Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is easily available in the Philippines, and it’s not expensive, so it makes sense if we take advantage of the health benefits of coconut oil.coconut oil

I grew up in the North where my family has about a hundred coconut trees, so coconut oil was not an expensive item for us. It’s just there for the taking.

From time to time, my mother would cook coconut milk and turn it into coconut oil, mostly for conditioning our hair or skin. One of the best proofs of coconut oil being a great hair conditioner is the color of my hair. My friends and colleagues who already are dyeing their hair to hide the greys and the whites are always admiring the state of my hair, which is still fully glowing in black.

We also use coconut oil to massage the back, neck and chest of whoever is suffering from colds and cough. The heat that develops from the massage and the coconut oil is effective in helping stop colds and cough.

International studies have found various health benefits of coconut oil. They found that the substances found in coconut oil are effective in helping treat illnesses such as the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Psoriasis, eczema, skin itchiness and other skin diseases
  • Obesity
  • Hair loss and other hair diseases
  • Stress
  • High cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Metabolism problems
  • Immunity problems
  • Digestion problems
  • Kidney diseases
  • Heart diseases
  • HIV
  • Cancer
  • Dental diseases
  • Bone weakness
  • Candida yeast infection
  • Pinworms
  • Gall bladder diseases

The major substances found in coconut oil are the following:

  • Lauric acid (acid also found in mother’s milk)
  • Capric acid
  • Caprylic acid

These substances act as:

  • antimicrobials
  • antioxidants
  • antifungals
  • antibacterials
  • anti-protozoals

How to use coconut oil:

Coconut oil can be:

  • drunk directly (from half teaspoon to 3 tablespoons a day)
  • consumed with other foods (with herbal tea, hot cocoa, hot milk, fruit juice, soup,  stew, rice, hot cereal, pasta and casserole)
  • mixed with other foods as cooking ingredients
  • applied directly to the skin or hair
  • inhaled as part of steam inhalation or dry inhalation
  • used in aromatherapy or in aromatic bath
  • used in hot or cold compress
  • used for sun protection and nail protection
  • used to treat insect bite, injury or infection

Philippine Coconut Oil Exports

According to the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines (UCAP), coconut oil exports in September 2011 reached 49,689 metric tons. The biggest buyers were European countries and the United States.

Europe —  20,200 metric tons,   40.7% of total coconut oil exports
United States  — 19,339  metric tons,   38.9%
China —  5,000 metric tons,  10.1 %
Malaysia —  3,500 metric tons,  7.0%
Japan — 1,650 metric tons,  3.3 %

According to UCAP and other coconut associations, the Philippines is the largest exporter of coconut oil in the world.

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) Brands

If you’re buying commercially produced coconut oil, read what’s on the label and the product brochure before using it.  It’s also best if you research and read up on coconut oil products and the companies that produce them.

Here are some virgin coconut oil (VCO) products produced in the Philippines:

Santa Maria Virgin Coconut Oil

– produced by Amazing Foods Corp.
– certified Organic by CERES Certified
– cold processed and cold pressed
– Amazing Foods Corp. chosen by National Shoppers’ Choice in 2005 as Best Virgin Coconut Oil Manufacturer

Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

– cold pressed not more than 10 hours after chopping
– certified Organic by the US Department of Agriculture
– produced by farmers in Mindanao under the guidance of John W. Roulac who founded California-headquartered Nutiva in 1999
– used and recommended by Love a Yoga Space owner Sian Gordeon, actress Zoe Kravitz
– Nutiva has been cited as the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. in 2011, 2010 and 2009
– Nutiva’s business growth cited by Forbes, Bloomberg, Supermarket Guru

Ginoco Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

– produced by Gina Oil Corp., founded by Gina Fernandez of Agdangan, Quezon
– contains up to 53 %  lauric acid, with very little unsaturated oil and trans-fatty acids

San Benito Virgin Coconut Oil

– produced by The Farm at San Benito in Barangay Tipakan, Lipa City, Batangas
– cold processed
– sourced from coconut organically grown coconut trees
– oil extracted within 4 hours from harvesting

Nutiva Coconut Manna

– creamy organic whole coconut that contains 12 percent fiber, 9 percent protein and nourishing fats
– produced by Nutiva

Ginoco Coconut Aromatic Massage Oil
– produced by Gino Oil Corp.

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