Monthly Archives: May 2011

The benefits of coconut oil & a new warning about olive oil


The benefits of coconut oil and a new warning about olive oil

by Doctor Joseph Mercola

A common question that many people have is whether food should be eaten uncooked. I personally believe that consuming a majority of your food uncooked is a cornerstone of optimal health.

Typically, the less processed and heat-treated the food is, the more nutritious and healthier it is going to be.

Nevertheless, most people prefer to cook their food, at least occasionally. When you do, you’re going to cook with some form of oil.

The question is, what’s the best, healthiest type of oil to use when cooking?

Dr. Rudi Moerck has studied oils for a long time, and offers some intriguing insights in this interview.

Cooking with Tropical Oils – Your Healthiest Alternative
I have, for many years now, recommended coconut oil on the basis and the supposition that it doesn’t contain much unsaturated fat. As a result, it’s not going to be damaged by heat and create trans fats like some other oils. (Another tropical oil that is very similar is palm oil.)

Dr. Moerck agrees, saying:

“I would say that coconut oil is okay to cook with. It’s a saturated fat. Your body will burn it as fuel or it will get rid of it some other way. It won’t store it in your body.. So from that point of view, if you’re going to use oil then that’s a good one to use.”

Interestingly, unlike carbohydrates, which can also deliver quick energy to your body, coconut oil does this without producing an insulin spike. Yes, it acts like a carbohydrate, but without any of the debilitating insulin-related effects associated with long-term high carbohydrate consumption.

But that’s merely the beginning.

Earlier this week I published an entire special report on the health benefits of coconut oil, which include:

•Promoting heart health
•Promoting weight loss, when needed
•Supporting your immune system health
•Supporting a healthy metabolism
•Providing you with an immediate energy source
•Keeping your skin healthy and youthful looking
•Supporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland
Part of what makes coconut oil such a healthful oil for cooking is that 50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. This is also one of the features that distinguishes coconut oil from other saturated fats.

Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.

In addition, coconut oil is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids also produce a host of health benefits.

Best of all, coconut oil is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage, which you cannot say for other oils. In fact, it’s so stable you can even use if for frying (although I don’t recommend frying your food for a number of health reasons).

I recommend using coconut oil in lieu of every other oil, whether your recipe calls for butter, olive oil, vegetable oil or margarine.

Important, New Information about Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is a good monounsaturated fat that is also well-known for its health benefits. It’s a staple in healthful diets such as Mediterranean-style diets.

However, it’s important to realize it is NOT good for cooking. It should really only be used cold, typically drizzled on salads and other food.

Due to its chemical structure and a large amount of unsaturated fats, cooking makes extra-virgin olive oil very susceptible to oxidative damage. However, during this interview I learned that extra-virgin olive oil has a significant draw-back even when used cold – it’s still extremely perishable!

As it turns out, extra-virgin olive oil has chlorophyll that accelerates decomposition and makes the oil go rancid rather quickly.

In fact, Dr. Moerck actually prefers using almost tasteless, semi-refined olive oil rather than extra-virgin olive oil for this reason.

If you’re like most people, you’re probably leaving your bottle of olive oil right on the counter, opening and closing it multiple times a week. Remember, any time the oil is exposed to air and/or light, it oxidizes, and as it turns out, the chlorophyll in extra virgin olive oil accelerates the oxidation of the unsaturated fats.

Clearly, consuming spoiled oil (of any kind) will likely do more harm than good.

To protect the oil, Dr. Moerck recommends treating it with the same care as you would other sensitive omega-3 oils:

•Keep in a cool, dark place
•Purchase smaller bottles and not larger to ensure freshness
•Immediately replace the cap after each pour
To help protect extra virgin olive oil from oxidation, Dr. Moerck suggests putting one drop of astaxanthin into the bottle. You can buy astaxanthin, which is an extremely potent antioxidant, in soft gel capsules. Just prick it with a pin and squeeze the capsule into the oil.

The beautiful thing about using astaxanthin instead of another antioxidant such as vitamin E, is that it is naturally red, since vitamin E is colorless, so you can tell the oil still has astaxanthin in it by its color.

As the olive oil starts to pale in color, you know it’s time to throw it away.

You can also use one drop of lutein in your olive oil. Lutein imparts an orange color and will also protect against oxidation. Again, once the orange color fades, your oil is no longer protected against rancidity and should be tossed.

This method is yet another reason for buying SMALL bottles. If you have a large bottle, you may be tempted to keep it even though it has begun to oxidize.

The Worst Cooking Oils of All
Polyunsaturated fats are the absolute WORST oils to use when cooking because these omega-6-rich oils are highly susceptible to heat damage.

This category includes common vegetable oils such as:

•Corn
•Soy
•Safflower
•Sunflower
•Canola
Damaged omega-6 fats are disastrous to your health, and are responsible for far more health problems than saturated fats ever were.

Trans fat is the artery-clogging, highly damaged omega-6 polyunsaturated fat that is formed when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or shortening.

I strongly recommend never using margarine or shortening when cooking. I guarantee you you’re already getting far too much of this damaging fat if you consume any kind of processed foods, whether it be potato chips, pre-made cookies, or microwave dinners…

Trans fat is the most consumed type of fat in the US, despite the fact that there is no safe level of trans fat consumption, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine.

Trans fat raises your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while lowering your HDL (good cholesterol) levels, which of course is the complete opposite of what you want. In fact, trans fats — as opposed to saturated fats — have been repeatedly linked to heart disease. They can also cause major clogging of your arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.

