You won’t have enough fingers on your hands and feet to count all the health benefits of cold-pressed coconut oil!
You may have noticed that I include coconut oil in most of my recipes. The second last one wasn’t an exception.
And yes, the New 2018 Year is knocking… Soon, people will get up, open a door, and let it in. In about 12 hours.
But back to our oil.
In the last two years or so, out of all the fat (including oils) that I had about 80-90% was coconut oil. You see, it’s my staple oil. Not only because it’s so nourishing to the body. I like its flavor very much, and the way it makes me feel.
Currently, depending on the day and what I do on that day, I eat 1-4 tablespoons per day. May seem like a lot. Keep in mind, however, that coconut oil is handled differently by your body. Unlike other oil and fats, it gets converted directly into energy. As a result, there is no tiredness or indigestion even if you slightly overeat it.
Research has identified dozens of benefits of coconut oil. In this post, I’ll go only through those that are especially handy for raw vegans.
Do you need coconut oil more than others?
If you recently started eating most of your foods raw, coconut oil will assist if you answer “yes” to at least one the following:
1. Do you have problems with digestion after a meal rich in raw vegetables?
2. Do you feel like you are poorly satiated most of the time?
3. Are you afraid you may contract pathogens from the raw produce?
I had problems with the #1 and #2 in the first year. Not anymore, 98% of the time (not only due to coconut oil).
I haven’t had a single case with #3. The last time I got poisoned was at the end of 2014. I had some pickled beets when visiting some folks on a farm. I don’t think they were raw since veggies are usually cooked before preserving them (it wasn’t a ferment). Anyhow, it turned out they were spoiled. That was horrible. Other than that, that’s it. I need to emphasize, however, that I rarely eat out. So, whatever goes in my mouth is prepared at home. Also, I wash all the produce thoroughly. In some cases, I even rinse with hot or boiling water. Moreover, I take skins off non-organic veggies and fruits.
Cold-pressed (extra virgin) is the best
When getting this miraculous coconut stuff it goes without saying that you want it extra virgin or cold-pressed. “Extra virgin” or “cold-pressed” basically mean the same thing – no heat is applied when extracting the oil. In other words, the oil is raw. Depending on the brand, sometimes it even says “raw” on a jar.
I’ll start with a background on coconut oil, and then transition to what it can do for you.
History of coconut oil: from a pauper to a prince
Remember the time when coconut oil had a bad reputation? Although I was a kid I remember that. It lasted until about mid-2000s. Since then its reputation began to rise.
And today, many health gurus and researchers put coconut oil in front of all other oils and fats. Turns out that researchers were too quick with their conclusions at the beginning. They better, as natives living on the islands of South Pacific literally subsist on coconuts, and hence coconut oil. These people have an exceptional health. What’s interesting, is that they are virtually free of cardiovascular diseases. This seems counterintuitive given the amount of coconut oil they eat in a day!
Now, what confused scientists in the first place? SATURATED fats! Coconut oil is almost all composed of saturated fats! It’s a common knowledge these days that saturated fats are pretty nasty. They are mostly found in animal products and are linked to all kinds of heart diseases, and other issues. However, researchers came to realize that not all saturated fats are equal. For example, in coconut oil, saturated fatty acid molecules are smaller in size. Because of this, their effects on the body are different, in a good way. These fats are called medium-chain fatty acids. They make up about 95% of all the oil in a coconut. Not only are these fats not harmful to the heart heath, they improve it! That’s in addition to a plethora of other gifts coconut oil may offer you (it’s a gift time..)!
3 health benefits of cold-pressed coconut oil for raw vegans
The way coconut oil is handled by a body is a breath.
I’ll repeat, unlike majority of other oils and fats (which are composed of long-chain fatty acids) coconut oil is composed of medium-chain fatty acids.
In the liver, these types of fats are converted into energy immediately after their ingestion (and ketone bodies, which I’ll get to in a minute) (1).
On the other hand, long-chain fatty acids most of the time are stored as fat in your body. In the case, when long-chain fatty acids are converted into energy, they must undergo a 26-step process. While medium-chain fatty acids only need 3 steps! Thanks Dr. Axe! Looks like he took some time to count the steps (2).
So, not only coconut oil is extremely light on your digestive system, it’s a energy-booster!
Keeping the above in mind, here is something you may find fascinating:
Because coconut oil is light as feather on the body AND a quick source of fuel, islanders of the Pacific give this oil to newborns (!) and little kids whose digestive system is still developing. As well as individual with weak digestion and those who are ill.
2. Keeps your appetite under control
Coconut oil does a great job at reducing your appetite and giving you that comfy feeling of satiety.
Ketone bodies, which I mentioned above, is what make it possible. Along with energy, ketone bodies are produced in the liver.
One way ketones lower your appetite is by decreasing the level of ghrelin in your gut. This hormone stimulates your hunger. The other way, is ketones boost the level of cholecystokinin. As opposed to ghrelin, this hormone suppresses your hunger (3).
3. Protects you from bad bacteria and other pathogens
Coconut oil can fight bad bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi (4).
Lauric acid and caprilic acid are responsible for this effect. They are 2 types of medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil (in total, there are 3).
The next best source of lauric acid and caprilic acid are raw cow’s milk and human breast milk. If you think about it, this is not surprising as newborns whose immune system is in the building stage are vulnerable and need a shield.
- Digested in a flash. Plus it’s a source of quick energy. Notice, a source of quick non-carbohydrate energy (these two rarely co-exist )
- Keeps your appetite at bay
As you can see, coconut oil can be a good aid if you are a newbie to a raw vegan lifestyle. Or if you are just trying to eat healthier.
I’d suggest you give this awesome oil a try. Just for a few days. For instance, sometimes in the next 2 weeks, pick 3 days and make all the fat you eat on those days be cold-pressed coconut oil.
Even more, if one of your New Year’s resolution is to replace 70-80% of all the fat you eat with raw coconut oil, that can be a game changer for your health. Sounds radical but in reality it’s not that hard. You’ll still have room for avocados, your favorite nuts, etc.
WHATEVER COCKTAIL YOU DRINK TONIGHT
I WISH IT TRANSFORMS INTO A COCKTAIL OF
THE EFFECTS OF WHICH WILL LAST FOR THE NEXT 365 DAYS !
Will be back in 2018 (most likely with a video).