Coco fat, or coconut oil is one of the latest health crazes. Lots of people are rushing out to buy the product as they believe it will give them better brain health, maybe even prevent some dementia illness and help to reduce inflammation. The problem is that there is a lot of research needed to prove many of the claims surrounding coconut oil, but that doesn’t mean there are no health benefits of coconut oil.
Coconut oil has for a very long time been added to cosmetic and skincare treatments. This kind of coconut oil is slightly different from the one that you buy to take internally. As a matter if fact, you should not try to use the cosmetic coconut oil at all for internal remedies. If, you really want to know how to use coconut oil safely, you should follow the example from the people of Zanzibar. They use it on a daily basis as a fat, and cook their food in it. Perhaps this is why so many ladies in Zanzibar have so few wrinkles.
Cooking with coconut oil
In Zanzibar and parts of India, cooking with cooking nut oil is a daily occurrence. It is quite a fatty oil, so you don’t want to add too much to your pan. A little bit goes along way.
One of the best way to cook with coconut oil is to add it to spicy sauces and casseroles. Both in India and on Zanzibar, it is very popular in curries and sea food stews. It is said that on Zanzibar, no one will cook seafood without a bit of coconut oil. Perhaps we should all try adding a bit of coconut oil the next time we decide to put a fish dish on the table.
But, how user friendly is coconut oil? Providing that you buy a good quality coconut oil, it will not over power your food. It some Indian dishes it is used to “tone down” the spice content, and mellow the dish a little. The best way to use it, is always with spices such as cumin, cinnamon and curry spices. If you haven’t tried it yet, you can always fry your basmati rice in coconut oil. It will give a sweet coconut flavor, and will add a distinct authentic taste to your curry evening. Rice is certainly a perfect companion for coconut oil.
Baking with coconut oil
In Zanzibar, they just don’t give up. Freshly baked bread has coconut oil added, and it is indeed a very good companion for both cake and bread making. As it is rather sweet, you can cut down on the amount of sugar you use. Breads baked with coconut oil will have a slightly shiny appearance, but most of the time you will not be able to taste the coconut oil.
Of course, it is delicious in cakes. The funny thing with coconut oil, is that it has the ability to enhance the flavor of fruits and berries. What it actually does, is to protect the enzymes in the fruit from breaking down and this is why cakes baked with coconut oil taste better. Perhaps it can even protect the vital enzymes in your body. At least it is capable of delivering fruit with a higher nutritional value to your table.
Coconut oil does have many health association. As it is an oil, it can help to reduce inflammation in the joints, but we are not sure if it can do the same thing in the arteries. If, you are suffering from arthritis and heart disease at the same time, it is best used as a topical treatment.
It can easily be used as a massage oil, and blended with essential oils such as ginger or cinnamon, it can really help to easy the inflammation and pain of arthritis. Rubbing it into the affected joint several times a day can also ease swelling and discomfort.
But, coconut oil may also have some downsides and you need to be careful to use it in moderation if you are using a conventional medicine. For instance, it can make drugs such as statins and painkillers less effective. It seems to have the ability to stop you from absorbing the active ingredient, and you should be aware of this negative side effect.
On top of that it can also cause upset stomach and diarrhea in children and adults. Whilst the health benefits of coconut oil are certainly there, we should learn how to use it responsibly.