Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 17, 2015

Coo-coo for Coconut!

Kay's Cooking Corner

Kay Bona

One day not long ago, I was leisurely strolling through my favorite health food market. I wasn’t in any particular hurry, so I was able to stop and check out a few things instead of doing my usual hectic run-through, picking up only what was on my quickly scribbled list.

One of the items that caught my eye was two neatly packaged six-ounce plastic containers of 100 percent organic coconut oil.

I’ve heard increasing reports about the health benefits of coconut oil, and this past Christmas my daughter, April, made homemade lotion for the family from coconut oil. She said the reason was because her son (and my precious, sweet, adorable grandson) suffers from eczema, and the coconut oil keeps his breakouts from being so severe.

The more I searched, the more I found that coconut oil really is good for you – both inside and out. But this is my own assumption. Medical research data is still being tested on the claims made below. You’ll have to make your own decision on the benefits. Here are a few I found:

• Studies show that intake of coconut oil can help our bodies mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. Even more, it also can help to fight off yeast, fungus, and candida.

• Coconut oil can also positively affect the hormones for thyroid and blood-sugar control. People who take coconut oil tend to have improvements in how they handle blood sugar, since coconut can help improve insulin use within the body. Coconut oil can boost thyroid function, helping to increase metabolism, energy, and endurance. It increases digestion and helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins.

• Coconut oil has a saturated fat called lauric acid, a type of MCT. It has been shown that lauric acid increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels. Coconut oil lowers cholesterol by promoting its conversion to pregnenolone, a molecule that’s a forerunner to many of the hormones our bodies need.

• Coconut oils have special fats called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). It has been shown that breaking down these types of healthy fats in the liver leads to efficient burning of energy. One study found that women who consumed 30 milliliters (about 2 tablespoons) of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks not only did not gain more weight, but actually had lowered amounts of abdominal fat.

• Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer for skin and hair.

• Eating coconut oil on a regular basis has numerous health benefits, including healthier skin and hair, lower cholesterol, weight loss, increased levels of immunity, proper digestion, and improved metabolism.

• It has been show to provide relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and other viruses, and cancer, and improve bone strength. The reason it’s so effective and healthy is because of high levels of lauric, capric, and caprylic acids.

Here’s another story:

Mary Newport, MD, medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Spring Hill Regional Hospital in Florida, said her husband, Steve, 53, began showing signs of progressive dementia, later diagnosed as Alzheimer’s Disease. “Many days, he was in a fog,” she said.

Dr. Newport learned that an ingredient in a drug trial which was showing promise was MCT oil derived from coconut oil or palm kernel oil, and that a dose of 20 grams (about 20 ml, or four teaspoons) was used to produce these results. When MCT oil is metabolized, the ketones which the body creates might, according to the latest research, not only protect against the incidence of Alzheimer’s but actually reverse it. Moreover, this is also a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), drug-resistant epilepsy, brittle type I diabetes, and type II (insulin-resistant) diabetes.

Mr. Newport started eating coconut oil twice a day. After 37 days, oil seemed to “lift the fog,” and in the first 60 days, Dr. Newport saw remarkable changes in him, and a recent MRI shows that the brain atrophy has been completely halted. (You can read her book: “Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was A Cure?”)

Another story written by Dr. Joseph Mercola that is quite worthwhile reading is at www.huffingtonpost.com/drmercola/coconutoilbenefits

“It might be surprising for you to learn that the naturally occurring saturated fat in coconut oil is actually good for you,” Dr. Mercolastates said, “and provides a number of profound health benefits, such as improving your , boosting your thyroid, increasing your metabolism, promoting a lean body and weight loss if needed, and supporting your immune system.

Coconut oil even benefits your skin when applied topically, and has been found to have anti-aging, regenerative effects.”

Like I said, if you’re interested in the claims of coconut oil, you need to do the research and make a decision based on your health.

Here’s a recipe that will both treat your palette and boost your health! Serve with roasted asparagus.

Coconut Shrimp Cakes

1 pound raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

3/4 to 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (add sweetener if you like it sweeter)

2 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil for frying

Cut off tails of the shrimp and place in a food processor. Pulse the shrimp until they’re in tiny pieces, almost like mush.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites. Add the shrimp, coconut, and salt to the eggs and combine. Form the batter into eight patties about a half of an inch thick.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add four patties to the skillet and cook about four to five minutes per side. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook the remaining four patties.

Kay Bona is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist and photographer. Contact her at kay@dailydata.com.