Cultures and countries across the world use and appreciate the coconut tree, and because of it's nutritional and therapeutic values, it is referred to as "Kalpavriksha" (the all giving tree) in India. As the name implies, the coconut palm is extremely versatile and used in many capacities. Today we discuss Coconut Oil and it's recent resurgence in popularity.
What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. It has various applications as food or in cosmetics.
Broadly speaking, there are two categories of coconut oils: those that are mass produced at an industrial level and need to be refined, and those that start with fresh coconut and have much less refining. Yes, you read that correctly, less refining.
Refined or "RBD" coconut oils: RBD stands for 'refined, bleached, deodorized'. The "bleaching" is generally not a chemical process, but rather a filter process to remove impurities. A "bleaching clay" is used for this filtering. Steam is used to deodorize the oil, since the starting point was copra. So the resulting product has a very bland taste, with little or no odour. The RBD refining process does nothing to alter the fatty acid profile of coconut oil, so all the medium chain fatty acids are kept intact. What the refining process does do however, is strip away some of the nutrients and so should always be your second choice.
Hydrogenated Coconut Oil: This is the one refined coconut oil you want to stay away from as an edible oil. The small portion of unsaturated fatty acids are hydrogenated, creating some trans fats.
Virgin or Organic Coconut Oils: The common denominator that should exist in all virgin coconut oils is that they start with fresh coconut and not copra. Virgin oils are derived from pressing the oil out of dried coconut or by a wet-milling method and antioxidants were found to be much higher in these virgin coconut oils, especially those produced by the wet-milling method.
What does it do?
Check out our infogram below for the benefits of Coconut Oil:
Use coconut oil for all of your cooking and baking, and put a tablespoon of it in your smoothies. You can also apply it directly to your skin or hair, and taking a tablespoon and swishing it around your mouth for 5 to 10 minutes (aka 'oil pulling') is amazing for reducing tooth sensitivity and improving oral health.
Links to find out more:
300ml - R55.00
1ltr - R130.00
5ltr - R550.00