Top 3 Best Coconut Oils In New Zealand

Coconut Oil NZ

Coconut oil not only provides us with a myriad of health benefits, it’s also an incredibly versatile oil to incorporate into your diet. Traditionally used as one of the main sources of dietary fat in the Pacific and around Asia, coconut oil has emerged as one of the healthiest and most popular cooking oils over the past decade!

The keto and paleo movement have given coconut oil a big moment in the spotlight, with many food manufacturers opting to use coconut oil in packaged foods and baked goods as an alternative to some of the not-so-healthy vegetable oils out there. Along with being a healthy substitute for cooking oils, this superfood is now a widely used ingredient in a lot of our skin and hair care products, and it’s even being used as a replacement for non-toxic cleaning products!

Coconut oil benefits 

Coconuts contain important minerals that are involved in many functions within the body. As a particularly rich source of manganese, coconuts may provide essential nutrients for bone health and also assist us in metabolizing carbohydrates and protein.

They’re rich in iron, which supports the formation of red blood cells, as well as copper and selenium - two key antioxidants within the body that promote the healthy function of our thyroid. Coconut oil is also a great source of vitamin E, and it contains no cholesterol. 

Because coconut oil is made up of saturated fat, it contains many health benefits that other plant based oils don’t. Along with its ability to be heated to high temperatures, coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (or MCT’s)  like lauric acid - providing some serious fat-burning benefits, while supporting our metabolic health.

Experts say that it’s the lauric acid component of coconut oil that makes it such an effective tool for weight loss, providing the body with energy that’s efficiently burned rather than stored as fat.

Effective tool for weight loss 

Coconut oil is rich in MCT’s, a type of saturated fat that is linked to the fat burning benefits of coconut oil, and coconut containing products. 

Studies reflect that MCT’s increase the number of calories burned during exercise, promoting weight loss. MCT’s provide the body with a quick source of energy, and when consumed, they move straight to the liver to become a rapid fuel source. When MCT’s are broken down they’re converted into ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fat when our carbohydrate intake is low. If you’re following a keto diet, consuming MCT’s in the form of coconut oil may help you stay in ‘ketosis’, which is that fat burning state that we enter into when our carbs are low. 

Medium chain triglycerides have also been shown to reduce hunger. This may be due to the fact that when broken down, MCT’s produce ketones which directly reduce appetite. By altering our level of hunger hormones and influencing our brain’s chemical messengers, consuming foods that are rich in MCT’s are an effective way to keep you satiated after meals - while helping you stay in that fat burning state. 

Our gut health is also a key factor that contributes to our weight, and MCT’s have also been shown to support fat loss by improving our digestive health. Studies have linked the consumption of MCT’s to improved intestinal permeability, and the increased diversity of our gut microbiome. By working to improve our gut health, MCT’s not only promote fat loss but they aid in supporting our overall health!

Blood sugar balance

By acting as a quick source of energy and preventing fat storage, coconut oil may also support diabetes and encourage balanced blood sugar levels. One study found that MCT oil reduced insulin resistance and other diabetes risk factors among participants with type 2 diabetes. 

Anti-microbial

Coconut oil has been used traditionally for its antimicrobial effects, thanks to the high content of MCT’s. In particular, lauric acid is an amino acid that makes up around 50% of the MCT’s in coconut oil. The body has been shown to convert lauric acid to monolaurin, an antiviral, anti-microbial and immune boosting compound. In fact, coconut oil has the highest content of lauric acid, gram for gram, in comparison to any other food! Studies have also shown that the powerful antimicrobial effects of lauric acid found in coconut oil may aid in preventing the spread and formation of disease fighting bacteria like Helicobacter pylori. 

Coconut Oil NZ

Oral health

Coconut oil also makes an effective mouthwash. The process that’s traditionally referred to as ‘oil pulling’ involves rinsing the mouth with coconut oil - similar to a mouthwash. Because of the high content of lauric acid, oil pulling works to reduce and prevent the spread of harmful bacteria in the mouth that may contribute to poor gut health and inflammation of the mouth. Oil pulling with coconut oil has also been shown to reduce bad breath, help prevent cavities and promote overall gum health. 

Improved skin health & hair health

In addition to the many health benefits of taking coconut oil internally, there are also many external uses, including the improvement of our skin health! By increasing moisture and working to prevent water loss of the skin, coconut oil may protect the skin barrier from external factors like environmental chemicals, bacteria and infections. It’s also been shown in some studies to reduce the severity of atopic dermatitis. 

By strengthening our skin barrier, coconut oil also supports the health of our hair by nourishing and moisturizing the scalp. Because lauric acid has such powerful antimicrobial properties, applying it to the scalp may also prevent damage to the scalp and create a strong barrier to protect the hair follicles. Coconut oil is quickly absorbed into the hair, providing moisture and relief for dry hair. If you have a sensitive scalp, coconut oil is also a really safe option for hair care, as it’s less processed than conventional hair products and is free from additives and chemicals. By moisturizing the hair, reducing damage and loss of keratin, and protecting the hair from environmental damage, coconut oil may even promote hair growth! 

What’s the best coconut oil in NZ? 

Many companies are now manufacturing coconut oil under various brands, making it pretty confusing to know which product is going to best suit your requirements and offer the best health benefits. Along with knowing what to look out for in a high quality coconut oil, it’s also super important to know the most well-known and trusted brands when making your next purchase.

Pure Coco - Extra Virgin Coconut Oil NZ

Of course we’re slightly biased, but we’ve proudly become the product of choice when it comes to both cacao and coconut based products here in New Zealand. Our goal is to support the Pacific while offering the most premium, ethically sourced wholefoods around.  As a result, our coconut oil is of the highest quality, and has been sustainably sourced directly from a small, fair-trade community in the outer islands of Fiji. 

Our most popular coconut oil is our organic, extra virgin coconut oil. It’s perfect for cooking at high temperatures, makes a tasty addition to baked goods and it’s a healthy, vegan alternative to butter and other cooking oils. With a wide range of uses, our coconut oil is highly moisturizing, making it the perfect non-toxic alternative to conventional skin and hair care. 

Chantal Organics - Neutral Flavour Coconut Oil 

This is a refined coconut oil, and despite the word ‘refined’, it’s still incredibly nutritious and contains all the same health benefits as virgin coconut oil. The refining process means that this coconut oil goes through additional processing, making it more suitable for cooking at high temperatures (even more so than virgin coconut oil). 

Chantal’s neutral flavoured coconut oil has been vacuum deodorized at a low heat, giving it a more neutral flavour. This means it’s a really versatile option for cooking or baking without the strong coconutty smell. Investing in a neutral flavoured coconut oil is a great way to reap the benefits of this superfood, because the neutral smell and taste means you can easily incorporate it into your diet and lifestyle in so many different ways! 

Matakana Superfoods - Organic Extra Virgin Coconut oil

Matakana Superfoods produce an extra virgin coconut oil made from organically grown coconuts. It’s cold-pressed with a mild, coconutty taste, and it’s great for cooking at high temperatures. 

With no bleaching process or additional ingredients, this coconut oil is 100% natural and free from emulsifiers. And much like our extra virgin coconut oil, this one is resistant to high temperature cooking - preventing heat oxidation during the cooking process, which contributes to inflammation within the body. 

These days there are so many products containing coconut oil on the market, so it’s super important to know exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re still confused about the health benefits of coconut oil, or you’re not sure about which type would be most suited to you - check out our most recent blog post here to learn more about how to buy the best and healthiest coconut oil!

 

Tyla Cornish,

Naturopath & Medical Herbalist

 


Tyla Cornish
Tyla Cornish

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