Once wrongly mistaken as causing high cholesterol levels, and filled with bad saturated fats, Coconut Oil in all forms have suffered a very negative reputation in many countries, particularly in North America.
However, Asia and the Pacific have been using this product for health, medicinal, beautification and culinary purposes for centuries, leaving researchers intrigued and curious, that eventually lead them to research about another type of coconut oil, the Virgin Coconut Oil. In the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries, it is widely called VCO.
So what exactly makes VCO superior among other oils?
Well, the answer is lauric acid. Clinical studies have proven that the anti-microbial and anti-viral properties of VCO. So potent, that it has even been said to treat HIV and AIDS patients. The medical community marvels at how it drastically improved overall health conditions of HIV and AIDS victims by reducing their viral load.
Contrary to common belief that all saturated fats are bad for the body, especially for the cardiovascular system, VCO contains a unique form of saturated fat that actually helps prevent heart disease, stroke, and hardening of the arteries. The saturated fat in coconut oil is identical to a special group of fats found in human breast milk that have been shown to improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, and protect against bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. It is so much different from the saturated fat from other vegetable oils and meat. Since it has can be identified to human breast milk, VCO is now widely used in commercial infant and children’s milk formulas. Athletes benefit from them since it is also used in sports drinks to heighten energy and boost muscular performance.
Virgin Coconut Oil is a marvellous oil that can be aptly called as “nutraceutical” for it has the capability to help a number of health problems substantiated by the plentiful affirmative research that presents proof on its medicinal value. Jon J. Kabara, Ph.D (Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University) said this on the importance of lauric acid (contained in virgin coconut oil). “Never before in the history of man is it so important to emphasize the value of Lauric Oils. The medium-chain fats in coconut oil are similar to fats in mother’s milk and have similar nutriceutical effects.”
VCO contains the kind of fat that doesn’t make you fat but does otherwise. An unbelievable truth is it actually promotes weight loss. The reason is again because of the healthy medium chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are sent directly to the liver where it will instantaneously be converted into energy, and doesn’t circulate in the bloodstream like bad fats. Making them act like carbohydrates. So it therefore is an energy producing oil, and not to be stored in the body.
By now, you might be wondering how to consume this miracle product properly. The most suggested way is to replace all cooking oils with VCO and make it a part of your daily cooking habit. Coconut milk can be used to substitute milk products and cream.By doing so, you have a healthier alternative to your favourite recipes. Some of the dishes that can be made using coconut milk include butterscotch pudding, coconut milk pancakes, clam chowder, chicken almondine, and creamy coconut gravy. Many recipe books are available on this and of course, the internet is a good source of recipes for this wonderful and beneficial product.
If you want to, it is also advisable to consume 3-4 tablespoons of Virgin Coconut Oil for therapeutic purposes to boost the immune system, and improve skin clarity as well. If you belong to the more adventurous and experimental type, you can use VCO as a lotion and let your skin absorb it overnight. The oil can also be used as a conditioner. Simply massage the hair and scalp with VCO 15-30 minutes prior to taking a bath, and just shower as usual. It will moisturize the mane and remove dandruff and relieve itchiness too.
The free-radical formation in our skin will be destroyed by the anti-oxidants of the VCO. Most lotions, creams, shampoos, and other personal care products are made from processed vegetable oils that were stripped of its natural anti-oxidants, giving us false hopes about the product. The next time you use your favourite lotion and other beauty products, check out its ingredients and try to find out for yourself what harm they can cause to your overall health in the long run. VCO is truly nature’s blessing to mankind.