Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Coconut crazy

I really thought I was the last to know, but just in case you were like me a couple of months ago, I wanted to spread the word on the wonders of coconut oil.

You like me, probably heard all about how saturated fats are bad for us for us. Yes, this is true but not all of them. The bad stuff that we should avoid is the man-made processed stuff (hydrogenated). Coconut oil however is made up of naturally occurring saturated fat, and apparently is really good for us and has some amazing health benefits.

Why's it so good?

Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is deeply nourishing and the same type found in mumma's milk. Seeing as the latter's not always easy to comeby and not quite a tasty (unless you are a bubba), this is your next best bet. It has antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It's also a rich source of  medium-chain fatty acids, which means it's easily digested in the gut (doesn't need to be broken down) and is immediately burned by your liver for energy. So, not only a great food for our kids, but also for us big kids.

So, some of the health benefits I've been reading about that coconut oil boosts include and are not even limited too:
  • Supporting your immune system
  • Improving your heart health
  • Increasing your metabolism
  • Promoting a lean body and weight loss
  • Hair and skin care

What to choose?

So, next step is choosing the right one. When you start to look there are a few types and it can be a little confusing. From what I've read, what to look for is the unrefined, cold pressed stuff. Why? Well, the unrefined is minimally processed and made from the first pressing of raw fresh coconut, without the addition of any chemicals and so has the higher nutritional content. Cold pressed is better than expeller pressed which again retains the most nutrients by pressing the coconut and extracting the oil at low temperatures. You'll just lose a few more nutrients when it's expeller pressed, as temps get higher. Some say, it's not that huge a difference.


Talking of high temps though, coconut oil is great for cooking - in fact the word on the street is that it's the only oil we should be cooking with!  Why? It's the only oil stable enough to withstand the heat of cooking. Even extra virgin olive oil which was our preferred cooking oil, should only be used on salads, to add to your dips, or drizzle on steamed veg... basically on dishes that don't require heating. This is because the heat destroys the antioxidants and can actually oxidise the oil.


You'll find that your coconut oil is either solid and pearly white, or transparent and oily and this can change throughout the day! It's all dependent on the room temperature. Coconut oil solidifies at temps below 26ish degrees celsius. So, if it's warmer than this, you can expect it to look like runny oil. If you have a preference for keeping it solid, you could always store it in the fridge. If you want it runny, you can spoon out what you want to use and place in a bowl, over some hot water. It doesn't take long to melt.

Other uses

As well as using internally, there are lots of other things you can use your coconut oil for... body moisturiser, leave in hair treatment - will make hair greasy, so you have to leave it on when at home and have no visitors, before washing off, nappy rash cream. Papa Wolf loves it for after shave! i.e. For soothing razor burn and moisturising skin. Some even use it along with some other ingredients as a deodorant and toothpaste. I've yet to try this!

Currently we're trying Flannerys own, Certified Organic Extra Virgin, cold pressed oil (pictured above), which was on special at $12.99 for 650mls. We have a jar in the kitchen for cooking and one in the bathroom for making us beautiful!

Anyway, if interested in this wonder oil, there's sooooooo much info on it on the net and is defo worth looking up.

Has anyone got a favourite brand of coco oil? And any cool things you're using it for? Love to hear.

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