Virgin coconut oil is known for its taste, nice fragrance, antioxidants, medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), and vitamins among other things.
Coconut oil is not an uncommon name, but virgin coconut oil is.
It is not simply just a name given to the ordinary coconut oil by some company just to target sales numbers by claiming that it is the purest available form.
Know About The Wonder Oil:
- Virgin coconut oil is extracted from coconuts without the application of heat.
Difference Between Regular and Virgin coconut oil
- Virgin coconut oil differs from regular coconut oil in many ways.
- The main difference between virgin coconut oil and regular coconut oil lies in the method of their extraction.
- Regular normal coconut oil is extracted by cold compression or cold milling of dried Coconut kernels with a moisture content of around 6%.
- Virgin coconut oil is extracted from coconut milk which is obtained from fresh coconuts.
- So after fermentation, churning , refrigeration, and the action of enzymes, the oil is separated from the water /moisture.
- In some cases, this fresh coconut oil is even boiled to obtain the oil .
- In the case of virgin coconut oil, the raw materials and the process of extraction must not allow the involvement of heat.
- So in reputable firms that manufacture virgin coconut oil, proper care is taken to ensure that the kernels and the raw material, like the coconut milk, are not subjected to heat or sunlight, throughout the process.
- Virgin coconut oil is extracted directly by cold compression of fresh dried coconut meat. This is called the Micro-expelling.
Better Method is used
- Virgin coconut oil is extracted by the cold compression method is definitely better than that extracted by the fermentation method
- Since the oil extracted by fermentation has a high amount of moisture content and goes rancid quickly.
- The two varieties of oil do not differ much in composition.
- But polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to the taste, fragrance, and goodness of coconut oil are found more in virgin coconut oil than its ordinary counterpart.
- Plus, it is richer in medium chain fatty acids, good cholesterol, and has almost no trans fatty acids.
The cost of Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil is little costlier and the prices differ depending on the manufacturer, quality, and quantity
The Philippines, Burma, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and some other tropical countries are the major producers of virgin coconut oil.
The oil is comparatively cheaper in these countries as compared to the US, Canada.
But when we are out to buy virgin coconut oil, we must go for the reputed and brands as there are many players in the market who only just add artificial flavour to regular coconut oil and try to sell it as virgin coconut oil.
We must wonder about the word Extra and its connection with Extra virgin coconut oil:
- The Asian and Pacific Coconut Community has provided APCC Standards for Virgin Coconut Oil
- Virgin coconut oil is obtained from the fresh but mature kernel of coconuts by mechanical or natural means with or without the application of heat(mainly), which does not cause an alteration of the oil”.
- When we refer to coconut oil as extra virgin, the word ‘extra’ is indeed an extra.
- It is stated that extra virgin coconut oil should be regarded as virgin coconut oil.
- Virgin coconut oil is a safe and healthy oil.
Important points to be remembered when we talk about Virgin Coconut Oil benefits:
- Some research reveals a preventative role in Alzheimer’s Disease, Epilepsy and protection of the nervous system and brain from the effects of aging
- It also supports thyroid function, raises metabolism & promotes weight loss.
- Help in reducing hypoglycaemic cravings & improves symptoms of digestive disorders
- Boosting energy levels and is useful in chronic fatigue syndrome
- Preventing LDL cholesterol oxidation and inflammation in the arteries
- Also promote strong, dark hair (prevents greying) and has moisturizing and protective properties for the skin.
- It also possesses a gastrointestinal & anti-inflammatory effect
Let’s elaborate a bit to know more about its beneficiaries:
- Virgin Coconut Oil contains phytonutrients and medium chain saturated fatty acids that act as free radical scavengers that absorbs topically into the skin
- It provides intense moisturization and hence slows down skin ageing.
- This occurs by preventing the damaging effects of UV radiation and pollution on the skin down to the deeper layers of the dermis.
- Medium chain fatty acids are are digested quickly and the body uses them as an immediate source of fuel rather than packing them away in storage inside our fat cells.
- Medium chain fats produce energy similar to carbohydrates and so these are not circulated in the bloodstream like Omega 6 oils .
