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Archive for the ‘Coconut Oil’ Category

The Benefits of Coconut Oil – A True Superfood

Coconut oil has gained a reputation for being unhealthy because it's made up of mostly saturated fat. However, not only is it extremely healthy, there are many significant benefits that are not even available from any other food!

The primary health benefits fall into these general categories:

  • improvement in heart health
  • weight loss
  • improved energy levels and endurance
  • stronger immune system
  • healthier digestion and better metabolism
  • healthier skin and hair

Improves your heart health. Even though it's predominately a saturated fat, there are many factors that contribute to a reduced risk of heart disease compared to other dietary oils. Natural coconut oil tends to increase HDL cholesterol and actually improve your cholesterol profile. New research has demonstrated that its medium-chain fats protect against heart disease and may one day even be used as a treatment to cure it!

Stimulates your metabolism to help with weight loss. It contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that help in taking off excess weight. MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.

Coconut oil is also easy to digest and helps in the healthy functioning of your thyroid gland. A sluggish thyroid is one reason why some people are unable to lose weight, no matter what they do.

Helps in improving the digestive system. It aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and amino acids – thus preventing various stomach- and digestion-related problems, including irritable bowel syndrome.

Boosts energy levels and endurance. It breaks down quickly in the liver and can be used like you would use a carbohydrate. Athletes and bodybuilders use it as a natural supplement in sports drinks.

Maintains normal blood sugar levels. Regular use reduces your risk of developing diabetes, and is effective in controlling the symptoms of diabetes.

Coconut oil has often been compared to carbohydrates in its ability to be "burned" for energy. However, since insulin is not involved in the process of digesting it, you won't get those carb-related spikes in your blood sugar level.

Support for your immune system. Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. It kills the bacteria that cause pneumonia, sore throats, dental cavities, urinary tract infections, measles, meningitis, gonorrhea, food poisoning, pneumonia, and many more bacterial infections. It also kills the fungus/yeast infections that cause candida, ringworm, athletes foot, thrush, jock itch, diaper rash and more.

Keeps your skin and hair healthy and young-looking. There's no better oil for your skin! It smoothes and moisturizes, promotes skin elasticity, helps protect your skin from the aging effects of free radicals. It also helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep connective tissues strong and supple.

Coconut oil is one of the most common natural ingredients found in shampoos and hair conditioning products today, for good reason. It contains several different nutrients that keep your hair strong, protect it from the effects of aging, and make it healthier and shinier.

How to Use It in Your Diet

There are several ways you can add coconut oil to your everyday life, and it really is easy! It's stable even during long periods of storage, and needs no refrigeration. Because its melting point is 76? F, it can be used in both liquid or solid forms. It has a neutral flavor that makes it ideal for use in frying, cooking and baking. You can use it in any recipe that calls for vegetable oil, shortening or butter

You can even try it right out of the jar for a quick burst of energy, without creating a spike in your blood sugar levels.

So don't avoid coconut oil because you've heard that it's bad for you. Discover more of the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil and start using it today!

-By: Stan Mrak

Stan Mrak has had a passion for anti aging nutrition for over 30 years. Visit his website at www.antioxidants-for-health-and-longevity.com for the most practical and useful information on antioxidants anywhere. Discover how antioxidants hold the secret for staying young and avoiding degenerative diseases.

Coconut Oil’s Nutritional Value Shows Its Superfood Properties

Coconut oil has a reputation for being unhealthy because it's mostly saturated fat. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Coconut oil is made up of mostly medium-chain fatty acids, which are actually healthier than the long-chain fats common in vegetable oils.

Dietary fats actually have many benefits! Fats from animal and vegetable sources serve as a concentrated source of energy from your diet; they also provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances.

Saturated fats are the preferred foods for your heart, which is why the fat around the heart muscle is highly saturated. They also protect your liver from alcohol and other toxins, and strengthen your immune system.

Fats slow down digestion of your meals so that you can go longer without feeling hungry. In addition, they act as carriers for fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A and for absorption of calcium and other minerals. and for a host of other essential bodily processes.

Saturated and Unsaturated Fats

All fats and oils, whether of vegetable or animal origin, are some combination of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. In general, animal fats such as butter and lard contain about 40-60% saturated fat and are solid at room temperature.

Vegetable oils from northern climates contain mostly polyunsaturated fats and are liquid at room temperature. Vegetable oils from the tropics are highly saturated. Coconut oil, for example, is 92% saturated.

Saturated fats have gained an undeserved reputation as being bad for your health, but this just isn't so. There is really only one type of "bad" fat, and that's trans fat, which is an artificially-made, unhealthy fat.

Long-Chain Fats vs. Short and Medium-Chain Fats

Researchers classify fats not only according to their degree of saturation, but also by their length.

Short-chain fats are always saturated. These fatty acids have antimicrobial properties; that is, they protect us from viruses, yeasts and pathogenic bacteria in the gut.

Medium-chain fats have also have antimicrobial properties. They are absorbed directly for quick energy; and contribute to the health of your immune system.

Long-chain fats can be either saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated.

The unique health benefits of coconut oil are directly related to its chemical structure, or more precisely, the length of its fatty acid chains. Coconut oil is comprised primarily of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). It is nature's richest source of these. Most significant among them is lauric acid, something not found in any other source but mother's milk. In addition, coconut oil contains antioxidant properties of Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and minerals.

By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs).

Benefits of Medium-Chain Fatty Acids

The MCFAs in coconut oil are healthier than the LCFAs common in vegetable oils, for several reasons:

 

  • MCFAs are smaller, and more easily digested. They penetrate cell membranes easily and are utilized more effectively by your body.
  • MCFAs go directly to your liver, where they are converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
  • MCFAs in coconut oil help stimulate your body's metabolism, helping with weight loss.

Disadvantages of Long-Chain Fatty Acids

On the other hand, long chain fatty acids have several disadvantages:

 

  • LCFAs are difficult for the body to break down – they require special enzymes for digestion. LCFAs put more strain on the pancreas, the liver and the entire digestive system.
  • LCFAs are predominantly stored in the body as fat
  • LCFAs can be deposited in your arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol.

As this clearly demonstrates, saturated fats aren't worse for you than unsaturated fats. So don't avoid coconut oil because you've heard that it's bad for you. Discover more of the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil and start using it today!

-By: Stan Mrak

Stan Mrak has had a passion for antiaging nutrition for over 30 years. Visit his website at www.antioxidants-for-health-and-longevity.com for the most practical and useful information on antioxidants anywhere. Discover how antioxidants hold the secret for staying young and avoiding degenerative diseases.