But honestly, if you grocery shop, look up healthy recipes, or if you ever look at Pinterest you’ve probably noticed that EVERYONE is talking about coconut oil.
Whether they’re consuming it, using it on their skin, or around the house, they can’t stop raving about all of the benefits.
Basically, coconut oil might be the best thing since sliced bread!
Well, technically speaking we now know that sliced bread isn’t so great, but you see what we’re getting at! So to kill your curiosity, we’ve decided to give you some of the science behind it as well as ways to use it and incorporate it into your diet!
What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil was once mistaken as an unhealthy fat because of its high saturated fat content. However, we now know that it possesses many health-giving properties due to its fiber and nutrition content. So what makes coconut oil different from other saturated fats? They are medium-chain fatty acids.
All fats are composed of molecules called fatty acids. There are two methods of identifying fatty acids: saturation and molecular size, or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. There are short-chained fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chained fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Most of the fats we consume, whether saturated, unsaturated, come from animals or plants are LCFAs.
You’re probably wondering what all of this means. Well, to make it simple, the size of the fatty acid is extremely important because our bodies respond and metabolize each fatty acid differently depending on its size. MCFAs do not have a negative effect on cholesterol, help to protect against heart disease, can be used as an Alzheimer’s treatment (check out this YouTube video about an Alzheimer’s patient who started using coconut oil daily https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dfux-5Z4COo&app=desktop), and can be used around your house as part of your beauty regimen, and many more things! There are many benefits to using coconut oil, but the reason we love it so much is it actually has TONS of health benefits! It can even aid in weight loss because it is lower in calories than all other fats.
How to consume it:
- Replacement for butter
- Natural energy booster
- Healthy popcorn topper
- Replacement for non-stick cooking spray
- Replace unhealthy fats when baking
- Coffee creamer
- Hair conditioner
- Mouth ulcers
- Cuticle moisturizer
- Makeup remover
- Soothe sunburns
- Fight body odor
- Reduce wrinkles
- Helps eczema flare-ups
- Moisturize leather
- Condition wooden utensils and furniture
- Remove rust and clean metal
- Condition your pet’s fur
- How to: Swish 1tsp of organic extra virgin coconut oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. DO NOT swallow the oil. Spit the oil in a garbage can and brush your teeth as normal. Repeat 3-4 times per week.
- Removes bacteria in the mouth
- Prevents plaque, gum disease, cavities, and gingivitis
- Holistic remedy for bleeding gums
- Holistic treatment for jaw problems (TMJ)
- Helps bad breath
- Whitens teeth
Oil pulling helps with more than just your mouth!
- Detoxifies the body
- Supports normal kidney function
- Reduces migraines
- May help congestion
- Helps get rid of hangovers
As you can see, the benefits of coconut oil are endless – but they don’t stop there! If you want to see a little more about the amazing benefit of coconut oil check out this amazing book by Dr. Mary Newport: