Sometimes called coconut butter, coconut oil is extracted from the dried flesh of the coconut.
When it comes to antibacterial benefits, coconut oil is tops.
Who would have thought this could improve your overall skin’s health and appearance by leaps and bounds!
It’s ability to nourish and heal the skin has been known in the tropics for hundreds of years.
Many people knew of its wonderful moisturizing and healing abilities for generations.
As a saturated fat consisting primarily of medium chain fatty acids (MCTs), it is not easily oxidized and does not cause harmful free radical damage like polyunsaturated vegetable oils.
Virgin coconut oil has been reported to help many skin problems as well.
Depending on what is causing the skin problem, the coconut-oil seems to work in a variety of ways.
Importantly, coconut-oil helps protect the skin from sun exposure and skin cancer.
It has wonderful antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radical damage.
Also, when coconut-oil is consumed and used topically on our skin, it helps our bodies absorb other nutrients more effectively as well, such as Vitamin-E, another powerful antioxidant nutrient that protects the skin.
Besides the mounting medical and scientific evidence that Coconutoil has powerful positive health benefits when eaten, it has also been used for decades by professional massage therapists to knead away tight stressed muscles.
However, you don't have to be a professional massage therapist to gain the skin and tissue support benefits of Coconut oil.
Just use Coconut oil as you would any lotion.
Coconut oil is actually ideal for skin care.
It helps protect your skin from the aging effects of free radicals, and can help improve the appearance of skin with its anti-aging benefits, due to its stability and resistance to oxidation and free radical formation.
Many experts believe coconut-oil may help restore more youthful-looking skin.
When this wonder oil is absorbed into your skin and connective tissues, it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep your connective tissues strong and supple, and aids in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making your skin smoother.
Needless to say, virgin coconut oil helps with other areas of the body, such as hair, it conditions and nurtures the hair.
We didn’t know that this virgin oil is so effective in the overall well-being of the skin and other areas of the body.
Virgin coconut oil is really a diverse resource
It can be used to treat many conditions, as well as maintain good health.
Refined Coconut Oil
Most commercial grade coconut oils are made from copra.
Copra is basically the dried kernel (meat) of the coconut.
It can be made by: smoke, sun, or kiln drying, or even a combination of these three.
If standard copra is used as a starting material, the unrefined coconut-oil extracted from copra is not suitable for consumption and must be purified, that is refined.
This is because the way most copra is dried is not sanitary.
The standard end product made from copra is RBD coconut oil.
RBD stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized.
High heat is used to deodorize the oil, and the oil is typically filtered through (bleaching) clays to remove impurities.
Sodium hydroxide is generally used to remove free fatty acids and prolong shelf life.
This is the most common way to mass-produce coconut-oil.
The older, traditional way of producing refined coconut oil was through physical/mechanical refining.
More modern methods also use chemical solvents to extract all the oil from the copra for higher yields.
RBD oil is also sometimes hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.
This happens mostly in tropical climates, since the natural melting point of coconut-oil is about 76 degrees F, and already naturally a solid in most colder climates.
Since coconut-oil is mostly saturated, there is little unsaturated oil left to hydrogenate.
Hydrogenated oils contain trans fatty acids.
Virgin Coconut Oil
There is no industry standard definition for "Virgin Coconut Oil" as there is in the olive oil industry for "Virgin" and "Extra Virgin" olive oil.
Today, there are many coconut oils on the market that are labeled as "Virgin Coconut Oil."
Virgin Coconut Oil can only be achieved by using fresh coconut meat or what is called non-copra.
Chemicals and high heating are not used in further refining, since the natural, pure coconut-oil is very stable with a shelf life of several years.
There are currently two main processes of manufacturing Virgin Coconut Oil:
1. Quick drying of fresh coconut meat which is then used to press out the oil.
Using this method, the coconut meat is quick dried, and the oil is then pressed out via mechanical means.
2. Wet-milling, the oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat without drying first.
"Coconut milk" is expressed first by pressing.
The oil is then further separated from the water.
Methods which can be used to separate the oil from the water include boiling, fermentation, refrigeration, enzymes and mechanical centrifuge.
One of the main differences between Virgin Coconut oil and refined coconut-oils is the scent and taste.
All virgin coconut oils retain the fresh scent and taste of coconuts, whereas the copra-based refined coconut oils have a bland taste due to the refining process.
Some grades of refined copra-based oils are also now sold that have a coconut flavor, but are usually bitter and have a burnt taste to it.
They are a form of "crude coconut oil" that has not undergone all of the deodorizing process, and they have a shorter shelf-life.
What is "Extra Virgin Coconut Oil?"
Some retailers and manufacturers of Virgin Coconut Oils, referring to one of the processes mentioned above, call their coconut oil "Extra Virgin Coconut Oil."
But there are no other processes used to make coconut oil other than the ones mentioned above, so this classification is simply arbitrary.
There is no official classification or difference between "virgin" and "extra virgin" as there is in the olive oil industry, since the two oils are completely different in fatty acid composition, harvesting procedures, and terminology.
Virgin Coconut Oil and Heat
There have been many claims made recently on the Internet that there are Virgin Coconut oils in the market that are processed without heat, and that these coconut oils are somehow superior to coconut oils that use some heat in the processing.
Do these claims have any merit?
Some are claiming that there are "raw" virgin coconut oils that never see heat at temperatures above a certain temperature (usually slightly over 100 degrees F.) and therefore contain beneficial enzymes.
However, it's our understanding that unless one is purchasing a coconut oil that has been transported from the tropics in refrigerated containers, and is delivered to you in refrigerated delivery trucks, this is just simply not possible.
So now you're up to date on this super skin care treatment and if you're wondering about a great recipe, wonder no more.
Coconut-Lime Shrimp Soup
The crispness of bok choy with ginger and coconut make for a fragrant and satisfying soup
This colorful, tasty soup features classic Thai flavors, especially creamy coconut milk.
Look for coconut milk in the international section of your supermarket.
Always choose the light variety, which has less than half the fat and calories of regular coconut milk.
4 carrots, cut into julienne strips
3 heads baby bok choy, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
2 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can (13.5 to 14 oz.) light coconut milk
2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. red or green curry paste
4 oz. multigrain or whole wheat angel hair pasta, broken in half
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 Tbs. lime juice
1. Coat a large saucepan with an organic cooking spray.
Add the carrots, bok choy, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until fragrant.
Add the broth, coconut milk, soy sauce, curry paste, and 1 cup of water.
Cook just until the mixture comes to a boil over medium-high heat.
2. Add the pasta; return just to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 4 minutes or until almost tender.
Stir in the shrimp.
Cook for 1 to 3 minutes or until the shrimp are opaque and the pasta is tender.
Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
Fat 13.4 g.
Saturated fat 10.1 g.
Cholesterol 174.9 mg.
Sodium 398 mg.
Carbohydrates 32.7 g.
Total sugars 5.2 g.
Dietary fiber 6.6 g.
Protein 31.6 g.Tweet
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