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A Brief History Of Coconut Oil

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The history of Coconut oil is as old as 4000 years; about 3960 years of the documented historical applications of the edible and healing properties of the fruits of the coconut palm have all been positive.  The several applications of the Coconut tree have had a huge impact in the livelihood of mankind in every aspect, but it’s the fruit, coconut flesh, milk, water and oil that have had intrinsic commercial value.

The use of coconut oil is pronounced in several regions of South America, Central America, the Indian subcontinent, Mele, Micro and Polynesia. The Sanskrit based Indian Ayurvedic medicine from 1500BC has documented the use of coconut oil in virtually every area concerning the body, mind and spirit. Captain Cook, one of the early European explorers, mentioned how coconut oil became part and parcel of the communities thriving in the Pacific regions.

During World War II the young green coconut proved indispensable in that its water served as a saline drip and went on to save the lives of allied soldiers. Post-WW II, coconut oil was commercially marketed and sold in England and USA as ‘margarine’ and ‘coconut butter’ respectively. However, only in 1954, that coconut oil, though it has been used for long, became popular as more nutritious compared to other oils.  This is because coconut oil, for several centuries, wasn’t received in good light owing to its saturated fat content. Thanks to the proponents of “saturated fat are no good for you” for simply classifying all three types of saturated fat under a single category they completely poohpooh the fact that some saturated fat, in fact, is quite essential for good health.

Studies, now and then, have proved that coconut oil stands out in terms of its structural makeup in medium-chain fatty acids something close to what is found in breast milk. And there is no better reason why coconut oil goes into baby formula, energy bars and sports drink, where it’s commonly known as MCT (medium chain triglycerides). MCT fatty acids exhibit great digestive properties than other fat types in different oils. This is due to the fact that the liver can process them directly and convert them immediately into energy, as they are easily digestible and enhance the process of absorption of other nutrients. Research and studies in the past failed to prove this because they experimented with hydrogenated coconut oil a process that converts all fats into harmful carcinogenic trans fatty acids.

Several low fats, often marketed as ‘healthy’ oils, are partially hydrogenated. Another type known as ’healthy’ polyunsaturated oils build up to toxic free radicals when subject to heating, and have proven to be associated with at least 60 common health complaints. More importantly, because virgin coconut oil is known to be stable, it is extremely resistant to free radical generation when it is subject to heating at high temperatures and is particularly safe oil for everyday use.