Is coconut oil good for the immune system? It’s a simple question, but not one with the simplest answer. For starters, most of us have been led to believe that coconut oil is a saturated fat (solid at room temperature), and all saturated fat is bad.
But Dr. Joy Reese, ND and co-founder and VP of Skinny Co., explains why coconut oil is not only one of the most nutritious fats available, but it is also great for our immune health, inflammation, skin, gut, and oral health.
The Skinny on fats
With over 60% of the daily recommended intake of fat in one tablespoon, coconut oil has long been associated with increased LDL (bad) cholesterol and weight gain. But contrary to popular belief, recent studies show quite the opposite. In fact, compared to olive oil, coconut oil was superior at improving cholesterol and lowering markers of inflammation, including C reactive protein. So why all the misinformation around coconut oil?
As Dr. Reese explains, the food industry promoted this claim in hopes of promoting the sales of commodity crops such as corn, soybean, and rapeseed (canola) oil. Yet, corn, soy, and canola oil have all been linked to not just weight gain, but also increased LDL cholesterol, cognitive impairment, lethargy, and inflammation, which itself contributes to illness and pain.
Why coconut reigns supreme
But back to coconut oil. When consumed in moderation and in its purest form, coconut oil offers some amazing benefits. This includes balancing hormone levels, anti-aging qualities, improving LDL and HDL levels, as well as containing antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, and antifungal properties.
Nearly all of these are due to its high levels of fatty acids, especially lauric acid. The primary fatty acid in coconut oil, when lauric acid is digested specific enzymes are formed in the digestive tract that inhibits the growth of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
Why Coconut Oil?
“It’s not just immune boost, it’s actually protective. You’ve got anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitic; sickness falls into one of those categories…and it’s also good for inflammation.”– Dr. Joy Reese
If that wasn’t enough, coconut oil also contains significant levels of vitamin E and bioactive compounds such as polyphenols that have antioxidant and immune-boosting properties.
Whether consumed in your coffee, your shakes, or applied directly to your skin, coconut oil offers an array of benefits that far exceed any doubts you may have had about this oil.
About Dr. Joy Reese
As the Vice President and Co-founder of The Skinny and Skinny & Co, Dr. Joy Reese lead the charge in developing a chemical-free lifestyle brand that emerged in her family’s living room just over 5 years ago.
Joy continues to spearhead education and sales and is currently working on teaching opportunities. Her latest is a “10-Day Clean Beauty” course that The Skinny has developed with the organization OneCommune.
After going holistic in her approach to medicine, Joy returned to school in her forties to finish her NMD board certification. She has since been a passionate spokesman about the 80,000 harmful chemicals that have crept into our environment and most consumer products.
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