I recently read a magazine article about a boy with Asperger’s who experienced minimal behavioral improvement with a gluten-free, casein-free diet but full relief of symptoms once they added 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day to his diet. He’s now fully mainstreamed in school and more social. Apparently teachers and other parents can’t believe this boy was ever diagnosed on the spectrum since he began this new daily regimen.
While I know we won’t be hearing any conclusive announcements that coconut oil cures Asperger’s, stories like this speak to the amazing healing powers food can have on our health. With such high praise given to coconut oil, I had to know how it can benefit the rest of us.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, naturally occurring saturated fat and the lauric acid found in coconut oil is responsible for its abundance of healthy benefits, including:
- Improving your heart health.
- Boosting your thyroid.
- Increasing your metabolism.
- Promoting a lean body and weight loss if needed.
- Supporting your immune system.
- Anti-aging, regenerative improvements to skin when applied topically.
Most studies were conducted by simply observing the health habits of Island natives, who consume coconut oil on a daily basis. According to research, Islanders have virtually no diabetes or heart disease. That finding is quite the opposite here in America!
How Can We Incorporate Coconut Oil in Our Diet?
At the recommendation of Kelly Olexa over at FitFluential.com (@KellyOlexa or @FitFluential on Twitter), I’ve been putting 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil into my morning coffee along with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of milk the past couple days. And it is DELICIOUS! An incredibly easy way to get all the health benefits of coconut oil while turning my morning into a tropical treat.
In terms of cooking with coconut oil, the two main staples in your kitchen should be extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. Try using one of these oils in stir fry; as an ingredient within a marinade or salad dressing; drizzled on a white fish such as tilapia; as an enhancement to steamed vegetables; or as the base oil within your popcorn popper. Even if you don’t like coconut, give it a try. Depending on the level of heat and other ingredients, this heart-healthy oil can lose it’s coconutty taste all together.
In terms of using coconut oil as a moisturizer, I have extremely sensitive skin. I can’t use traditional makeup remover astringents, wipes or creams without breaking out. I even had my face swell up for 4 days earlier this summer when I (dumbly, lazily, etc.) used regular hand soap from the pump to remove my eye makeup. It was around that time I learned how gentle coconut oil can be as a makeup remover–plus it smells delicious!
My sister also uses a mixture of coconut oil and baking soda as a deodorant! Was very surprised to hear that it works, but I wouldn’t put anything past this amazing oil. Additionally, she gives 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to her dogs each day (adjust amount depending on dog’s size), and when necessary, applies it on their hot spots. This helps soothe the skin, and it’s non-toxic in the (likely) event they lick it off.
Where to Find Coconut Oil?
It may sound like a hippy item, but it’s actually gaining popularity. Be sure to buy unrefined and organic, if possible, to ensure you’re using the highest quality possible. The refined coconut oil may have less of a coconutty taste, but since some of the nutrients are removed during the refining process it’s not as healthy for you. I found my jar of coconut oil in the organic section at my local supermarket (Wegman’s) but I’ve heard it can be found at Walmart. Stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are sure to have it in stock as well.
Have you been using coconut oil or does this sound totally wacky to you? Sound off in the comment section below!
(For more information on the health benefits of coconut oil, please read original article from Dr. Joseph Mercola here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/coconut-oil-benefits_b_821453.html)