Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

coconut-oil-health-benefits1-150x150-1-2 My introduction into the health benefits of coconut oil came while researching dental procedures and treatments while spending time observing how patients are cared for in a holistic dental office. Seeing many books on display in the doctor’s private office and reception area dealing with fluoride, mercury amalgam fillings, root canals, implants etc was not surprising. What did surprise me was the numerous books about coconut oil on display.

My first reaction to seeing coconut oil related books was, What in the world does coconut oil have to do with the health and well-being of teeth and gums? Having written down the titles and authors of all the books displayed in that office, I proceeded to buy them all and began reading in earnest. Even though I may have been able to find the books in a library, I much prefer to buy books so I can underline, highlight, turn down page corners, as well as make notes in the margins.

Two of the 7 books about coconut oil’s health benefits that I’ve read so far were authored by Dr. Bruce Fife. One book is titled Oil Pulling Therapy, and the other book is titled The Coconut Oil Miracle. Before reading these books and doing a great deal of independent research, I had not ever heard of coconut oil, which means I certainly hadn’t heard of the many benefits of consuming and using coconut oil and the hundreds of ways coconut oil can be used.

As I was reading Dr. Fife’s books, I appreciated his frankness in discussing his initial skepticism about coconut oil and it’s many purported benefits to overall health. Coconut oil is a saturated fat and is good for you. Coconut oil is the healthiest oil there is. How could coconut oil possibly be good for us when everywhere we go we’re told by the so-called health officials and “experts” how bad coconut oil is because it is a source of “artery-clogging” saturated fat, and that we should be using vegetable oils like canola oil?

So many questions were running through my mind. If coconut oil is so good for us, why is it not publicized on TV, radio, newspapers and magazines? How is it possible that many doctors, certified nutritionists and naturopathic physicians, have witnessed themselves how coconut oil gets rid of chronic psoriasis, eliminates dandruff, removes pre-cancerous skin lesions, speeds recovery from the flu, stops bladder infections, overcomes chronic fatigue, relieves hemorrhoids, and numerous other things including the benefits for teeth and gums? That’s only for starters.

But then I remembered Weston A. Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration that I had read previously. Coconuts and coconut oil have been used as a major food source for thousands of years by millions of people in Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and Central America. Traditionally these people have had much better health than those in North America and Europe who do not eat coconut, and before the introduction of modern industrialized foods, many of these people depended almost entirely on coconut to sustain their lives. Interestingly, they didn’t suffer from heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and other modern degenerative diseases, until they began abandoning their traditional coconut-based diet and started eating modern foods.

I should have guessed that the books on coconut oil would make numerous references to Dr. Weston Price’s research. In the book The Coconut Oil Miracle, Dr. Fife explains the war between oils that began in the mid-1980’s. During that time, the media began warning the public about a new “threat” to health – tropical oils. Coconut oil and palm oil, they claimed, would cause heart attacks and should be avoided at all cost due to being “unhealthful.” Much of the credit for this war on oils goes to the American Soybean Association (ASA). The overwhelming response to the attack on tropical oils was seen when food makers began switching from the tropical oils they had used for years to soybean oil and hydrogenated vegetable oils.

The only people who benefited from the war on healthy tropical oils, as you may have guessed, was the soybean industry. The carefully orchestrated plan by the ASA was intended to eliminate competition from imported tropical oils. By the early 1990’s, the market for tropical oils had been reduced to a mere fraction of what it once was.

Follow the Money.

It’s very important that we all learn and understand the differences between saturated fats and unsaturated fats, trans fats, fatty acids etc, and how it all relates to overall good health, and the coconut oil books explain it all in great detail. I readily admit that it had never occurred to me to investigate or read about these topics until I began researching dental practices and procedures.

We cannot afford to put blind faith and trust in assertions by “health authorities”, regardless of their high-level positions of authority. Regardless of the topic, we must take seriously the importance of doing our own research and reading the Pro and Con sides of whatever topic comes up. Our health and the health of our children and families depend on it.

Having read so much already on the many health benefits of coconut oil, I’ve been trying out different brands of coconut oil to see if I can tell a difference and which might be my personal favorite. There are many brands of coconut oil to choose from, and since I actually like the taste and smell of coconut, I’ve only been using unrefined virgin coconut oil. For those who do not like the taste or smell of coconut, choosing refined coconut oil will eliminate that problem, while still providing the nutritional benefits.

At first, some of the reported benefits of consuming coconut oil seemed unbelievable, even ridiculous. The idea that coconut oil could actually reverse Alzheimer’s, or that coconut oil helps dissolve kidney stones, and how the saturated fats in coconut oil contributes to weight loss, all seemed unbelievable. I’m now a believer.

Using coconut oil as a deep hair conditioner works very well. Coconut oil is amazing as a makeup remover, face and body moisturizer, a natural toothpaste (by itself or mixed with baking soda), oil pulling, and hundreds of other uses. Virgin coconut oil is now our primary cooking oil, along with palm oil. No more unhealthy vegetable oils for us anymore. I put coconut oil in my coffee every morning, in my hot tea and homemade smoothies, in or on just about everything we possibly can. Coconut oil is a food, so there are no “dangers” or “risks” in using it or consuming it. I first tried out virgin coconut oil by buying a couple quart size jars of it, but I’ve been using coconut oil in so many ways, I’m now buying coconut oil by the Gallon and putting some in small airtight containers to be kept in different rooms of our home.

Have you discovered the many health benefits of coconut oil? Do you have a favorite brand of coconut oil? What brands have you tried?

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