‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.’
Greek physician, Hippocrates, is believed to have spoken those words in 370 BC! In my opinion, there is more truth in those words today than ever. Real, fresh, whole, properly grown and raised foods are powerful healing agents. Some have surprising benefits and I wanted to highlight one of those nutritional superstars in this post.
There is a food that has been blacklisted for many years. We’ve been told never to eat it because it will damage our health. Chemists concocted a substitute, telling us it was the healthier option. As with most things, time reveals the truth! Instead of being a heart healthy option, margarine can increase risk of developing heart disease. At the time we were told one of the worst fats we could consume was coconut oil because it is a saturated fat and saturated fats were thought to be akin to the devil!
While it is true that coconut oil is a saturated fat, actually one of the richest sources of saturated fat, that’s not the whole story. Where we were told that saturated fat causes clogged arteries and all kinds of problems, the opposite is actually true, having been proven by numerous studies! Add to that the fact that coconut oil is rich in medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently than long-chain fatty acids and has therapeutic effects. Just be sure to buy organic, unrefined, virgin, cold-pressed and non-hydrogenated coconut oil to reap all the benefits.
There are literally hundreds of uses for this incredibly versatile food, but I wanted to share my top 15 for you and your children:
1. Coconut oil has a high smoke point and is one of the safest and best fats to use for cooking. It won’t degrade and emit harmful free radicals as readily as other oils. I always use it for cooking my eggs!
2. The medium chain fatty acids and high lauric acid content are quickly digested by the liver and used as an energy source, not stored, which boosts metabolism making it a great weight loss aid. Just 2 tablespoons per day are proven to rev up your metabolism. Adding a spoonful to your coffee or tea is a delicious way to start your day with a huge energy and metabolism boost!
3. Because of its unique structure and its particular fat balance, it is nourishing to the thyroid.
4. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which is supposedly helpful in dealing with bacteria and viruses that cause flu, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
5. Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases. Swallowing a teaspoon or two or just adding it to some hot tea will soothe a sore throat.
6. For a natural alternative to regular toothpaste, mix coconut oil with baking soda until it’s pasty enough to spread on a toothbrush. And if you or one of the children use a night guard or retainer, you can rub a little coconut oil on it in the morning, letting it sit all day and then rinse in the evening to help sanitize it.
7. Oil Pulling - swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes before brushing not only kills germs that cause tooth and gum problems, it helps detoxify the entire system and protect against illness. I consider it one of my secret weapons for staying healthy when everyone else is catching every bug going around!
8. Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
9. As little as one daily serving of healthy fats in coconut oil can start to repair slow neural pathways and improve cognitive functioning and memory.
10. Topically, it can help skin heal faster after injury or infection.
11. It is a wonderful, gentle antibacterial skin cream and can help sooth psoriasis, acne or eczema.
12. Is a great ingredient in a natural, homemade diaper cream and completely natural baby lotion.
13. It is believed that coconut oil is an all-natural remedy for lice. It is suggested that the coconut oil be used as part of a two-step process. First, rinse hair in apple cider vinegar, let it dry, and then smooth coconut oil through your strands. Allow it to sink in for up to 24 hours (so sleeping with a shower cap on to avoid ruining your bedding is recommended). Comb it out in the morning and then rinse your hair.
14. Applying a drop or two of coconut oil to a bug bite can relieve itching.
15. Coconut oil can soothe and prevent nipples from becoming cracked or painful due to breastfeeding.
How do you use coconut oil?