For the global health conscious, coconut oil isn’t just an ingredient in cooking, it’s a invaluable and perfectly natural tonic used to promote heart health, lose weight, control diabetes, fight candida and for general well being, and it comes from a resource that grows right above our heads here in Bali.
At many roadside warung and pasar throughout the island you’ll find piles of coconuts that shopkeepers skillfully open with a hearty swipe of a blade, draining the water and serving with ice for a refreshing drink. The remaining flesh is pressed for coconut milk called santan, an ever-present ingredient used in a variety of Indonesian dishes. Another by-product is oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm.
Today the health trend for coconut oil is something of a phenomenon with Indonesia the global leader supplying markets some 18,300,000 tons of coconuts annually. And there are significant reasons for the growing international demand. According to medical research, coconut oil has a range of preventative health benefits used both externally and internally.
Coconut oil is one of the only remedies for Alzheimer’s patients by way of digesting medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) in the liver for the creation of “ketones” that provide readily accessible energy to the brain without the need of insulin to process glucose into energy.
Coconut oil also prevents heart disease and lowers high blood pressure as this saturated fat not only increases our healthy cholesterol but also helps convert bad cholesterol into good cholesterols. Coconut water on its own also reduces blood pressure with one glass (get your local warung to deliver it fresh each morning).
The benefits of cold pressed coconut oil for better health includes qualities that help fight cancer and ketones once again are in play. Produced through digestion they fight tumor cells and digest the lipid walls of helicobacter pylori bacteria that have been known to increase the risk of stomach cancer.
One of the well-established benefits of coconut oil (only consume cold pressed oil which can be found in Bali’s limited list of health food stores such as Bali Buda) is its antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral qualities. For those who would normally use caprylic acid in capsule form to fight candida growth, you will very likely not find it on Bali health food store shelves perhaps because the lauric acid found in coconut oil is an equally effective substitute to kill funguses, viruses and parasites in the body.
Ingesting oil also helps improve digestion, reduce stomach ulcers and ulcerative colitis by way of helping the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium, and magnesium. What’s more, research with osteoporosis patients found that coconut oil not only increases bone volume and structure it also decreases bone loss.
The MCFA’s in coconut oil help balance the insulin reactions in the cells and promote healthy digestive process. They take off the strain on the pancreas and give the body a consistent energy source that is not dependent on glucose reactions, which can prevent insulin resistance and Type II diabetes.
Coconut oil also helps…
o Build muscle and lose body fat
o Anti-aging by reducing stress on the liver and by lowering oxidative stress
o Detoxification due to how the oil works with the liver
o Hormonal balance as a natural saturated fat
o Diabetes through its laxative properties
o Hair care and dandruff treatment
o Gum disease by removing oral bacteria after brushing
Health-e reporting along with sources: TIME, Organic Authority; health24; WSJ; World Atlas; Dr. Axe