The coconut tree belongs to the family of the palm tree (Arecaceae), and is botanically a drupe, not a nut. Coconut oil is an edible oil derived from the kernel of mature coconuts and has gained tremendous popularity over the last few years for its innumerable health benefits.
The coconut tree is said to be a ‘lifeline of wellbeing’ due to its versatile advantages and uses.
What's Virgin Coconut Oil, and why is it better for you?
Coconut oils are usually sold in two varieties-virgin and refined oils. Virgin Coconut Oil is formed by cold-pressing liquid from coconut meat, then extracting oil from milk and water and has a milky look. It is 100% raw, unbleached and cold-pressed, whereas Refined coconut oil is refined and processed through heat exposure. It has a very little coconut flavour as it is made from dried coconut or copra. The refined coconut oil is- refined, bleached and deodorized
Virgin coconut oil also contains more antioxidants than standard coconut oils. Unlike standard coconut oil, it is not bleached (which happens during the coconut oil refining process) or subjected to any chemicals. Since virgin coconut oil is unrefined, it often has a more pronounced flavour of coconut than standard coconut oil.
But then, what is Extra Virgin Coconut Oil? Is it even better?
‘Extra Virgin’ coconut oil is obtained from the first pressing of fresh, raw coconut without the inclusion of any chemical substances- signifies that the coconut oil is of the highest quality, is 100% natural and contains no toxins
So should we choose cold pressed coconut oil?
Have you ever wondered what actually cold pressed means? Cold pressed means that the oil is pressed through a mechanical process rather than heating it at high temperature as this significantly increases the acid value in it.
So, yes, you certainly should choose cold-pressed virgin coconut oil reason being:
- Cold pressed oil retains most of its natural physiological and chemical properties and most importantly its original taste. Unlike cold pressed oil, hot pressed oil retains little of its natural composition
- Moreover, a lot of healthy compounds are lost from the oils while hot pressing, whereas in cold pressing, all beneficial compounds are retained
- Cold pressed oils involve no refinement, unlike hot pressed oils which are refined to improve taste and acidic content.