It’s time to go coconuts here at The Nourished Life. I confess: as I’ve read through The Coconut Oil Miracle this month, my kitchen has taken on a more tropical theme (at least as far as our meals are concerned). Coconut flour, coconut cream concentrate, coconut milk and dried coconut have all made their way into my pantry and my cooking. Why? Because Fife’s book is quite convincing about the healing properties of coconut oil!
The Coconut Oil Miracle starts off explaining why coconut oil and other traditional fats have a tainted reputation. I applaud Fife for managing to set the record straight in one short, sweet chapter. He then moves on to possibly one of the most informative pieces I’ve ever read on the structure of fats. I’m no biologist, and I know most of you aren’t either. And I don’t want to spend an unearthly amount of hours trying to decipher the differences between all the fatty acids. Well, thanks to this book I don’t have to. The explanation was swift and to the point, visually helpful without getting too long-winded. These two chapters along with the next one about the true causes of heart disease alone are worth the cost of the book, in my opinion.
And then comes the coconut oil. Its abilities are no less than astonishing, and yet coconut oil remains a relatively undiscovered gem in the medical community (who seems to have its communal head so far up its… er, textbook… that it refuses to acknowledge the healing power of traditional foods). I can’t compete with Fife’s elucidation on the benefits of coconut oil, but I can give you a basic summary:
- The unique fatty acids in coconut oil (medium chain triglycerides) are antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal. That means that it takes one heck of a burden off the immune system when it comes to fighting pesky fiends like bacterial infections, candida, the common cold and even HIV. That’s why doing a coconut oil detox is so effective.
- Fife also praises coconut oil’s ability to burn off excess fat because of it has been shown to heighten metabolic activity. He acknowledges that diets have a habit of not working, and that coconut oil can help combat the typical metabolic slow-down that accompanies weight loss plans. He also warns of the anti-metabolic effects of vegetables oils and suggests that for many people just switching over to coconut oil can be enough to stimulate weight loss. (Read more about coconut oil and metabolism here.)
- Coconut oil also makes for luminous skin and hair. Used externally as well as internally, it improves the natural balance of the skin and can be used by those with dandruff, dry skin, skin irritations and even acne (for real).
- Fife emphasizes that the medium chain fatty acids found most abundantly in coconut oil are also one of the most important fats in breastmilk, and that a nursing mother who regularly consumes these fats will have a higher concentration in her breastmilk (and thus her baby will receive more of these beneficial fatty acids). So, all you moms out there enjoy a little coconut oil fudge now and then, okay?
- According to The Coconut Oil Miracle, this tropical fat is also great for the liver, bone health, digestive health, and thyroid function. It’s shown benefits for chronic fatigue syndrome, psoriasis, cancer, stomach ulcers, diabetes and epileptic seizures. I could go on, but I fear my fingers may cramp up if I attempt to list all the benefits associated with coconut oil!
How Much Coconut Oil Do We Need?
Fife recommends 3 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day. He distinguishes the important differences between commonly refined coconut oil and virgin coconut oil, and also adds that you can get the same beneficial fats from coconut milk and coconut meat (dried or fresh) as well.
To finish up, I’ll quote Fife from page 88:
“In my opinion, the coconut is one of God’s greatest health foods and, when consumed as a part of your regular diet, can protect you against a host of infectious illnesses. Eating coconuts and coconut oil can provide you with some degree of protection from a wide variety of disease-causing organisms.”