Personally I don’t cook very much but when I do I use our Pure Virgin Coconut Oil as it is the most resistant to heating damage, but also a great source of medium chained triglycerides and lauric acid.

So, cleaning these oils out of your kitchen cupboard is definitely recommended if you value your health.

Dr. Mercola is the founder of the world’s most visited natural health web site, Mercola.com.
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Curbing cold symptoms – by Melanie Grimes – Helium


Chicken soup is a common classic comfort food ...

Chicken soup is a common classic comfort food that might be found across cultures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quite a few of my clients and friends have been battling viruses and as a result have asked me of possible remedies.  So I went on a hunt to see if I could find more than I already knew. 

And Wallah! 

Look what I found! 

Your own pantry holds many treatments for the common cold.

Peppermint, elderflower tea for fever
At the onset of a fever, mix elderflower and peppermint. Make a tea and go quickly to bed where you will sweat out the fever. Change into dry clothes and go back to sleep. This tea helps to break a sweat.

Cumin and ginger tea
Add a teaspoon of cumin seeds and a small amount of dry or fresh ginger to one glass of boiling water. Simmer for a few minutes and let it cool. Drink as needed.

Ginger tea
Boil 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes, remove from the heat and steep for 10 minutes. Drink as needed.

Gargle
Salt: Gargle with sage tea or warm salt water to disinfect the throat.
One tsp. of salt into 8 oz of warm water. Do not swallow.

You can also gargle with whey.

Lemonade
Add the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp of maple syrup to a cup of warm water. Add cayenne to taste. This is wonderful to soothe sore throats, cleanse the blood, and loosen mucous. You can use honey instead of maple syrup, but I prefer maple syrup, as it is the lifeblood of a tree. Honey also has natural antiseptic qualities.

Mustard pack
Mustard packs have been used to reduce fever, eliminate toxins and help healing of mucus membranes in the lungs. Dosage: Apply once. If needed, repeat every other day for a week.

Chicken soup
Chicken soup has long been used as a cure for colds and flu. Use of chicken soup goes back to the 12th century, or possibly even as far back as the ancient Greeks. A Jewish physician and philosopher named Moshe Ben Maiman, known as Maimonides recommend chicken soup to treat colds and flu. Reportedly, his knowledge of this cure came from the Greeks.
Modern science has now documented the healing qualities of chicken soup. A report in the medical journal Chest (2000), found that the ingredients of chicken soup inhibit the movement of neutrophils- the white blood cells that stimulate mucous release. In addition, steam from the warm soup may soothe inflamed sinuses. If that’s not enough, chicken contains cysteine; an amino acid that also aids in the thinning of mucus. Dosage: Take often, cold or no cold!

Carrot Poultice
Carrots have a stimulating effect on the lymph glands. Placing a carrot poultice on the neck or swollen glands can speed healing and provide relief. Grind up carrots in a blender, place in cheesecloth (or even a paper towel will do in a pinch), and wrap edges. Place on throat for 15 minutes. The area will warm up and occasionally turn red. This indicates that blood is moving to the area to facilitate healing. Dosage: Repeat as necessary.

Castor oil pack
Castor oil pack placed on the chest can open the airwaves and bring circulation to the lungs. Massage Castor oil on the chest, cover with muslin or flannel, and place a warm hot water bottle over the chest. Dosage: Repeat as necessary.

These natural remedies are easy to make from products in your kitchen cabinets, and can provide comfort relief for the common cold.

275305_m Learn more about this author, Melanie Grimes.

Curbing cold symptoms – by Melanie Grimes – Helium.

Hidden Health Benefits of Tea | The Dr. Oz Show


A small tea pot filled with loose leaf Oolong

Image via Wikipedia

For centuries, tea has been used in alternative medicine to cure everything from cancer to bad breath. Do you know some of tea’s hidden benefits? See why the right variety could be the answer to your health problems.

Mood: Sage Tea

Though sage is most commonly used in cooking, sage tea has been shown to boost alertness and mood, while decreasing anxiety. It also has flavanoids that reduce inflammation. To enhance the flavor, mix it with black tea, brew for 5-10 minutes and add a pinch of honey.

Skin: Wormwood Tea

The high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols found in wormwood can help relieve itching and irritation from contact dermatitis, a form of eczema. The fantastic flavor of the tea is enhanced the longer it brews. After brewing, drain the water and place the leaves directly on your face for 10 minutes to leave your skin looking and feeling refreshed.  

Allergies: Nettle Tea

The tea from this prickly plant helps to prevent hay fever and allergy attacks by blocking the histamines in your body. Nettle tea is dense, so brew it for 15-20 minutes. Make a larger pot during allergy season and keep in the fridge. Add lime to freshen taste.

Weight-Loss: Oolong Tea

Oolong tea boosts metabolism, helping you burn fat faster. Studies have shown that drinking oolong tea has led to sustained weight loss and a smaller waist size. Be careful not to drown your tea in sugar, which will negate the benefits.

Migraines: Ginger Tea

Ginger tea works as an anti-inflammatory agent. Ginger blocks prostagladins – the chemical messengers that cause a slight swelling in the brain. Drink ginger tea at the onset of your headache. This is when it’s most effective in blocking pain.

Libido: Ginseng Tea

This tea boosts sexual arousal and combats erectile dysfunction. Ginseng tea contains compounds called ginsenosides that affect gonadal tissue, increasing sperm count as well as sexual performance for both women and men.

Hidden Health Benefits of Tea | The Dr. Oz Show.

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