Benefits of Using Coconut Oil with IBS
I am always looking for new recipes and substitutions that will benefit my gut health. I grew up eating lots of "down-home cooking", made with LOTS of butter and heavy whipping cream. Of course, I always ate it, which led to me being overweight as a child, combined with my IBS issues, which I'm sure it didn't help!
Coconut oil vs. butter
A couple of years ago, I was having terrible diverticulitis flare-ups and had to put myself on a strict diet. A friend of mine suggested substituting coconut oil for butter and other unhealthy fats while cooking. I was skeptical since I definitely do not like the taste of coconut. My family was also leery, but willing to give it a chance. Surprisingly, it honestly doesn't taste much like coconut and is very easy to cook with!
Research on coconut oil
According to research studies, consuming non-trans fats such as coconut oil are actually great and needed for our good health! Coconut oil does not contain any cholesterol and the most interesting fact I found is that studies also show that extra virgin unprocessed coconut oil contains both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, hence better gut-health!1
Coconut oil is also known for relieving constipation. How so? Coconut oil is a part of something called medium-chain fatty acids, also known as MCFAs. These fatty-acids provide fast energy for our intestinal cells that boost their metabolism. This interesting mechanism stimulates our bowel movements. MCFAs also acts as a stool softener.1
How I use coconut oil
Personally, I used the coconut oil mixed in food, such as when I was sauteing vegetables, but you can also mix it directly into a warm drink such as a hot tea to help relieve constipation. The recommended serving size is 1-2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil daily, and if that doesn't help, you can increase to 1-2 tablespoons.
These recommendations are by a licensed nutritionist, but I would always check with your healthcare professional first! Some IBS sufferers swear by taking 2 tablespoons a day for improved gut health. The anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits alone are definitely worth the substitution to me!
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