Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Guest Post: Things Pregnant Women Should Know about Coconut Oil

Who doesn't know about the "wonder tree"-- coconut? Every part of this tree has its own use, one of the reasons why many have called coconut tree as a wonder tree. Its leaves sometimes serve as roofing in some homes in Southeast Asia. The coconut shell can be used as scrub and most of all the coco lumber that has endless use. The coconut meat of course is a delicious dessert. The coconut water helps reduce morning sickness to pregnant women. It is also often prescribed as a remedy for malaria, typhoid and other deceases associated with vomiting.

What the coconut oil can do to our body?
For our health, especially for pregnant women, coconut oil has a lot to offer. Coconut oil is rich in saturated fats and it works differently compared to other saturated fats we have in our body. Even though the research done regarding to how these fats work is still starting, one thing that is for sure is it has a moisturizing effect when applied to our skin. Coconut water reduces dizziness as it reduces weird feeling around your tummy like queasiness.
Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil to Pregnant Women
With countless benefits coconut oil can offer to our body, we are listing a few of the benefits coconut oil, VCO or Virgin Coconut Oil in particular can offer especially to pregnant women.
Controls blood sugar level – it is important that pregnant women  keep their blood sugar level at bay to prevent complications. A balanced sugar level will prevent gestational diabetes, which if left untreated could harm both mom and the baby.
Promotes Smooth Skin – many pregnant women have skin problems during pregnancy. Pregnant women can now kiss goodbye to acne breakouts, skin itchiness and skin dryness with just a small amount of coconut oil.
Strengthen Immune System – virgin coconut oil is rich in lauric acid that helps improve the  immune system. We all know that pregnant women are prone to infections and diseases. With a good intake of coconut oil, pregnant women will enjoy strengthened immune systems and they will have enough protection against diseases.
Promotes Lactation – breastfeeding is best for mom and baby alike. It has many benefits to both the mommy and the baby. Coconut oil promotes lactation. Therefore, a good intake of coconut oil while pregnant will produce healthy breast milk after delivery. Studies show that breast milk from moms that takes coconut oil is rich in lauric acid. In a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it shows that a meal of coconut oil can affect the amount of breast milk fatty acid drastically for up to 3 days. Babies can benefit the maximum increase that occurs in the first ten hours.
Improves Immune System of the Baby – it has been known that a good intake of coconut oil while pregnant will help aid the brain of the baby and helps bone development as well.
Different Ways of Using Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can be used in various ways.
Coconut Oil Fertility Smoothie
To make a delicious coconut fertility smoothie, just add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to your desired smoothie blend.
Stir Fry Рinstead of using cooking oil or the traditional vegetable oil, use coconut oil when stir-frying and when saut̩ing your veggies and proteins. Coconut oil has high heat tolerance making it one of the best oils for frying and cooking.
Spread – make your own healthy chocolate spread by adding the oil to a raw chocolate powder.
Milk Replacement – instead of using milk, use coconut cream for your butternut squash soup, smoothies, and cream basis and to your favorite beverages like coffee or tea.
Coconut Oil as Beauty Regimen
Pregnant women are advised to slow down with their beauty regimens. However, they need not do that with coconut oil. Below are few of the uses of coconut oil as your beauty regimen.
  • Chapstick - this can help aid chapped and dry lips making your lips smooth and free from pain.
  • Face Lotion
  • Hair Gel or Conditioner
  • Baby oil alternative
  • Skin moisturizer

Coconut Oil Side Effects
Because coconut oil is high in saturated fats, many think that it might cause weight increase if used in beyond the allowed amount or when used in large amounts. Other concern is the possibility for it to cause an increase in cholesterol level. However, you should note though that these observations and concerns are not yet scientifically proven.
Precautions and Warnings
Even though the safety amount of coconut oil to use is not yet known by medical practitioners, safety precautions must still be practiced.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding – coconut oil is claimed to be safe for pregnant women and breast feeding moms as it helps improves the production of milk especially when used based on daily dietary allowance. There are claims that too much coconut oil can cause nausea and vomiting, it is not yet medically proven. However, it would be better for pregnant women to have moderate intake to reduce nausea during pregnancy. Since, the effect of too much coconut oil intake is not yet medically proven, it would be best to stick on the daily diet allowance.
High Cholesterol – concerns on coconut oil causes an increase in good cholesterol as well bad cholesterol. However, contradictory evidence shows that that coconut oil might help increase good cholesterol level but has no to little effect on bad cholesterol level.

Ann Dillon is a mother of three who loves blogging about pregnancy. She provides tips on how to get pregnant to couples who are trying to conceive. She contributes pregnancy articles to various blogs sharing her experience on pregnancy and health care.

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