The Coconut Super Food Benefits

We had the pleasure of hosting Fox 13 Tampa Bay’s resident medical reporter, Dr. Joette Giovinco, earlier this month to talk about the “new” super food: coconuts. From metabolism to anti-aging, extra virgin coconut oil has been found to have many health benefits. Add that in to a healthy diet, and you may be giving your body some real fighting power against many ailments, including the common cold!

The story aired last night, you can watch it here, and talked about something new and every thrilling – a clinical trial focused on coconut oil and Alzheimer’s disease.

“But there could be another superpower tied to this super food. 

Dr. Jo and Erin after taping "Super Food Series: Coconuts."

“I’m extremely excited. We’re going to do a full-blown clinical trial to see if coconut oil can help Alzheimer’s patients,” Jill Smith of the University of South Florida / Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute says. Researchers are investigating whether coconut oil gives dementia patients a brain boost.

“They may be able to do something that they haven’t done in a long time, they may recall information that they haven’t been able to recall for quite some time. Essentially, it’s an extra fuel source,” Smith says.

It all stems from a fat called an MCT – or medium chain triglyceride. When dementia takes hold of the brain, it can’t burn sugar as effectively. The MCT oils give the nerve cells a different energy source that is easier to burn.”

–          Dr. Jo’s Super Foods Series: Coconut, aired July 22, 2013

That different energy source is ketones and is the only other known fuel source for the brain other than glucose. The double-blind study (meaning neither the researchers nor the patients know if they are receiving the coconut oil or placebo) at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, located in Tampa, Florida, will be eight months long and will enroll about 65 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Physicians across America are promoting diet as a way to help your body naturally ward off aliments – including cognitive related issues. Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist based in Naples, Florida, suggests eating a diet with “good fats” including avocado and coconut oil may help your brain prevent such degenerative diseases.

I want to leave you with this proverb I found that has really inspired me to nutritionally fuel my body so I can enjoy a healthier me:

“If diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. If diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” – Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb


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