Coconut Oil and Beyond: Get the Most Out of Coconuts

by mercola

Over the years, I’ve written a lot about the many health advantages of coconuts.

Over the years, I’ve written a lot about the many health advantages of coconuts. Generally abundant in tropical countries, the coconut has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties and is a great source of healthful fat.

Coconut oil is nature's richest source of these healthy medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chained triglycerides or MCTs. As a matter of fact, it contains about two-thirds medium-chain fatty acids, which is absolutely healthier than long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) that most vegetable or seed oils contain.

coconut oil
coconut oil

Unlike LCFAs, MCFAs are easily digested, do not require special enzymes to be effectively utilized by the body, and are immediately converted into energy rather than being predominantly stored as fat.

Today, a growing body of research highlights the benefits of coconuts. According to the Coconut Research Center, many published studies suggest that the coconut, in one form or another may provide a range of profound benefits for health and wellness.

But the coconut has many everyday practical uses, too.  The blog lists several uses for coconut oil, which is the fatty oil that comes from coconut meat. Some of her helpful entries include using coconut oil:

  • As a coffee creamer
  • To prevent stretch marks during pregnancy
  • As an intensive hair and scalp conditioner
  • As a natural night-time moisturizer
  • As a natural lip balm
  • As a natural make-up remover
  • As a soothing body balm with Shea butter
  • For oil pulling when swished in mouth
  • To help improve appearance of varicose veins
  • To remove dry skin on your feet (mix with salt)

Choosing Your Coconut Oil

Young coconuts are good for most people, but are particularly good for carb and mixed types. Mature coconuts, on the other hand, are best for protein types.

There are numerous commercial brands of coconut oils currently available. However, it’s important to note that not all sources are the same, as each can vary dramatically in terms of quality.

Low-quality coconut oils are processed by chemical extraction using solvent extracts, which produce high yields quickly and cheaply. However, the oils contain chemical residues. There are also coconut oil products that are bleached, and deodorized.

High-quality coconut oil is a completely different product and is a testament to the high health value of this tropical oil. It is made from fresh coconuts, not the dried “copra” used in cheap counterparts. It is sourced from traditional coconut palms and is made without heat processing. It is a much safer alternative to other popular oils, where most of the omega-3s are transformed into trans-fats during the deodorization process, increasing the dangers of chronic diseases.

Coconut water/meat
Coconut water/meat

DIY Homemade Coconut Milk

Just like coconut oil, coconut milk is a rich source of healthful fat, protein, and energy. Known in Malaysia and Indonesia as "santan" and as "gata" in the Philippines, it is often used in many traditional Asian dishes.

Right now, there are a lot of instant health drinks boasting about their coconut milk content.  However, making coconut milk at home is very easy. 

To make four to five servings, you’ll need:

  • 4 cups of hot filtered water
  • 2 cups of cut or shredded fresh coconut meat
  • a blender or food processor
  • a cheesecloth or a strainer


  1. Put the hot filtered water and fresh coconut meat inside the blender or food processor.
  2. Blend it together until the coconut meat is completely pureed and the mixture is thick and creamy. This will probably take about 10 minutes.
  3. Using cheesecloth or a strainer, sift the remaining solid bits or particles out of your coconut milk.

And that’s it – you now have your own homemade coconut milk that you can enjoy.  I like mine simply chilled.  

Hungry for more coconut recipes? Here are more coconut oil recipes to try.

Updated: 07/30/2013, mercola
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Mira on 04/07/2019

I'm buying coconut products organic now. Reading your piece again makes me happy I do so.

dustytoes on 04/05/2014

I do add coconut oil to my coffee. Good info here.

WriterArtist on 08/29/2013

Coconut is widely used in South Indian curries, good to know that there are so many benefits and uses.

Mira on 08/21/2013

Like ologsinquito, I'm excited about seeing someone like you on Wizzley. Welcome, and I hope you'll be posting often!

Rose on 08/20/2013

I've heard of people on the ketogenic diet taking in a lot of coconut oil successfully.

ologsinquito on 07/31/2013

It's so good to have you contributing to Wizzley. We are all very fortunate you are here.

MikeRobbers on 07/31/2013

Interesting and helpful post.

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