The exotic coconut: The ‘super nut’ (Part 3)
The exotic coconut: The ‘super nut’ (Part 3)
Mainstream medicine overlook the fact that patients (young or old), who spend days, weeks, and sometimes months hospitalized or convalescing due to surgery, acute infections, chemotherapy, or chronic diseases, become drained from vitally important nutrients, healthy intestinal bacteria (microflora), enzymes, and antioxidants, which defend the body against viruses, bacteria, infections, disorders, and cancer. Depletion is often the aftermath of severe illnesses, strong antibiotics, powerful drugs, oxidative stress, and poor nourishment due to extended intravenous feeding, which is usually limited to saline and glucose solutions and maybe a few important minerals.
To prevent deficiencies, young and older patients should be prescribed multi-vitamin and-mineral supplements, probiotics, enzymes and antioxidants to re-invigorate their health and bolster their immune systems to avoid relapses and succumbing to other bacterial and viral infections, weakness, depression, and malnourishment or face antibiotic resistance. Nutrient deficiencies could result in weak bones and obstructed growth in adolescents and incapacitation in older adults. Unfortunately, certain medical doctors do not even believe in the supplements mentioned above.
Children, who experience dehydration and deficiencies and don’t get enough nutrients after leaving the hospital, could suffer from mal-development in their bone structure (weak thin bones), mental conditions (depression…), poor vision, and more, especially during their critical growth periods. Mainstream medicine does not pay much attention to this aspect of health.
Parents and caregivers should become more aware about the nourishment of debilitated and immune deficient patients. This also applies to seniors, particularly after taking antibiotics and longterm strong drugs, which deplete their intestinal microflora (internal “beneficial” bacteria), nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants. Deficiencies should be corrected immediately with supplements, probiotics, vegetable juices, healthy oils like fish, olive, and coconut oils and nutrient rich foods (chicken, meat with bone, and vegetable broths). The treating physician should address this aspect urgently to boost their immune systems; otherwise patients could become exposed to weakness, infections, viruses, depression, and other disorders.
This is only an after-thought and I felt I had to share this aspect of malnutrition with you. Now, I shall return to my subject of coconut, which I call the “super nut.” Today, I shall tackle the “cure-all” coconut oil.
For several decades, medical science put a cross on coconut oil and added it to the group of “forbidden” fats for being another saturated fat similar to animal and dairy fat. People naturally avoided, fearing cardiovascular plaque, heart disease, and strokes.
Though I never fancied the strong odor or taste of the oil (because it was not sold very fresh), I rejected the notion that coconut oil was bad for health. The incorrect wisdom of its being harmful to heart health did not appeal to the rational part of my brain. For millenniums, billions of people from Southeast Asia to the Far East to the Pacific Islands depended and thrived on the plant and its oil in cooking, caring for their hair and skin, treating infections and disorders, massaging their bodies, moisturizing their skin and lips, healing wounds and scars, and more. This tree deserves to be called “the tree of life” by the natives; so very dependent they are on it in their livelihood. It is also the “gift of nature” to them as the date is to the desert dweller. That is why after doing my research on the nut, I decided to walk you through the myriads of benefits of this multi-healing oil.
Recently, more and more studies have not shown only the health benefits of coconut oil, but also its curative properties as well as its reversing effect on different disorders. Earlier, I discussed the many traditional uses of the coconut by the natives of the wide kingdom of the coconut trees and let me tell you that these people come not only in millions but also in billions. Cardiovascular disorders and heart disease were neither typical of that region nor prevalent. Like us in this country, the Pacific islanders were never more obese or diseased than after changing their diets to the modern fast food diet.
The coconut and all its parts are used in food, beauty care products and as medicine, but the oil stands out. It is a wonder, provided it is freshly extracted from organic coconuts. Now, I shall start with its skin benefits.
Coconut oil is very moisturizing to the skin, when applied on wet or moist skin after showering. The age-old oil has been a favorite in the care of skin. Even the modern beauty care industry includes it in most of their products. It is used on the skin to nourish, moisturize, smooth, and prevent it from bacterial infections. Due to its light and soothing texture, it makes a good body and face lotion. Its fluidity makes it ideal for removing eye and skin make-up economically. It is the perfect skin hydrant. It also balances the skin and gives it a glow along with a sweet smell, especially when the oil is very fresh.
Because of its anti-aging properties, coconut oil can be mixed with the daily moisturizer and night cream to smooth and nourish the skin simultaneously while acting as a filler to the fine aging lines around the eyes (crow’s feet), around the lips, and on the forehead by plumping the skin.
Due the oil’s richness in nutrients, it prevents stretch marks around the belly, breasts, thighs, hips, and arms during pregnancies. It is more nourishing to the skin than commercial creams and safer and cheaper.
