August 21, 2014

Trust the Good Old Coconut and its Oil

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By Sheela Rani Chunkath
The New India Express

Excerpts:

Coconut and coconut oil is good for you. Okay, I have made an unqualified and unambiguous statement here. I will be addressing this topic in a couple of articles. First let us look at the ways in which coconut oil had been used for non-food purposes traditionally. In Kerala (India) coconut and coconut oil are used extensively; coconut oil is applied on hair and body before the bath. Ayurveda uses coconut oil extensively in many of their formulations.

If they have a small baby or a child, parents in Kerala often make their own coconut oil at home. Mature coconuts are taken and the coconut meat scraped out. The coconut meat is pureed in the grinder with a little water and the white coconut milk extracted. This is called the ‘first milk.’ A little more water is added to the puree and the residual milk is again extracted and mixed with the first extract. Now you have the coconut milk which is served with appams. Often jaggery or sugar is added to this coconut milk.

However, to make coconut oil you do not add anything to the milk. You just take the extract of the coconut and boil it over a low flame. After about an hour and a half the oil will slowly separate from the coconut puree. In two hours, all the oil will come out. Once the coconut puree turns slightly brown, you can drain the oil and bottle it. This oil is like pure gold, rich in nutrients, with a wonderful aroma and a slightly sweet flavour. I am a total convert to this homemade coconut oil. After using it on my face, I don’t like using any commercially manufactured cream. No wonder Keralites use this oil for massaging their newborn babies. Because of its antifungal and antibacterial properties, and the fact that the skin absorbs the oil and takes it to the tissues, the babies remain healthy and infection-free.

All research shows that coconut oil is the best for maintaining healthy hair. When I was growing up, coconut oil was the only oil that was used daily for oiling our hair. All school-going children in Kerala and Tamil Nadu had their scalp and hair massaged with coconut oil first thing in the morning. It was a ritual where the mother would patiently oil the hair and plait it into braids, and attach a ribbon to it. Unfortunately, the use of coconut oil among the urban population of Kerala and Tamil Nadu is decreasing. This has been because of extensive propaganda by soyabean farmers of the United States who did not want tropical oils such as coconut oil to retain its popularity. The propaganda has been so intense that coconut oil along with ghee is something that the educated urbanite is afraid of.

Read the Full Article Here: http://newindianexpress.com/lifestyle/health/article1482101.ece

The writer was earlier Health Secretary, Tamil Nadu,  and is currently Additional Chief Secretary, and  Chairman and MD, Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation.

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Users Testify to Coconut Oil “Miracles” on WebMD

Users Testify to Coconut Oil “Miracles” on WebMD

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WebMD is the world’s most visited “health” website. They derive their advertising from the pharmaceutical industry, so they have a pro-Pharma slant, as one can expect. It is not typically the place you would go to find information regarding alternative treatments to FDA approved pharmaceutical drugs. If you are contemplating using prescription drugs, it is a great place to get information about the medical industry’s products. If however you are looking for information on products that are not approved as drugs by the FDA, their information will be highly biased.

Due to the increasing popularity of coconut oil and its healing properties, WebMD now has a listing for coconut oil. It is listed in their vitamin and supplement section, since it is not approved as a drug, and since they generally do not provide any health information about foods.

They give the standard pro-Pharma view of coconut oil, which is that, in their view, there are no approved claims for coconut oil. They also warn people that coconut oil could raise cholesterol levels and could be harmful, even while acknowledging that research actually shows the opposite, since coconut oil traditionally lowers LDL cholesterol while raising HDL cholesterol (a positive thing.) They also warn that if people eat too much coconut oil, since it is fat, that it could lead to weight gain.

Interestingly, WebMD allows users to comment on these entries, presumably in a format where patients can comment on their own experiences with the vast array of drugs listed on their website. Read what users said about the “miraculous” properties of coconut oil in relation to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, weight control, memory, mood swings, energy, dry skin, dental health, stopping seizures and more.

Adding Coconut Oil into Your Fitness Routine

Adding Coconut Oil into Your Fitness Routine

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Fitness junkies, take note: you need coconut oil. Coconut oil straight up, in your protein-rich meals, protein shakes, snacks, pre-workout, post-workout fuel – whatever you choose. Coconut oil can be adapted into your style of eating and seriously enhance the results of the style of fitness you’re into, be it body building, toning, endurance, or general weight and muscle management.

So why add coconut oil into your fitness routine? Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), a high-energy fuel that the body uses to prevent muscle loss, but take off body fat. Coconut oil has a lot of these MCTs. Eat it.

Easy Homemade Coconut Oil Chocolate Recipes

Easy Homemade Coconut Oil Chocolate Recipes

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Coconut oil makes fantastic homemade chocolate. With just a few extra ingredients, coconut oil will morph into an impressively smooth, rich dark chocolate that won’t require a chocolate-making class to learn.

The easiest coconut oil chocolates require no cooking and generally all the ingredients are blended together in one easy step.

How to Use Coconut Oil in Your Skincare Routine

How to Use Coconut Oil in Your Skincare Routine

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Coconut oil is often praised for its many health benefits and its versatility in cooking and baking. While these many benefits may have gotten you to commit to always keeping some coconut oil in your pantry, coconut oil has a big place outside of the kitchen as well.

Coconut oil’s healing, antibacterial, and cleansing properties take on an entirely new personality when used topically, making it the ideal multiple-products-in-one item to add to your skincare and personal grooming regimes. Since coconut oil is gentle on the skin and not laden with chemicals and ingredients you have to watch out for (like most of the skin and beauty care products sold today), this is a safe and easy oil for anyone to use and experiment with.

Here are 4 popular ways coconut oil can be used to replace the dozens of pricey, and often ineffective, products sitting in your bathroom.

10 Different Ways to Eat Coconut Cream Concentrate

10 Different Ways to Eat Coconut Cream Concentrate

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Coconut Cream Concentrate, also known as “coconut butter” is a nut butter-like spread made from coconut.

Coconut Cream Concentrate definitely should have a place in every coconut lover’s pantry. Since it is 100% coconut, it also has a substantial amount of coconut oil, making it perfect for those who are looking for more creative ways to get coconut oil into their diets.

How many different ways can you use it? Aside from enjoying it by the spoonful or eating it on pastries, here are just 10 of the countless, creative ways you can use this delicious coconut butter.

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