Among all the edible oils- coconut oil is considered the healthiest for its immense nutritional value and benefits. To elaborate the term ‘cold press’, it is a technique where no mechanical heat is used to extract the oil so that the oil can retain natural goodness, aroma, essential nutrients and of course the flavor of fresh coconut. Cold pressed oil is gaining its lost value nowadays because it was very common to us in the past and somewhere got lost in our craze for refined & defined commodities.
Often we get confused between cold pressed coconut oil and virgin coconut oil; here you need to know that cold pressed coconut oil is gathered from the kernels of dried coconut, usually dried in the sun. Whereas the virgin coconut oil is extracted from the fresh coconut milk and left to settle down. The fresh coconut is grated finely first, then the milk is extracted from it and kept aside to settle down. It forms three layers; the uppermost layer is of curd, middle one is oil layer and the bottom most is water layer. The oil is taken out after separation.
Both cold pressed and virgin coconut oil bear the same energy value and flavor. One tablespoon of any of the oils contains 117 calories and 13.6 grams of total fats of which 11.8 grams are only saturated fat. The good part of coconut oil fat is its medium chain triglycerides that our body uses as energy, but the risk of cardiovascular diseases remains low.
Benefits of cold pressed coconut oil
1. To manage body weight:
Coconut oil controls appetite, maintains lipid profile and thus reduces the risk of weight gain. As mentioned earlier, coconut oil contains tons of medium chain triglycerides or MCTs, a type of saturated fat which helps to boost metabolism and prevents the accumulation of body fat. Coconut oil also promotes healthy thyroid gland function, resulting in proper body weight.
2. Antimicrobial effects:
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, an antimicrobial and antifungal agent, acts against bacteria and disease-causing germs. Lauric acid is a compound that accounts for nearly half of the medium chain triglycerides or MCTs. Due to this; cold pressed coconut oil is always a healthy choice in the oil category.
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3. Natural energy booster:
Cold pressed is famous for its innate energy boosting qualities around the globe, especially to the athletes. The cause of this is the MCTs, which are abundant in cold pressed coconut oil. MCTs go straight in the liver and act as carbohydrates, providing a quick supply of energy.
4. Improves skin health:
Cold pressed coconut oil acts magically against skin ailments even more effectively than most artificial moisturizers. Due to the presence of nutritional properties it helps in curing of skin ailments like atopic dermatitis. It betters the skin moisturizer and stops fast aging and allergies.
5. Good for oral health:
Oil pulling with cold pressed coconut oil may aid to reduce plaque buildup on teeth and reduce inflammation to fight gum diseases. It also fights against the harmful bacteria in the mouth. Traditionally, coconut oil was used as an Indian folk remedy.
Cold pressed coconut oil uses
There is a general thought that coconut oil is to be used externally only, people think that it is good for hair and skin care. Apart from that the nutritional facts prove that it benefits our body when consumed as edible. So, let’s explore the ways to incorporate cold pressed coconut oil in our diet.
One of the easiest ways to consume coconut oil is to use it as a replacement for regular oil or butter. 100% pure cold pressed coconut oil without any adulteration enhances your recipes as well as your health.
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Coconut oil candy:
To give the benefits of cold pressed coconut oil to the children you can prepare coconut oil candy. Also try chocolates, nuts and dry fruits to increase the taste.
Add to smoothies/shakes or coconut milk:
You can pour a little amount of cold pressed coconut oil into your drinks to give a greasy texture. And yes it can be consumed directly.
Add to soups and salads:
You can splash some drops of cold pressed coconut oil on your soups and salads to give a beautiful aromatic flavor.
Side effects of cold pressed coconut oil
Though it is packed with various benefits, it can impose little harm if not ingested in proper quantity. It may increase LDL or bad cholesterol level, which can be dangerous to the people with high cholesterol. And other symptoms like headache, dizziness, fatigue, diarrhea, hives or rashes have been witnessed by some.