I wanted to write a quick article on Coconut oil and some of the health benefits associated with it. As many of you know, I am an advocate of sufficient amounts of protein, veggies, fruits and healthy fats. This inevitably means that my clients have to reduce their breads, pasta, refined sugar and gluten based foods (wheat, rye, barley). The next question then becomes “what fats are good for you”? I have already addressed many options in previous posts so today I will focus on coconut oil. Before I describe what makes coconut oil so helpful, it is important to understand the molecular size or length of the carbon chain in the fatty acid. The majority of fats people consume today are long chained fatty acids (about 98%). What makes coconut oil unique is that it is mainly comprised of medium chained fatty acids (MCFA) and these are have remarkable healing properties. Almost all of the medium chained fatty acids used in research, food products and medicine come from coconut oil. It is also used in a variety of baby formulas around the world.
So the question is why is coconut oil and the MCFA’s that are inherent in it so helpful? MCFA’s are smaller, they require less energy and less enzymes to break them down for digestion. This means there is less strain on the digestive system and pancreas. This is very important for clients who have metabolic or digestive issues. The nutrients that coconut oil produce and the ability for the body to absorb them with minimal strain allows patients and even healthy people to receive the benefits in an efficient manner. Another key benefit of coconut oil is the energy and vitality it provides. Because MCFA’s are funneled directly to the liver and converted into energy there, people get a boost of liveliness. This boost of energy transcends into the cells and then speeds up their metabolism as well. This has a pronounced effect on the entire body. When your metabolic rate is increased, you also get the corresponding benefits of healing. Athletes have been taking coconut oil to get a competitive advantage from injuries (speed healing) and the ability to increase their metabolism.
The next question is where can you get MCFA’s aside from coconut oil? They are also found in palm kernel oil and camphor tree drupes. The more you can consume these types of fats, the better off your internal health will be and subsequent physical performance. These fats can be found at most health food stores and ensure you are looking for the premium, organic brands. It must be noted that a healthy nutrition plan has the proportionate amount of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats as well. When you balance these macro nutrients according to your goals and body type, you will notice a major improvement in your overall health. I find my clients with the best results are open to change and constantly challenge what they have traditionally learned in the past that simply did not work for them or the population in general.