- Hence, they do not increase bad LDL cholesterol and lead to arterial deposition.
- Thus, they provide energy without the need for insulin.
- Plus this oil doesn’t contribute to weight gain as they help to boost metabolism.
- MCFA’s contain antimicrobial property to fight against many harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses.
The polyunsaturated oils(PUFA) we use for cooking purpose are made up of primarily of Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFA’s).
It requires LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol)to move the fat through the bloodstream which contributes to arterial plaque build-up and fat storage.
Few common vegetable oils contain a majority of Omega 6 fatty acids which are excessive in modern diets and play a role in arterial inflammation.
Virgin Coconut Oil is made up of 65% MCFA’s that are highly resistant to oxidation and with the lowest Omega 6 ratio of all vegetable oils.
- Regularly consuming Virgin Coconut Oil also improves HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) thus improving the ratio between LDL and HDL.
- The practice of taking Virgin Coconut Oil in the mouth for oral health is a traditional folk remedy in India that has been gaining huge popularity.
- It has shown in clinical studies that Coconut Oil has an antibacterial effect on modern chemical mouthwash and also comparable antifungal to pharmaceutical drugs for oral-candidiasis.
Choosing the Best Quality Virgin Coconut Oil?
Virgin coconut oil means that the oil is extracted from fresh coconuts, preferably organic coconuts.
- There are several methods used for making Virgin Coconut Oil to separate the oil from the coconut meat and water.
- The terms “extra virgin” and “virgin” are the same, because Virgin Coconut Oil is only pressed once.
- The main medium chain fatty acid in Virgin Coconut Oil is Lauric Acid and this makes up approximately 50% of the oil regardless of the specific extraction technique used.
Pure Virgin Coconut Oil must include the properties like:
1) It is made from fresh coconuts by cold pressing to produce an oil that contains the optimal balance between the medium chain fatty acids.I t is even more sensitive polyphenols and vitamins.
2) It should be reasonably priced.
3) A transparent color when liquid.
Virgin Coconut Oil gets solidify at a temperature of less than 24 degrees centigrade and become a white colour when solid.
4) It should have detectable water or sediment or even sour smell.
Virgin Coconut Oil can be used in cooking, frying, barbequing and baking needs to replace regular Omega 6 vegetable oils in kitchen or even taken as a food supplement directly.
- For Children of 2 to 6 years old: 1 teaspoon morning and night.
- For Children 7 to 12 years old: 2 teaspoons morning and night.
- For Adults: Take1 to 2 teaspoons 2 times daily.
- When first taking Virgin Coconut Oil try to start with 1 teaspoon with each meal.
Rarely, people experience some loose motions for a few days (this may be a sign of intestinal fungal infection or candidiasis as it is being destroyed).
It is said that Virgin Coconut Oil is both safe and recommended for use during conditions like pregnancy and breastfeeding.It is also an excellent antioxidant-rich massage oil to prevent stretch marks.
- Diet is the most important factor which is under our control in health and disease prevention.
- Medium Chain Fatty Acids which is present in Virgin Coconut Oil provide an essential component in modern diets.
- The addition of both Coconut Milk and Virgin Coconut Oil in many health and dietary publications and cookbooks is a proof to this dietary revolution.
- Virgin coconut oil (VCO) has captured a lot of interest because of its role in enhancing body defence against FREE RADICALS.
- It is different from the ordinary coconut oil as it contains a lot of more biologically active components such as polyphenols, tocopherols, sterols, and squalene
- It has been stated hat the antioxidant activity in virgin coconut oil is higher than refined coconut oil
- It also has been shown to enhance antioxidant enzymes activity and inhibit the lipid peroxidation in rats.
- In Malaysia, Dr Eng Ji Ba, a practicing thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon who obtained his medical degree from the University of Cambridge recommending Virgin Coconut Oil to his patients .
- Dr. Kamariah Long , Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute has stated that coconut milk has been underestimated and misunderstood as a important contributor to unhealthy cholesterol levels which he has mentioned in another article entitled as “Debunking the coconut milk myth”.
- So it is high time to correct the negative perception about coconut milk and recognise the importance of this natural heritage that has been bestowed upon us.