In the summer of 2014, I went to Peru on a business trip to visit a copper mine sitting at about 13,000 feet above sea level. Before the trip, I had to do a blood test as part of a physical examination required to go to a high place on earth. There are serious health risks at high altitudes.
After receiving the lab results I found out my levels of cholesterol and triglycerides were, to my surprise, unhealthy high. And the doctor made me feel more worried after he showed me how my blood would look like in one of his lab tubes. No wonder why I got my arms numb easily sometimes; my blood was not flowing naturally. During the following month I really watched what I ate and I was able to lower the levels to normal, without medication, just before my trip. I did drink some Yerba Mate teas at the mine site to lessen the effects of the altitude.
My way of thinking about food changed from those lab results. At age 38 then, I stopped being a teenager. I could not continue eating in the same manner, and not exercise anymore.
To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear Click To Tweet
Then, during 2015, I received the news of my cousin Juan Pablo suffering some kind of heart attack. He is my age, just 39 years young. He has never really exercised much in his life and was going through a very stressful event in his life. He is a doctor and was promptly and successfully treated at a hospital. I was really in shock after that misfortune.
Finally, the 22nd of December 2015, as I was preparing to go home for the holidays after work, I read the following message in my phone from my brother Edgar: “My uncle Hernan had a heart attack… he was taken in time to the hospital and is doing fine.” Very alarmed and concerned, I tried calling my uncle right away, but could not reach him until the following morning. Lying down on his hospital bed, he explained what happened, he sounded happy he was alive and well. Surgery saved him from a couple of completely clogged arteries.
My uncle participated in two Olympic games in gymnastics back in 1968 and 1972. He plays tennis regularly and has played racquetball for more than 30 years. He tries to eat healthy, although I think he could do better in that area, just like all of us. After the surgery, he asked the doctor why, after having exercised most of his life, and staying fit, he suffered a heart attack. The doctor, after asking my uncle’s age, told him that after all those years, it just adds up. He is 72 years old.
“A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.” – Hippocrates
After that incident, I have really been thinking and looking for something, that we could eat to clean up our arteries, to get rid of body fat that is accumulating in our bodies, and promote a healthier heart. The answer my friends: Coconut Oil. However, my thoughts are that, it doesn’t really matter what age we are, or the level of fitness we have, sometimes stress and genetics speed bad things up. If you know you have a very apprehensive personality, and you get easily anxious and stressed, it is imperative you learn how to control your mind and your emotions.
Before researching and reading about coconut oil, all I knew about it is that it is useful as a sun screen lotion. In fact, it has many health benefits for the skin, and overall health. But the following 3 benefits of virgin coconut oil, as explained by Dr. Jared Bunch, makes coconut oil a must in our grocery list:
It contains antioxidants that can decrease oxidative stress. Virgin coconut oils in the diet are rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which have many potential heart-health benefits. When the heart and blood vessels are exposed to a process called oxidative stress, plaques can develop in arteries, which can lead to heart attacks. Blood vessels can stiffen and cause high blood pressure; and heart failure can develop. Antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress in the body and lower inflammation. Polyphenols reduce blood pressure in elderly people with high blood pressure, studies find. Polyphenols have also been shown to reduce the growth of atherosclerotic plaques in arteries in animal studies. Also, in animal studies, researchers have found that polyphenols can help blood vessels relax and become less stiff, preventing the early first steps in the development of high blood pressure.
It can reduce total and bad cholesterol. Virgin coconut oil contains both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are healthy fats that can lower cholesterol, in particular, our triglyceride levels. Virgin coconut oils also increase enzymes, such as lipoprotein lipase, that help break down fat. In addition, virgin coconut oil increases the production of bile, which aids in our body’s digestion of and removal of fats. In animals, this leads to a lowering of the bad cholesterol (LDL, VLDL), triglycerides, and total cholesterol count.
It helps weight loss through increased calorie burning. Virgin coconut oil contains about 60 percent to 63 percent medium-chain fatty acids, which our bodies use as efficient energy sources. Consumption of medium-chain fatty acids increases calorie burning and thus can promote weight loss. In a study of 20 obese men, those who consumed 30 millilitres of virgin coconut oil per week decreased their waist circumference on average 2.86 cm. This was a small study, but one that suggests we need a larger one to examine the best dose and find out if the early benefits of using virgin coconut oil are retained.
There are hundreds of uses for Coconut Oil, but the 3 good reasons above, are just enough to consider it a precious treasure. I am pretty sure that Juan Ponce de Leon found the fountain of youth when he discovered Florida instead. It was a large and beautiful community of Coconut Palm Trees.