Coconut oil has tons of benefits that cover you not only on the inside (health), but on the outside (skin) as well. However, not many people know how best to use this oil from the "Tree of Life" in order to truly improve their health and make their skin glow for the rest of their lives.
Of course, eating coconut oil is one way to reap its health benefits, but... how do you eat it so that you can gain the most out of it?
1. Eat Coconut Oil Raw
When I say 'raw', it means uncooked or in its most original form.
Yes, you should eat coconut oil this way so that you can obtain the greatest health benefits out of it.
Though coconut oil is very stable due to its predominant saturated molecular structure, heat (especially the one with temperatures around 220 °F or 104 °C) may mark down its health benefits a bit because this is the temperature that manufacturers use to vaporize its distinctive coconut scent in order to produce a coconut oil that is odorless and flavorless.
I mentioned in Health Benefits of Coconut Oil that it is some intrinsic phytonutrients that give coconut oil its natural odor. So, if you need the odor removed, you definitely have to sacrifice the nutrients that give off the odor.
On top of that, don't forget that coconut oil contains about 8% unsaturated fats that are unstable and may oxidize even at low heat. It's true that they're surrounded and protected against heat by the 92% saturated fats, but the protection is never perfect as long as heat is present and particularly when it reaches certain temperature levels like 220 °F (104 °C).
So, the best way to eat coconut oil for health benefits is just add it to any food (including beverages) be it raw or cooked.
Like for example, smoothies, juices, salad... these are raw foods, easy to pour coconut oil onto them. (Make sure your raw food is not chilled or coconut oil may turn into snowy flakes.)
As for cooked food, add coconut oil just before serving. Note that the rising steam in the food may carry away some molecules of coconut oil with it into the air, but that really does not matter since the loss of coconut oil (more to the point, its health benefits) in such situation is extremely minimal. The nice fragrance from coconut oil (if you use virgin coconut oil) is still there.
Or if you're adventurous enough and can stand the oily mouthfeel, you can eat coconut oil straight out of the jar... no mixing with food or drinks. But eating coconut oil this way especially on an empty stomach can easily loosen your bowels and cause diarrhea-like symptoms. So, beware.
2. Cook with Coconut Oil
I add coconut oil raw to literally all my food and drinks. I cook my food with coconut oil too. This is how I eat coconut oil to gain as much health benefits as I could.
But didn't I just say that heat may cause the loss of some nutrients in the oil, so why cook?
Let me ask you, which is more detrimental to your health, 8% unsaturated fats or 95% unsaturated fats?
Most vegetable oils you use in your kitchen for cooking carry more than 95% or even 100% unsaturated fats. Cooking with these oils even at low heat like 113 °F (45 °C) will cause the oils to oxidize easily and lose their original health properties, not to mention cooking at 220 °F (104 °C). Oxidized oils are extremely toxic and damaging to health.
However, oxidation on coconut oil may OR may not occur during cooking since that very much smaller amount (8%) of unsaturated fats are widely separated and diluted by the predominant saturated fats.
But that doesn't mean they won't oxidize, it all depends on how hot the cooking temperature is. The higher the cooking temperature, the greater will be its probability of oxidation.
|Cooking Temperature||Probability of Oxidation of Coconut Oil's 8% Unsaturated Fats|
Even when these unsaturated fats in coconut oil oxidize, they won't effect any severe chain reaction because they're too spatially spread apart, not like other oils that carry mostly unsaturated fats. Which means coconut oil gets to retain most of its health properties and you're still gaining quite a massive health benefits from eating food cooked with coconut oil.
That's why I always say that cooking with coconut oil does not cause much of its health values or benefits to lose unless you really heat it up to its smoke point at 350 °F (177 °C) where its health properties start to break down.
Unless you eat 100% raw food, you can't avoid cooking food. So, why use unhealthy oil for cooking when there is a better and healthier option available for you?
You can use minimal coconut oil for cooking first, then before serving add more coconut oil in its most original form to the cooked food (I always do this). This will make sure you're getting maximum health benefits from coconut oil rather than cooking with unsaturated oil first and then add coconut oil to the food before serving.
Not only that, I found that doing so actually has one super advantage that no other oils can match, that is, the dominating saturated fats in coconut oil can help the food to preserve its nutrients.
You can easily lose or destroy the nutrients in food during cooking because of the heat, but when you "coat" them with coconut oil, the anti-oxidative saturated fats in coconut oil will protect the nutrients against oxidation and environmental destruction, which is why when you leave the food (cooked or mixed with coconut oil) out even for long hours the taste remain unchanged. This is so unlike food which is cooked with oils that carry mostly unsaturated fats – it will turn rancid and taste stale even in refrigerator.
That means, you're getting not just the health benefits of coconut oil, but also a lot more nutritional benefits from food when you eat the food cooked with coconut oil as well. Awesome, huh?
Note: If you bake with coconut oil, you might worry that baking food at temperatures higher than the oil's smoke point will break its health properties. Actually, it won't happen in most cases because the moisture in the food will help to keep the inside temperature below the smoke point.
3. Pop Coconut Oil Capsules
Did you know that coconut oil comes in capsule (softgel) form too?
Coconut oil in capsules may seem like a supplement, but don't treat it that way. If you eat it like a supplement, you won't get much health benefits from it. This is because you wouldn't take a supplement in great amount, would you?
One tablespoon of coconut oil contains 14 grams and one capsule holds 1 gram (i.e. 1000 mg). So, one tablespoon of coconut oil equals to about 14 caps.
