The amazing coconut tree
The coconut tree is native to all tropical regions of the world, with the name coming from the Portuguese word coco, meaning “head” or “skull”.
Growing up to an incredible 30 metres high, the coconut tree is one of the most useful trees in the world, often referred to as “the tree of life”.
Almost every part of the tree and its fruit can be used in some way, providing food, fuel, cosmetics, folk medicine and building materials, among many other things.
Dried coconut flesh is called copra, and the oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking.
This copra is considered by many nutritionists to be a superfood, packed with iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, protein, fat, fibre and vitamins.
Coconut Oil’s surprisingly complex history
Coconut oil has been used by the people of South East Asia for thousands of years, both as a cooking ingredient and a medicine.
Once Europeans discovered it, the demand for coconut oil back home skyrocketed, and plantations were set up in tropical regions, including the Caribbean and South Pacific.
A trade worth billions of dollars in today’s money started, with the oil becoming a common cooking ingredient in Europe and America right up to World War II.
It was with the outbreak of war that the supply routes were cut off and people had to make do without one of the world’s most popular ingredients.
After the war, plantations were keen to start exporting again, but there was a problem.
Nutritional expert Ancel Keys published a report claiming that saturated fats were the main cause of heart disease. A few other experts, most notably John Yudkin claimed it was in fact sugars that were the problem.
Professor Yudkin was correct as we now know, but Keys’ research was backed by the sugar companies, who, unsurprisingly, want to lay the blame somewhere else.
The result was a conspiracy that decimated the coconut oil industry.
Keys had convinced the Western World that the saturated fats in the oil would block your arteries, resulting in a heart attack, and this has become so ingrained in our psyche that it’s now “common knowledge”, when in fact, new research show’s the opposite.
The health benefits of coconut oil
While it’s true that coconut oil has a high percentage of saturated fat, fat is an essential part of our diet, helping the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. The type of saturated fat found in coconut oil is also different, being mostly made up of lauric acid.
Lauric acid is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), which is considered one of the “good” types of cholesterol. Some studies have shown that MCTs can help burn calories faster, promoting weight loss.
Because of this, coconut oil is used widely by bodybuilders and endurance athletes.
It even helps you to lose weight in other ways.
Studies have shown that coconut oil reduces your appetite, making you eat less without even trying.
Coconut oil also has undoubted anti-microbial properties.
In fact, many synthetic products contain monolaurin as an anti-microbial compound, which is coconut oil’s predominant fatty acid. It can kill bacteria that cause such diseases as pneumonia, meningitis, and food poisoning.
It can also kill the causes of fungal infections such as ringworm, thrush or athlete’s foot.
The traditional Indian practise of swishing coconut oil around the mouth is said to prevent tooth decay and bad breath.
Our liquid coconut oil in cooking
Pressed and processed without chemicals, our Natural Liquid Coconut Oil captures the nutritional goodness from coconuts in a convenient liquid form.
Of course, even with all those nutritional benefits, it wouldn’t be much use as a cooking oil if it didn’t taste nice!
Luckily, with its sweet taste and alluring aroma, our Natural Liquid Coconut Oil is delicious and comes in a first of its kind bottle with a handy little pop-up nozzle to make life easier.
Grown, extracted and refined without pesticides or additives, you can use it in baking, cooking, sautéing, or even pour straight into your smoothie.
Its health and nutritional benefits are only surpassed by its flavour.
And as usual, if you have any questions about Olivado, our products, or our delicious liquid coconut oil, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.