The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the palm tree family and the only living species of the genus Cocos. The term “coconut” (or the archaic “cocoanut”) can refer to the whole coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which botanically is a drupe, not a nut. The name comes from the old Portuguese and Spanish word coco, meaning ‘head’ or ‘skull’ after the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.
Coconuts have been used by humans for thousands of years, and may have spread to their present range because of Pacific island settlers. The evolutionary origin of the coconut is under dispute, it may have evolved from South America, Asia or on Pacific islands.
The popularity of coconut has spread far and wide. There are variety of ingredients derived from one plant from coconut oil, coconut meat, coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut sugar, coconut mana (a paste made out of coconut meat), dried coconut flakes and of course coconut water. The debate has been on about how can a food so rich in saturated fat could be so good for us.
To date, there are over 2,000 studies proving coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Coconut oil uses and benefits go beyond what most people think. The oil is made from copra the fresh coconut meat, it is truly a super-food.
I am a huge advocate of coconut oil and use it for boosting my energy levels, reducing inflammation and supporting cognitive function and heart health.
Coconut oil continues to astonish doctors by its ability to kill viruses such as measles, influenza, flu, herpes, hepatitis C, bacteria such as candida, staphylococcus aureus, thrush, and ringworm. This is due MSFA’s in coconut oil, they basically strengthen your immune system. Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon lauric acid, when coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens likefungi, viruses andbacteria.
If you’re not aware MCFAs are Medium Chain Fatty Acids, most of the fat we consume are long chain fatty acids that must be broken down before they can be absorbed. Coconut oil is high in short chain fatty acids, which are easily digested and sent straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used for energy production. While in the liver these short chain fatty acids turn into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can also increase 24-hour energy expenditure as much as 5% compared to the same number of calories from long chain fatty acids, potentially leading to significant weight loss.
When consumed, coconut oils anti-microbial properties become activated after triglycerides are converted into monoglyceride and free fatty acids in the digestive tract. Monolaurin, the monoglyceride of lauric acid has the greatest overall anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal effect. They all work together synergistically to provide a strong germ-killing effect. They are enclosed in a lipid (fat) membrane and lipid coated viruses and bacteria are absorbed into the organism’s outer membrane. These fats have a destabilizing effect which weakens the membrane to the point that is disintegrates and falls apart, killing microorganisms. This process is so effective it can kill super germs that have become resistant to antibiotics. Studies have shown that coconut oil plays a key role in healing and soothing inflamed tissues along the digestive tract. If you are suffering from conditions like Crohn’s disease, colitis, ulcers, Irritable bowel syndrome and many other digestive disorders coconut oil may provide you with some relief from the pain and discomfort you may be experiencing.
Coconut oil has been shunned in the past because it contains saturated fat, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought. It’s also one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated. Saturated fats raise HDL and improves blood coagulation factors and antioxidant statues while reducing triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease.
In some parts of the world coconut is a dietary staple that has been thrived on by its people for generations. Much like the Tokelauans, who live in the South Pacific, they eat 60% of their calories from coconuts. History and lots of documentation show us that coconut oil has been used worldwide for thousands of years as a source of food and medicinally.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Reduce hunger (fatty acids)
Antibacterial wound care and skin infections, kills bacteria (pneumonia, urinary tract infection, fungi, yeast infection, ringworm, thrush)
Anti-protozoa (kills giardia, a common protozoan infection of the gut)
Anti-retroviral, HIV and AIDS treatments (antimicrobials can rip HIV viruses apart and kill them)
Inflammation (Crohn’s disease, prostate enlargement, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers, chronic inflammation)
Anti-fungal (fatty acids and breakdown products can kill harmful pathogens, hence preventing infections)
Anti-viral, has shown ability to kill viruses (hepatitis C, herpes, measles, chicken pox, shingles)
Ayurveda medicine of India
Coconut milk and cream are used in many dishes in Thailand
Improves nutrient absorption (easily digestible makes vitamins and minerals more available to the body)
Liver and Kidney disease
Reduce seizures especially in elliptic children (fatty acids turn into Ketones)
Moisturize skin (fights wrinkles and premature aging)
Natural SPF of 20%
Increase fat burning (especially effective for belly fat) resulting in weight loss
Improves digestion (taken orally)
Improves immunity against infections and disease (taken orally)
Nontoxic to humans and animals
Carrier oil for Essential oils
Treats dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and other skin infections
Personal Lubricant (men and woman)
Improves thyroid function (gland that controls metabolism)
Has no harmful side effects
Types of coconut oil
Coconut scent and flavor
Heat up to 350 degrees F
Made from fresh coconuts
Buy one made with no hexane
Most natural form, least processed
Retains most nutritional value, superior to refined oil
Refined Coconut Oil
Neutral scent and flavor
Heat up to 400 degrees F
Made coconut that have been dried, these flakes are often bleached, deodorized and refined using chemicals leaving behind a colorless, tasteless and odorless product)
Steam refined is the healthy way to refine coconut flakes
Loses health properties weather it is refined with steam or chemicals
USDA organic is best
Fractionated coconut oil
Long and medium chain fatty acids are removed; this lowers its melting point so oil stay in liquid form
Used in soaps, skin care lotions cream, massage oil blends
NOT recommended for consumption
No nutritional value
Suggested serving size of coconut oil when taken as a supplement
Weight in Number of
Coconut oil may be consumed by children under the age of 12, it’s advisable to check with a healthcare practitioner on proper dosage. I know parent who give their toddlers 1 to 2 teaspoons a day as a supplement. Remember coconut oil is the only other source of Lauric acid, which mimics mother breast milk.
