By Edeline Anne Goh
For those of us who live in tropical countries, coconut trees are a common sight and something we take for granted. However, did you know that the coconut tree provides a whole host of health benefits? For instance, its roots are used for medicinal purposes, small living spaces like huts can be constructed from the trunk, its shell can be crafted into beautiful handicraft, its husk can be used to make sturdy ropes, its fragrant leaves can work as wraps for ketupat or nasi lemak and the juice is a perfect, refreshing solution for a hot sunny day.
Another wonder that comes from the coconut tree is coconut oil, which has been used for decades for various purposes. Some studies have shown that coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils around and has valuable health benefits.
Though, the medical benefits of coconut oil currently lacks clinical evidence due to its rather recent emergence into the “health spotlight” after years of debate and doubt, many consumers have already made the switch to oil from this tall, tropical tree.
5 WONDERS OF COCONUT OIL
You may not favour the strong scent of coconut oil but if you look beyond that, you will discover the many benefits it has on your overall wellbeing. Here are 5 wonders of coconut oil:
Pure virgin coconut oil is believed to be the best version. This form contains the highest form of saturated fat, which is almost 92%. Now, you might be alarmed after discovering about its fat content but do not be deceived by the word “fat”! Saturated fat found in coconut oil does not contain cholesterol unlike unsaturated or trans fat. Taken in moderation, it can prove beneficial and if you have a health condition, be sure to consult your doctor and discuss how coconut oil can help you.
Coconut oil is gaining favour with those who are not keen on chemical-based cosmetic products. Many beauty fans have switched to coconut oil from conventional beauty products as it has proven to be an effective, natural form of moisturiser and hair conditioner. For example, coconut oil is now commonly found in homemade soaps due to its moisturising effects. As a home remedy, before washing your hair, apply coconut oil for 15 minutes and rinse with shampoo immediately after.
Pure coconut oil is believed to help with your immune system. It contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid which lowers cholesterol and helps with preventing heart diseases and caprylic acid, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties. These elements are believed to help fight against bacterial and viral infections such as herpes. It can also speed up the healing process if you have a wound.
If you enjoy the natural scent of coconut oil, it may be just what you need to help relieve stress. The subtle smell of coconut oil can be very soothing for some. The next time you feel your stress levels rising or a headache coming on, apply some coconut oil on your fingers and massage your temples and scalp. If you are concerned about leaving visible oily spots on your scalp and temples, massage your neck instead.
There are various ways you can use to incorporate coconut oil into your cooking. You can use it for deep- frying and it also works as a perfect and healthier substitute to coconut milk. If you are planning on cooking nasi lemak over the weekend, toss your rice in coconut oil instead. You certainly will enjoy the coconut rice fragrance as well as its coconut-ty flavour without the added fat!
Coconut oil is starting to gain focus around the world and it is fast becoming the new essential ingredient for many households. It is an affordable, easily available item and it fits perfectly in your kitchen and even your bathroom!