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VCO is now getting global credibility as the healthiest and flexible oil in the world. The Philippines is among the best sources of virgin coconut oil and it’s appeal in the nation is legendary. Although not an herb, we chose to make an article about VCO because of the growing interest on the oil and after getting a number of queries from our visitors.
Virgin coconut oil and routine coconut oil is rich in Lauric Acid, an essential fatty acid that is only discovered in high concentrations in mother’s milk.
When taken internally, Lauric Acid develops into a substance known as Monolaurin. It is this substance that is believed to eliminate viral pathogens that protects the body from germs, viruses and infections from parasites. Coconut oil likewise triggers the metabolic rate to increase, thus helps in reducing weight and is safe and beneficial for diabetics.
For numerous years, coconut oil has been challenged (specifically in the west) because of it’s high saturated fat material.
But current studies have shown that not all hydrogenated fats are the same. The medium chain triglycerides of which virgin coconut oil is categorized, does not elevate LDL (the bad cholesterol) in our body compared to other polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as canola and sunflower oil which is extensively produced in the west.
First, the husk and the shell is gotten rid of from fresh coconuts, then the meat of the coconut is shredded -a procedure called “Wet Milled”, then the meat is “Cold Pushed” to get the coconut milk without any chemicals.
The milk is then fermented in containers for a day or more. After which, oil is produced. This oil is thoroughly filtered and separated from the curd. You now have what is called, virgin coconut oil. A more modern method of separating the oil from the curd is through centrifugal force. The second method of producing virgin coconut oil (VCO) is using fast dried coconut meat and after that processed in the exact same method. However the favored way by most is still the “Wet Milled” process.
RBD stands for Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized. Ordinary coconut oil usually comes from copra – coconut meat that is dried by either smoke, kiln or placing under the sun. Because the process itself is not sanitized, the oil must be further refined. To get more oil from copra, chemicals are usually used. RBD process is required to make the oil clear, odor free and tasteless. This procedure also removes the anti-oxidant and other properties of the oil. Some coconut oils are also hydrogenated which increases the serum cholesterol levels and thus is bad for the heart.
While virgin coconut oil, being pure, unadulterated and unhydrogenated retains it’s pleasant coconut taste, smell and all the health benefits of coconut oil.
Much research still has to be done on the benefits of virgin coconut oil but preliminary findings and anecdotal reports are very promising. This may well be the much needed medicine to restore to health the ailing Philippine coconut industry.
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