Coconut oil is popping-up on grocery store shelves everywhere. While you might be familiar with coconut oil as a moisturizer in skin and hair care products, there are several great reasons to make coconut oil a regular part of your diet. Here are the top five reasons to start cooking with coconut oil today.
- It’s Affordable and has a Long Shelf-Life
Coconut oil is easy to include in your day-to-day cooking and has been used for thousands of years in South Asian and tropical populations. Containing no polyunsaturated fats, coconut oil is solid at room temperature and will stay safe in your pantry for up to two years. Edible grade coconut oil, the kind you will find in your local grocery store, is often cheaper than olive oil. Additionally, because coconut oil is stable at high heat, you only need a small amount when cooking eggs and stir-fry.
One of the best places to use coconut oil is in your baking. Substitute butter with the same amount of coconut oil in any of your favourite muffin, cake, or cookie recipes.
- It Can Help You Lose Weight
Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids or MCFAs. These miraculous compounds help raise your metabolism and your basal body temperature. For people with an under-active thyroid, the MCFAs aid in converting T4 to T3 and improving thyroid function. The metabolism boost from coconut oil will also help give you the energy you need to get through your workouts.
Additionally, coconut oil has been proven to reduce abdominal fat and hunger. Abdominal fat is particularly dangerous for your health because it surrounds your internal organs and leads to inflammation and diabetes. Reducing abdominal fat is not only great for vanity reasons, but also for living a longer and more healthy life.
To decrease your hunger throughout the day and consume fewer calories, try adding a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil to your morning oatmeal or spreading coconut oil on your toast.
- It Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Many people are under the misconception that all saturated fats are bad for you. Some saturated fatty acids, like the Capric Acid and Lauric Acid found in coconut oil, actually raises good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL). The coconut oil fats, also known as medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs, help lower bad cholesterol by converting LDL to pregnenolone, a molecule used to build many life-sustaining hormones.
Additionally, lowering bad cholesterol helps reduce damage to arteries, lower blood pressure, and increase your heart health. This infographic about coconut oil details some of the many other health benefits you may experience.
- It Can Strengthen Your Immune System
A true immunity booster, coconut oil is antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral. Researchers found coconut oil effective against the flu, urinary tract infections, ulcers, and pneumonia. Additionally, coconut oil kills excessive candida, a naturally occurring fungus that can weaken immune function and increase inflammation.
To stay healthy during cold and flu season, add up to 4 tablespoons of coconut oil to a morning smoothie that also includes oranges (or any other citrus fruit). You’ll get the antibacterial benefits of the coconut oil along with a dose of vitamin C. If you do happen to catch a cold, a natural cough syrup made with honey, lemon, and coconut oil can help you get better quickly.
- It Tastes Amazing
Sweet, earthy, and nutty: coconut oil tastes and smells delicious. It’s most popular for use in vegetarian and non-vegetarian stir-fry, curries, stews, and soups.
For a hearty one-dish meal or vegetable side dish for a large gathering try the following recipe: Place chunks of squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and onions in a casserole dish. Mix-in sliced garlic, rosemary, and three tablespoons of coconut oil. Bake for about an hour at 400 degrees.
Ready to start living a more healthy and tasteful life with coconut oil? It doesn’t take much. Enjoy two to three tablespoons of coconut oil a day and you’ll see your health improve within a few months.
- 5 Reasons to Cook with Coconut Oil
- 5 Motivations to Cook with Coconut Oil
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