Types of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is available in two forms – virgin/unrefined or refined. The refined type is a cheaper alternative because it does not contain the sweet fragrance and taste of coconut. It is extracted from the dried fruit and then is subjected to several processing methods that include bleaching as well as deodorization.
On the contrary, virgin coconut oil is characterized by a distinct aroma and coconut flavor. It is extracted from the fresh fruit and exposed to lower techniques of processing. As a result, Virgin Coconut Oil contains greater health benefits and nutritional value to make it the preferable choice in your kitchen pantry.
Methods of Extraction
- Expeller Pressing: this method refers to the mechanical process of extracting coconut oil from the hard fruit. The process involves only one step of applying high pressure on the raw fruit to squeeze the oil out of the coconut shell. When you press the raw coconut, it heats up due to friction. Ideally, the expeller-pressed method for coconut oil is performed at a temperature equal to 120 °F.
- Dry Processing: It is the conventional method of extracting coconut oil from its shell. You must extract the coconut meat from the fruit and dry it. Various drying methods include exposing the fruit to fire, kilns, or direct sunlight in order to produce copra.
In the next phase, this copra is mixed with solvents and pressed to produce coconut oil that is a rich source of protein and fiber content.
Why Use Organic Coconut Oil?
Organic farming does not involve the use of fertilizers or chemical pesticides. Moreover, it does not implement genetically modified techniques of farming. Hence, you must opt for organic coconut oil to avail several of its health benefits.
Even coconut oil extracted from the process of hydrogenation is beneficial. Hydrogenation is preferable because coconut oil has a high melting point; the unsaturated fats combine with hydrogen during catalysis and convert coconut oil into a good saturated fat. Coconut oil comprises of 2% polyunsaturated fats and 6% monounsaturated fats.
Storage of Coconut Oil
Plastic containers contribute to environmental degradation. Moreover, it is preferable that you store coconut oil in a glass jar instead of coconut oil to avoid harmful chemical reactions and preserve the oil for a longer period.
The shelf life of coconut oil ranges between 18 months to 2 years. You can store coconut oil at room temperature or in the refrigerator because it stays intact for a longer time and does not become rancid.
The people residing in the tropical countries utilize coconut oil for different uses because of its health benefits. Coconut oil comprises of essential medium chain triglycerides such as lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid that possess antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties.
The various health benefits of coconut oil range from increasing satiety levels to assisting your weight loss regime.
- MCFA: Fats are further divided into good and bad saturated fats. Medium chain fatty acids or MCFAs, the main component of coconut oil are healthy saturated fats. Unlike trans fats that increases the risk of developing heart disorders, cholesterol levels, anxiety, and depression; coconut oil is a good ingredient that does not contribute to such health disorders.
The medium chain triglycerides are essential fatty acids that increase your body’s metabolic rate, i.e. your body absorbs the food particles quickly and converts it into energy without applying excessive pressure on the liver. Moreover, these fatty acids are not stored in the fat cells.
- Weight Loss: since the fatty acids are not stored in the body cells and converted into energy quickly, it helps in your weight loss regime. You must consume 1 tbsp of coconut oil daily after your intensive physical workout.
- It Improves The Digestive System: the essential fatty acids combine with gastric juices secreted by the liver to convert food into energy. Coconut oil is a great treatment option if you suffer from constipation, IBD, IBS, or any other gastrointestinal disorder.
Since coconut oil comprises of antimicrobial properties it kills harmful bacteria, yeast, fungus, candida, or any other microbes that cause digestive problems.
- It Boosts Immunity Levels: Coconut oil is easily absorbed by the skin cells and does not store in the fat cells. Healthy fatty acids, mainly lauric acid converts into monolaurin that helps in fighting viruses like HIV, herpes, candida, influenza, etc. when you consume coconut oil on a daily basis, you will be less prone to the risk of developing cold and flu.
- Type 2 Diabetes: The easy and quick absorption of medium chain fatty acids avoids insulin resistance. As a result, it avoids the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Since the fats are converted into energy quickly, the gastric juices secreted by the pancreas and liver enhance the sensitivity to insulin.
- It Increases Satiety: Food cravings are one of the major factors contributing to obesity. The consumption of coconut oil increases the satiety levels, i.e. you do not feel hungry between regular meals. Hence, you avoid eating high-calorie snacks in between two meals.
- Anti-Aging: When you grow older, you tend to develop fine lines or wrinkles on your skin. However, if you adopt the habit of consuming coconut oil, one tablespoon daily, you will slow down the aging process.
Coconut oil helps in keeping the skin hydrated and builds strong connective tissues of the skin.
You may also apply little Organic coconut oil on your skin directly to see its magical effects on your skin.
- Treat Dry Skin: Coconut oil penetrates deep into your skin to neutralize the moisture content of the skin. Hence, it hydrates your skin throughout the day and avoids irritation or itchiness. Moreover, it is a good treatment option for acne and eczema as well.
Apply organic coconut oil on your face, hair, and skin to witness its wonders. You may also add organic coconut oil to Epsom salts and apply the body scrub to unravel its magic.
- Cooking: Replace the vegetable oil or canola oil in your kitchen with coconut oil. The best think is coconut oil has a high smoking point because of which you can use it for the recipes requiring deep-frying.
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