Coconut Oil/Coconut Meat/Coconut Cream
Add Meat, Water or Oil to Smoothies
Coconut Oil Oral supplement Take 1 to 3 tablespoons a day, depending on weight. Start with one and allow your body to get used to it and work your way up to more doses
Fresh Young Thai Coconut Meat to Eat and Coconut Water to Drink Hack off the top (I use my machete but you can buy coconut openers on Amazon). Drink the coconut water immediately. Crack in half and use a spoon to scoop out the meat to eat fresh or to put into a smoothie
Healthy Apple Crisp in a Skillet
Slice organic apple into thin slices 2 heaping tablespoons of Nut Butter Rolled Oats, cooked quinoa or granola Cinnamon, nutmeg optional 2 tablespoons Raw Honey 1 tablespoon Coconut oil Heat frying pan, add apples and coconut oil, cook until apples are tender. Mix nut butter, honey and cinnamon together, add the rest of ingredients to make crumbs, add crumbs to top of apples, stir until mixture is heated, may throw under the broiler to crisp the top. Serves 2 people. May add coconut whipped cream if desired.
Coconut Whipped Cream
Place BPA-free can of organic coconut cream/milk in fridge overnight, scoop thick white cream off the top, whip with hand held mixer, BOOM healthy whipped cream. Use the clear liquid for smoothies.
Coconut Meat Smoothie 1 cup fresh coconut water or coconut water powder Fresh coconut meat, from whole organic young Thai coconut 1 teaspoon coconut oil ½ cup your choice of tropical fruit, mango, pineapple, banana, papaya, blueberries, strawberries 1 teaspoon of raw honey 5-8 ice cubes if desired Blend all ingredients until smooth
Green Energy Smoothie 1 cup coconut milk (clear liquid from canned coconut milk) Fresh coconut meat, from whole organic young Thai coconut 1 teaspoon coconut oil 1 tablespoon Match Powder
Spicy Tropical Smoothie
1 cup coconut milk ½ cup pineapple or papaya chunks 1 organic banana ½ inch fresh turmeric (½ teaspoon ground turmeric) ½ inch Fresh ginger (½ teaspoon ground ginger) ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon Coconut oil Honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar Blend all ingredients
Spicy Green Tea Smoothie
1 serving Matcha mixed into 1 cup of water 1 cup berries 1 tablespoon coconut oil ½ inch fresh turmeric (½ teaspoon ground turmeric) ½ inch Fresh ginger (½ teaspoon ground ginger) ¼ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper ½ teaspoon ground flax seeds or chia seeds Honey, maple syrup, stevia 1 teaspoon Coconut oil Blend all ingredients in blender
Spicy Green Tea
1 tablespoon fresh shaved ginger 1 tablespoon fresh shaved turmeric ¼ freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon coconut oil or coconut milk Simmer and strain Sweeten with honey
Moms Green Machine
1 leaf of Kale Half stalk of Celery with no leaves Small piece of carrot 1 TBLS Grated Ginger 1 clove Garlic Cooconut oil 2 teaspoons Liquid vitamins of your choice 1,000 mg Vitamin C Half Lemon (peel included since its organic)
Chocolate Chai Iced Tea Smoothie (I fill my large nutra bullet container)
1 cup Chocolate Earl Grey Tea (chilled) 1 cup Coconut milk 1 Scoop Sun Warrior Vanilla Protein Powder Ice Water to cover ingredients Spices (to taste), Cardamom, All spice, Black pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamo, Vanilla
Disclaimer: The strategies, suggestions and techniques expressed here are intended to be used for educational purposes only. The Author, Kira Miller, is not rendering medical advice nor is she trying to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, condition, illness or injury.
If you are under the care of a physician, it is imperative that you consult their advice before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program.
Kira Miller claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss or damage alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application or interpretation of the material presented here.