If you want to truly benefit from coconut oil's health properties, you should at least eat 3 tablespoons a day, which equals to 42 caps per day. Can you imagine yourself popping 42 capsules into your mouth every day? That's plain crazy!
And it's not cheap to eat coconut oil in capsules though because packing in softgel involves additional cost.
Another implicit disadvantage is that the virgin coconut oil may have turned rancid right within that little bolus without your notice unless you randomly take the time and effort to sample them by cutting open some softgels to examine the quality of the oil. If doesn't smell like coconut but instead, smells like cheese or vomit or something else, then the oil has turned bad. And eating it will cause more harm than good to your health.
Unless you're always on the move (like a road warrior) and so busy that you need such capsuled coconut oil for great convenience (pop it anywhere, anytime), I suggest that you eat coconut oil from jar so that you can take more coconut oil for greater health benefits and stronger protection against viruses, bacteria and other super germs without burning a hole in your pocket.
Note: Animal-derived gelatin that is used to make the softgel capsule may contain antibiotic and hormone residues. To make matters worse, some may even get contaminated with diseased animal tissues. Hence, it's best to buy coconut oil that comes in veggie capsules if you need it in capsule form.
3 smart ways of eating coconut oil for health benefits... but are you getting the most out of it yet?
4. Apply Coconut Oil to Skin
Eating coconut oil is just one good way to gain its health benefits because it goes right inside your body so that your cells can quickly and directly access to its abundant supply of medium-chain fatty acids which are the keys to defending your body against health-damaging germs.
But if you can "bathe" in coconut oil as well, so to speak, you'll gain even greater health benefits from it because by daubing coconut oil on your skin from head to toe, you're actually protecting not just your skin but preventing the super germs from gaining entry into your body via the pores of your skin.
"But our skin has already had its own natural protective layer", you might say.
That is true, no doubt. But our skin is the largest organ of our body and hence it has the largest surface area in contact with the surroundings. Because of that, harmful germs can easily "stick" to our skin and colonize on it and then break through the barriers and enter our body to create havoc.
This is especially true when you're in places like hospitals or dirty streets where bacteria, viruses and other aggressive germs are easily "available" and in abundance.
Imagine your skin is attacked by an army of germs and 10% of them succeed in storming into your body, the amount of coconut oil you have taken may not be enough to fight them off. 10% may sound little but it's huge enough to infest your body and take it down completely if your immunity is very weak.
Don't forget that inside your body, particularly your liver itself already has plenty of viruses, parasites and bacteria to deal with. So, after helping your liver to get rid of most of the germs so that it (your liver) can continue to perform its functions without much glitches, what's left of coconut oil might appear too insignificant for that 10% of germs that penetrate into your body via your skin.
What's even worse is that you can't take too much coconut oil in one shot or your bowels might become too loose and you'll have to keep visiting your "lovely toilet" multiple times within hours. Even if you spread the intake over a day, the max for most people in general is only about 4 tablespoons daily.
That's why I implied that eating coconut oil alone is not the best way to use it for health benefits. Applying coconut oil to your skin is what you should do every day as well to make sure you're harvesting more health benefits from coconut oil.
And when you apply, remember, just coat a thin layer on your skin will do, and then re-apply as often as you deem necessary. Too much coconut oil slathered on your skin in one go can easily saturate your skin and cause your skin to look oily instead of soft, smooth and supple. Wait till the first layer has absorbed before you apply the second layer and so on.
5. Coconut Oil Pulling
Heard of oil pulling?
Oil pulling is a technique that you hold a tablespoon of any vegetable oil in your mouth and swish it for 15–20 minutes and then you spit it all out. By doing so, it helps to reduce the number of bacteria, parasites and other germs that grow on your teeth, gum, tongue or anywhere they can live on inside your mouth as long as there are food residues.
If you never do oil pulling, chances are you'll swallow those bacteria, parasites and other germs with the food into your stomach. And you know what's going to happen next.
Though our gastric acid can kill them, not all will be killed. Some will intelligently hang on to spots where acid cannot reach like your esophagus or anywhere along the food path and then conquer the area and attack you when the time is ripe.
So, oil pulling is vital to keep your mouth free of germs so as to reduce the germ load your body has to handle.
And if you use coconut oil for oil pulling, the cleansing effect will be even stronger since coconut oil does not simply "bundle" bacteria and other germs together for you to purge them out in a spit, it kills them without mercy as well.
To top it off, using coconut oil for oil pulling can also strengthen your gum to prevent it from bleeding while brushing teeth. That's not all. Stronger gum grips teeth more firmly so that your teeth will not fall off easily as you age. It's no surprise to still have a complete set of teeth holding firmly onto your gum even at the age of 90 (I have witnessed that with my bare eyes).
So, to retain your beautiful smile and gain as much health benefits from coconut oil as possible, start oil pulling using coconut oil today. Oh, be sure to brush your teeth to remove any sticky food residues before pulling with coconut oil to boost the overall effectiveness of oil pulling.
In a Nutshell...
To reap overall and best health benefits from coconut oil, you should always eat it, apply it to your skin, and do oil pulling with it. And make sure you use coconut oil every day (together with a balanced diet, of course) so that your body can always stay strong and healthy, and your skin will look young and bouncy.
Use Virgin Coconut Oil for Maximum Health Benefits
Warning: If you're allergic to peanuts, DO NOT buy Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil because it's bottled in a facility that also packs peanut oil. Try these brands.
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- Where to Buy Virgin Coconut Oil?
- How is Coconut Oil Good for You?
- Side Effects of Eating Coconut Oil
- Difference between Virgin Coconut Oil and Fractionated Coconut Oil