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This is the first post of...well, many...about superfoods and supplements. As promised, I'm going to detail different things we give our son to fill holes in his nutrition that his diet might leave to be desired. There's also benefits to mommas including most of these in their own diets as well!
This post is dedicated to COCONUT OIL.
Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated. It contains so-called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length (duh LOL). Most of the fatty acids in our diets are so-called long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently. They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy, autism and Alzheimer’s.
Also of interest is the fact that another great source of Medium Chain Fatty Acids is… breast milk!
Breast milk is rich in Lauric acid, the same fatty acid found in coconut oil...and it’s there because, in addition to easily digestible nourishment, it provides immunity against infection. the Medium Chain Fatty Acids in coconut oil are believed to help with the body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods.
According to the research, when a lactating woman adds foods rich in lauric acid to her diet, the amount of lauric acid available in her breast milk increases substantially to levels three times the original level and nearly double the amount of capric acid. A single meal of coconut oil can significantly affect the breast milk fatty acid compositions for 1 to 3 days with the maximum increase occurring during the first 10 hours. This data supports the hypothesis that diet directly affects the quality of human milk and possibly the womb environment.
Also, coconut oil can be used to ease dry skin, diaper rash, cradle cap, even to moisturize nipples after breastfeeding or pumping!
This is my favorite way to use coconut oil, because it stays liquid even when cold or blended into smoothies...although Costco sells HUGE tubs of organic coconut oil for about $15...much cheaper than I've found organic coconut oil anywhere, even Trader Joe's. It's important to try to get organic or at least cold-pressed or virgin, because the cheaper stuff is usually extracted with chemicals.
Sources: 1, 2