Because of the antibacterial agents in coconut oil, it has the ability to deodorize the skin, under the arms, and feet (athlete’s foot) by killing bacteria and yeast, thus neutralizing all kinds of body odors, without leaving harmful side effects like deodorants, antiperspirants, and antifungal creams. Antiperspirants clog the pores under the arms, affecting the glands.
Coconut oil can also be used as a light sunscreen (SPF4) alone or mixed with a good sun-blocking lotion. At the same time, it can be applied as a safe sun-tanning lotion.
The healthy fatty acids in the oil have potent antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial actions to protect and heal superficial skin abrasions and skin and fungal infections, including toe and nail fungal infections. To treat athlete’s foot, rub the oil twice a day deeply into the skin and nails and in between the toes and then wear thick socks. It also deodorizes the feet as well. You should change the infected shoes after the treatment.
Due to its soothing effect, smooth texture, and aromatic scent, coconut makes an ideal relaxing foot and body massage oil after a stressful day. Its smoothness makes the hands easily glide on the surface of the skin, thus penetrating it for further benefits and extra softness.
Next week, I shall continue with coconut oil’s other surprising and curative benefits. Never underestimate what nature has provided for us. Think before you rush to your medicine cabinet or the pharmacy.
• Coconut Water Nutrition Facts
• D O Ogbolu, A A Oni, O A Daini, A P Oloko. In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. J Med Food. 2007 Jun;20(2):384-7. PMID: 17651080
Individuals with medical conditions or on medication should consult their physicians when they decide to introduce anything new in their diet even if it is natural.
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Gaming addiction classified as mental health disorder by WHO
- Addiction to video games has been recognized by World Health Organization as a mental health disorder
- The International Classification of Diseases now covers 55,000 injuries, diseases and causes of death
GENEVA: Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers in virtual worlds. The World Health Organization says they now should be on guard for a danger in the real world: spending too much time playing.
In its latest revision to a disease classification manual, the UN health agency said Monday that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a mental health condition. The statement confirmed the fears of some parents but led critics to warn that it may risk stigmatizing too many young video players.
WHO said classifying “gaming disorder” as a separate addiction will help governments, families and health care workers be more vigilant and prepared to identify the risks. The agency and other experts were quick to note that cases of the condition are still very rare, with no more than up to 3 percent of all gamers believed to be affected.
Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO’s department for mental health and substance abuse, said the agency accepted the proposal that gaming disorder should be listed as a new problem based on scientific evidence, in addition to “the need and the demand for treatment in many parts of the world.”
Dr. Joan Harvey, a spokeswoman for the British Psychological Society, warned that the new designation might cause unnecessary concern among parents.
“People need to understand this doesn’t mean every child who spends hours in their room playing games is an addict, otherwise medics are going to be flooded with requests for help,” she said.
Others welcomed WHO’s new classification, saying it was critical to identify people hooked on video games quickly because they are usually teenagers or young adults who don’t seek help themselves.
“We come across parents who are distraught, not only because they’re seeing their child drop out of school, but because they’re seeing an entire family structure fall apart,” said Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones, a spokeswoman for behavioral addictions at Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists. She was not connected to WHO’s decision.
Bowden-Jones said gaming addictions were usually best treated with psychological therapies but that some medicines might also work.
The American Psychiatric Association has not yet deemed gaming disorder to be a new mental health problem. In a 2013 statement, the association said it’s “a condition warranting more clinical research and experience before it might be considered for inclusion” in its own diagnostic manual.
The group noted that much of the scientific literature about compulsive gamers is based on evidence from young men in Asia.
“The studies suggest that when these individuals are engrossed in Internet games, certain pathways in their brains are triggered in the same direct and intense way that a drug addict’s brain is affected by a particular substance,” the association said in that statement. “The gaming prompts a neurological response that influences feelings of pleasure and reward, and the result, in the extreme, is manifested as addictive behavior.”
Dr. Mark Griffiths, who has been researching the concept of video gaming disorder for 30 years, said the new classification would help legitimize the problem and strengthen treatment strategies.
“Video gaming is like a non-financial kind of gambling from a psychological point of view,” said Griffiths, a distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “Gamblers use money as a way of keeping score whereas gamers use points.”
He guessed that the percentage of video game players with a compulsive problem was likely to be extremely small — much less than 1 percent — and that many such people would likely have other underlying problems, like depression, bipolar disorder or autism.
WHO’s Saxena, however, estimated that 2 to 3 percent of gamers might be affected.
Griffiths said playing video games, for the vast majority of people, is more about entertainment and novelty, citing the overwhelming popularity of games like “Pokemon Go.”
“You have these short, obsessive bursts and yes, people are playing a lot, but it’s not an addiction,” he said.
Saxena said parents and friends of video game enthusiasts should still be mindful of a potentially harmful problem.
“Be on the lookout,” he said, noting that concerns should be raised if the gaming habit appears to be taking over.
“If (video games) are interfering with the expected functions of the person — whether it is studies, whether it’s socialization, whether it’s work — then you need to be cautious and perhaps seek help,” he said.