History of Coconut Oil and Benefits
The existence of coconuts can be dated back to thousands of years. Coconut as a fruit, its flesh, coconut water, its milk, and coconut oil have been known to have a great influence in the lives of those belonging to the tropical countries. Coconut has been widely in use in Southern and Central American regions, Africa, India and in most of the Asian countries. However, it is only in the 1600s that the term coconut was coined. The coconut palm finds its natural habitat in tropical and subtropical regions. They are mostly found on shorelines and soils of sandy nature. They do not grow well in places with low temperature. High humidity coupled with rainy and sunny weathers is ideal for the plants growth.
History says that coconut was cultivated in India along the Malabar Coast much before the time of Christ. Coconut agriculture became prevalent in Sri Lanka around the time of Christ. Countries such as Philippines, Malayasia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guined are also heavily into coconut cultivation. The influence of coconut in the lives of people from the tropical countries became so prominent that it is considered as one of the foods that shaped civilization.
What is coconut oil?
The coconut has been used as food for centuries. The white flesh of the coconut finds its use in cooking all sorts of cuisines. Coconut water is widely consumed around the world and is known for its nutritional values. The kernel of coconuts is also used to extract coconut oil which can be used as cooking oil as well as in cosmetic products.
Benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil has received a lot of bad press in the past owing to its saturated fat content. People were quick to announce that since it has saturated fat it must be avoided at all cost. However, recent studies have gone on to proof that they couldn’t be more wrong. The unique structural make up of the saturated fats in coconut oil makes it easy to digest and improves absorption of essential nutrients. Saturated fat as present in coconut oil is essential for human health.
Packed with nutritional properties, coconut oil finds its use in both traditional and modern medicines. Coconut oil is packed with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Thanks to its moisturizing properties, coconut oil is believed to cure all sorts of skin ailments when ingested or applied topically. Coconut oil can be used to treat skin ailments in adults and babies. It is even used to improve pet health.
Coconut oil is also known to improve hair health. It is an excellent conditioner and helps strengthen roots and reduce hair fall. Coconut oil is also extensively used in treating dandruff and other scalp related conditions.
Virgin Coconut Oil
When using coconut oil for health reasons, one must always keep in mind to use virgin or unrefined coconut oil. Technically, you cannot get coconut oil that is completely unrefined. Virgin coconut oil is the purest and least refined form of coconut oil that you can get. The coconut oil that is that has undergone the RBD (refined, bleached and deodorized) process is robbed of essential nutrients. For ingesting purposes, one must always choose pure coconut oil over the refined variety. Virgin coconut oil is derived by two processes. The dried coconut is pressed to extract oil and is the commonly used method. Pure coconut oil is also extracted by using the wet-milling process in which the fruit is not dried and oil is derived from fresh coconut. The virgin coconut oil derived from the wet-milling process is a purer version. The quality and purity of the oil also determine the price at which they are available in the markets. Choose your coconut oil wisely and according to your needs.