You’re on your way home from work, stuck in traffic, and you know you have to get the kids to their various activities soon. Or maybe you have a deadline at work and the clock is ticking but you don’t know if you’ll make it. Maybe you’re looking at your bills and wondering how in the world you’re going to pay them.
As you fret over these things, you lift your hand up to your forehead. The scent of the tropics wafts pass your nose, and suddenly you’re transported with the images of the fronds of coconut palms swaying in a tropical breeze, with endless sandy beaches in sight everywhere you look. You can almost feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, and see the image of the clear turquoise water of the ocean in your mind’s eye.
Suddenly the stress seems a distance memory – even if only for the moment. Just the scent of this tropical tree nut has the ability to relax your body, helping you to restore harmony and balance to your life. Nourishing your skin with coconut oil not only protects your skin, and helps balance the moisture in your dry tissues, but the scent will also contribute to that relaxed state of mind.
There is so much more to coconut oil, though, than just what it’s scent can do for your state of mind, and protecting your skin.
What is it about coconut oil?
Coconut oil is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT).
Triglyceride is another word for a type of fat. Triglycerides have two main purposes — they are transported into cells and burned for energy, or stored as body fat.
Most vegetable oils are long-chain triglycerides, making them harder to break down, so therefore stored as fat in your body. Because MCT is smaller, they are more easily broken down, and can therefore become a better source of energy.
Because the calories contained in MCTs are more efficiently turned into energy and used by the body, they are less likely to be stored as fat.
Unlike longer-chain fatty acids, MCTs go straight to the liver. There they can be used as an instant energy source or turned into ketones, which are substances produced when the liver breaks down large amounts of fat.
Ketones can also cross from the blood to the brain, unlike regular fatty acids. This provides an alternative energy source for the brain, which ordinarily uses glucose for fuel.
Coconut oil for harmonious brain function
There are two sources for medium-chain triglycerides – human breast milk and coconut oil.
Your brain requires a lot of fuel to function. It uses about 20% of your energy output, which is a lot for an organ that is only 3 pounds.
The main fuel it uses is glucose. But it can’t store this energy fuel, and you would die if you went without it for only a few minutes.
This is where having the back-up system from coconut oil can be helpful.
Because your liver can break down stored fat to produce ketones, they can be used as a substitute fuel during times of starvation.
But you don’t have to starve to access ketones as a source of brain fuel.
This where the MCTs in coconut oil can do the job.
Like glucose, ketones can provide the body with energy. Unlike glucose, however, no insulin is required for the cells to accept the ketones. This makes ketones necessary for people whose cells have become insulin resistant. One area this has had an incredible impact on is in neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Brain cells that are no longer able to accept glucose for energy can thrive on the ketones supplied by the ingestion of medium chain triglycerides.
Coconut oil for a balanced life
So what does this all have to do with helping you cope with the facts of life?
A study revealed startling evidence of brain decay starting as early as 39 in healthy men. The decay starts with the loss of myelin sheath function.
Myelin sheathing is a protective coating around nerve cells. It’s similar to the insulation that surrounds electrical wiring. When the myelin sheath function begins to deteriorate, electrical energy can leak out. Signals become distorted or lost, and function is disrupted.
The earliest sign of myelin sheathing deterioration is a simple loss of reflex speed. Later, the disturbance in the nerves can cause shaking, poor balance, faulty coordination, memory loss. The problem also causes increased fatigue that is brought on by nearly any basic activity.
The researches explained it this way:
“Studies have shown us that as we age, myelin sheathing breakdown and repair is continually occurring over the brain’s entire neural network. But in older age, we begin losing the repair battle. That means the average performance of the networks gradually declines with age at an accelerating rate…After middle age, we start to lose the battle to repair the myelin in our brain, and our motor and cognitive functions begin a long, slow downhill slide.”
And this is where the coconut oil comes in. Your nerves may be parched for fats. A teaspoon of coconut oil may be just what you need to restore tranquility, bringing the serenity of the tropics closer to home. With its oily silkiness and enticing aroma, coconut oil may be the ultimate ‘neuron’ comfort food, with a satisfaction that is ‘marrow deep’.
How do you use coconut oil?
I use them in many of my recipe collections. Also, in my Correcting Adrenal Fatigue and Exhaustion program we show how using foods like coconut oil can be helpful.
Let me know in the comments how you are doing.
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Medical Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, drritamarie.com, and the experts who have contributed. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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I frequently put 1-2 tsp of flaxseed, chia seeds, and hemp seeds and 1tsp sweetener and 1-2 tsp of org.
unrefined cold pressed coconut oil in a small bowl and mix it up with a spoon. Then I add some pomegranate seeds to it and eat it. It’s delicious! You
can add any fruit you like- blueberries, fresh pineapple, or raspberries.
That sounds wonderful, Barbara! Thank you for sharing!