#SuperfoodSunday : Coconut Oil

For some, coconut oil has an acquired taste (after all, it tastes exactly the way most sunscreens smell). We, however, cannot get enough of it! The Clean Workout team uses coconut oil for its multitude of Health Benefits and Beauty Tricks. It is versatile, nutritious and delicious! This is what makes coconut oil a true superfood.

Nutritional Benefits

  • “MCT” Fatty Acid that Burns More Calories through Metabolization; Brain Health
  • Coconut oil is known as an MCT or Medium Chain Triglyceride. Compared to most LCT (Long Chain Triglycerides), MCT’s are easier for the body to metabolize. That means they can be used and processed in the body at a faster rate (calories are burned faster and are not stored in the body as fat).
    • As a result of the higher rate of metabolization of MCT’s, daily energy expenditure can be increased by 5%, or 120 calories more than LCT’s.
    • MCT’s are directly sent and metabolized in the liver as a quick source of energy where they are turned into ketone bodies.
      • Brain Health: Ketone bodies have been shown to improve Alzheimer’s disease and neurological problems like seizures by improving brain function.
  • Heart Healthy
    • Although coconut oil is classified primarily as saturated fat, South Pacific populations that consume more than 60% of their calories from coconuts are among the healthiest populations in the world, with no evidence of heart disease.
    • Coconut oil has also been shown to reduce cholesterol (saturated fats raise HDL – good – cholesterol and change LDL – bad – cholesterol to a benign form.
  • Good for Digestion and Gut Health
    • Coconut oil aids in healthy bowel function providing lubrication. This makes it easier to detoxify the bodily by evacuating waste.
  • Anti-Viral, Anti-Fungal and Anti-Bacterial
    • Nearly 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is Lauric Acid. When coconut oil is broken down by enzymes, it also forms monolaurin. Both monolaurin and lauric acid have anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.
  • Weight Management
    • The metabolization of coconut oil that leads to ketone bodies can reduce appetite. This is also aided by the digestion of MCT’s and their calorie-burning metabolization.
      • Clean Recipe: Butter Coffee
        • Butter Coffee has been popular in Latin America for decades – the trend has recently made its way to North America. Add one tablespoon organic butter and one tablespoon coconut oil to a cup of coffee.
        • The goal is to boost metabolism early in the day, helping you burn more calories; nourishing your body with healthy fatty acids early in the day that help keep you full throughout the day, minimizing calorie intake through the rest of the day; and to lessen or remove the effects of a ‘caffeine crash.’
  • Coconut oil is a solid below 25 degrees Celsius.
    Coconut oil is a solid below 25 degrees Celsius.

    Melts Belly Fat

    • Studies have shown that eating 2 teaspoons of coconut oil each day can melt belly fat over time. These studies have been conducted without other changes to diet and physical activity.

Beauty Applications

  • Tooth Whitening through Oil Pulling
    • Oil pulling is successful because of the antiseptic properties of coconut oil. If you swish two teaspoons of coconut oil in your mouth for 5 to 20 minutes and then spit out the used oil, you will notice that the usually clear liquid has discoloured to a slight grey or yellow. Coconut oil actually pulls the bacteria and stains from your teeth and gums – similar to how dish soap removes oil from pots and pans.
    • Oil pulling has been shown to whiten teeth, and improve dental and periodontal conditions ranging from gingivitis to helping minimize cavities.
  • Moisturizing
    • Moisturizing your body with coconut oil works from the inside, out. The antioxidant benefits nourish your skin youthful and glowing, and applying it to your skin will lock in moisture and hydrate it.
    • The pH is neutral, just like that of your skin, which makes it suitable for use on your face without the risk of breaking out. It is also a great oil to use as an oil cleanser to remove blackheads. After gently cleansing your face, apply coconut oil to a cotton pad and gently rub it across your face like a toner. The oil will immediately hydrate your skin, and over time it will help blackheads slide out of your pores.
  • Makeup Remover
    • Coconut oil is a gentle and effective oil cleanser that removes foundation and eye makeup. Use a clean dry cotton pad, apply some coconut oil, and gently rub off your makeup.
  • Hair Treatments
    • Coconut oil is an effective treatment for most hair types. It helps nourish dry hair and can even be applied to the scalp to help it stay moist. Scalp health is essential to healthy hair – you do not want to strip the scalp of healthy oils – that will make your hair dry and brittle.
  • Natural SPF
    • Coconut oil has the ability to naturally protect from the sun’s harmful rays. Although it is not a replacement for sunscreen, it is pretty cool.

Clean Recipes

Coconut oil can be used in a variety of recipes. It has a high smoke point, which means it will not denature or become rancid when used at high temperatures. This makes it a safe, healthy alternative for pan frying (balance is key!).coconut-trees

Coconut oil has a slightly sweet nutty flavour and we believe that the best way to cook with it is to embrace the flavour. One of our favourite recipes is pan fried mushrooms with coconut oil.

Using the high smoke point of coconut oil, heat a pan to medium high and sauté mushroom slices (shiitake, cremini, portobello or oyster mushrooms are some of our favourites in this recipe) and cook until golden brown. Depending on the type of mushroom, the edges may be crispy and delicious. No matter what type of mushroom you use, your dish will have a sweet nutty flavour. Finish with cracked black pepper and serve with anything! These are so flavourful that they do not need salt, but feel free to season to taste.