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Busy, Smart, and Strong: Coconut oil: The latest, greatest thing?

Funny how if you wait long enough, what was once considered good will become bad and what was bad will become good, especially were diet and nutrition are concerned.

Consider Coconut oil. Fifteen to 20 years ago, coconut and palm kernel oils were vilified as being the scourge of humanity because of their popularity for use in inexpensive, processed foods. Just check the ingredient list of cheaper chocolates. They’re generally full of one of those oils, both considered highly-saturated fats and so we were told to avoid products containing them at all costs because they’d lead to clogged arteries and a heart attack.

I recall a full page ad in USA Today at one point, taken out by the oils industry, trying to undo the pronouncement of death but I’m not sure it really worked. Who really knew what to believe?

Fast forward to 2014. For the past few years, coconut has become the darling of the supermarket. Coconut milk (great replacement for dairy), coconut water (full of natural electrolytes), fresh, raw coconut (good for anything that ails you). And now with the popularity of the Paleo Diet — or the back to basics plan of eating — coconut oil is all the rage as the only one to use in cooking at all! A complete 180-degree turn!

Here’s the latest: oil pulling using organic coconut oil. I had an email from a voice teacher friend of mine touting how holding coconut oil in your mouth for a short time every morning would help to reduce mucus in your throat, especially if you have allergies. She said she does it every day and can’t believe the difference.

And then, here it came on Facebook. The very same day, no less. And it’s been touted on television’s “The Doctors” too.

You take a tablespoon of coconut oil and swish for about 10 to 20 minutes. It sounds like a long time, so find something else to do while you’re swishing. And remember, coconut oil is solid at room temperature so it will melt in your mouth. Then, spit it out in your trash can, not in the sink as it can clog your pipes.

What does this do? Well, supposedly it will prevent bad breath, reduce gingivitis, remove plaque and whiten your teeth.

There are also some reports that this is a miracle worker and the treatment can prevent migraines, cure psorasis on the scalp and a host of other things but I seriously doubt that. However, more than one report indicates that the oil does indeed grab bad bacteria in your mouth and is a great benefit for oral health.

Worth giving it a try? If you do, let me know what you think!