Coconut oil is the ultimate “good fat” as it contains medium chain triglycerides or fatty acids that are hormonal health warriors. Over the years, we’ve all been educated to fear oils and see them as fattening and unhealthy. Well, some are - like vegetable oils, canola, safflower - but coconut oil is actually completely unique and has many health benefits, including supporting weight loss. It’s very likely that you’ve heard some about the benefits of coconut oil - it’s been a foodie darling for a while now - and it’s got staying power due on the bounty of research and evidence to back up such enthusiastic claims.
The health benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil is:
- Hormone balancing - the fatty acids in coconut oil actually help the hormones get to where they want and need to go in the body, and so support the creation, processing and elimination of estrogen and progesterone, leading to hormonal balance.
- Weight loss-promoting - studies show that coconut oil increases the metabolism and prevents hunger, allowing for successful weight loss.
- Thyroid-supportive - coconut oil has the ability to transform cholesterol into pregnenolone, which is one of the essential building blocks for thyroid hormone-making.
- Gut-healing - coconut oil repairs gut tissue and promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Like breast milk, coconut oil is powerfully antimicrobial and antibacterial. The high levels of lauric acid in coconut oil protects against infection from viruses, bacteria, yeast, parasites and fungi. Lauric acid therefore inactivates the harmful microbes in your gut that can lead to hormonal imbalance.
However you may still be confused about exactly how to get coconut oil into your daily diet. You don’t need a lot - between 2 and 4 tablespoons a day should do it. But I know it can be hard to understand how something you associate with a tropical taste can be used regularly. I personally ensure I get a little coconut oil every day, and once you get into the habit you will find it easy.
5 ways to eat more coconut oil every day
- I am a big tea drinker and one of my favorite ways to get more coconut oil every day is to stir a spoonful into a hot drink. This works great with herbal teas, but also turmeric lattes - making them taste almost creamy and adding to the comforting factor. If you get to the end of the day and realize you forgot your dose of coconut oil - make up a golden turmeric latte.
- If you have a protein smoothie a few days a week (try my recipe) you can pour in a little coconut oil to give you an extra-added energy boost. It also works really well with smoothies that are kale or date-based.
- For breakfast I love to use coconut oil to cook my eggs and a side of greens (collard, kale, chard). It removes the slight bitter taste that can come with greens, I find, and it’s really good for all high heat cooking - including stir fries and roasting veggies.
- When you’re tackling a baking recipe, replace butter with coconut oil every time. It works just as well and it means you can get your daily dose in a slice of something yummy. I especially like to do this with my chocolate sweet potato brownie recipe and my fruit cobbler recipe.
- There’s absolutely no reason you can’t just dip a spoon in your jar and enjoy, like you might with an almond or sunflower butter, or even on a quick piece of GF toast. If you’re feeling low on energy and need a boost, or you’re getting cravings for unhealthy foods, a spoonful of coconut oil will put you back on track. If you’re low on time and you like things super-simple, go for it.
The best coconut oil to use
Coconut oil can be expensive, especially if you want it to be organic, ethically-sourced and of the virgin variety (this is important for the quality and taste, but it also means it will definitely have all the health benefits promised). Thrive Market is an online grocery shopping site that has all my favorite natural, healthy products at super reasonable prices (think CostCo, without any of the junk). I’ve teamed up with Thrive to get new members to the market a FREE jar of their own-brand coconut oil goodness. It’s the one I use, and it is great. I have 3 jars on the go in my home right now. Click here to grab your’s.Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this - the science of your body is on your side!