Let the facts speak for themselves…
Coconut oil is obtained from the kernel of the coconut fruit. It actually contains a lot of saturated fat. However recent studies have demonstrated that, saturated fat is very important for the health of our cells, tissues and organs. For this reason coconut oil is now being praised for its abundant health benefits and is fast becoming a regular among health conscious people. Sadly, health authorities around the globe are still advising against the use and consumption of saturated fats like coconut oil. Appreciating and understanding the real health benefits of coconut oil may prove these stubborn health authorities wrong. Take a look at these:
1. Antibacterial properties.
Yes you read this right. Coconut oil certainly has antibacterial properties. It has a common ingredient with breast milk which is monolaurin. Monolaurin is present in breast milk to prevent infections from harming the baby. Similarly, coconut oil can increase your body’s natural defense (immune system) enabling you to combat infectious diseases caused by bacteria. What’s even more amazing about it is that it leaves the good bacteria alone, and only targets the bad ones. A notorious bacterium (Helicobacter pylori), which contributes to the development of stomach ulcers, is one of the specific bacteria targeted by this wonderful oil.
2. It’s very healthy for cooking.
Most of us who cook are well aware that a cooking oil used in higher temperature cooking has to be stable. If it’s unstable and gets damaged in the process, it becomes a threat to our health. Because of the high levels of saturated fat, coconut oil is well suited for higher temperature cooking. Compared to polyunsaturated vegetable oils, coconut oil doesn’t oxidize that easily. When an oil is oxidised free radicals are produced and the oil becomes rancid. Rancidification is defined as the decomposition of oils and fats. The presence of these decomposed and harmful substances in the food you eat can create a parade of unhappy digestive problems as well as cause cellular damage throughout the body.
3. Moisturising effect.
Coconut oil had been demonstrated to increase the moisture content of the skin in people with xerosis. Xerosis is a scientific (and fancy) term for excessively dry skin. With coconut oil, your skin will feel smooth, soft and hydrated. Say goodbye to the scaly, itchy and dry skin. Your skin needs saturated fat to keep it hydrated and trap moisture. Even if your skin isn’t abnormally dry, you can still use coconut oil to prevent if from drying out. In addition to its moisturising effect, coconut oil also increases your skin’s natural immunity by preventing skin infections. Many manufacturers include coconut oil as a key ingredient in their skin care products.
4. Weight loss.
Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Your liver is particularly happy about this because it’s able to produce more energy for you through the efficient burning of MCTs. This means that instead of being stored, the fats you eat are actually being utilized for energy. Furthermore, it lowers cholesterol levels by supporting its conversion to pregnenolone, a precursor to important hormones in the body.
5. Absorb more nutrients.
Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) are easily absorbed and utilised for body processes. Coconut oil is full of healthy fats! You need healthy fats to absorb more of these fat-soluble vitamins. Give them a free ride into your body by adding coconut oil to your diet.
6. Keeps your diabetes under control.
Coconut oil helps your body to stabilise blood glucose levels. It allows your overworked pancreas to take a rest and avoid the release of huge amounts of insulin. Saturated fat, compared to glucose, demands little attention from your insulin secreting cells in the pancreas. Coconut oil also helps to keep you feeling full and avoid hunger pangs. One study even showed that coconut oil can help to keep your muscle and fats cells from developing insulin resistance. Now, go ahead and tell your diabetes that you’re the boss of your pancreas and not it (your diabetes).
7. Protects your heart and arteries.
Oxidative damage to your heart and arteries contribute greatly to the development of heart diseases and atherosclerosis. Being more stable than other fats out there, coconut oil spares your heart and arteries from oxidative damage. It decreases the production of free radicals, lowers your cholesterol levels and increases your HDL (High Density Lipoproteins) levels.
8. Helps your thyroid.
Research has found that polyunsaturated plant oils can block the release of thyroid hormones. On the other hand coconut oil can help to increase the metabolism and provide easy fuel for the tissues and cells of your body. This includes the liver where most of the conversion of thyroid hormones T4 to T3 happens and the cells of thyroid gland itself. So replacing polyunsaturated plant oils in your diet with coconut oil will save your thyroid and feed your cells.
With all of the above mentioned health benefits of coconut oil, it’s hard to imagine that coconut oil is harmful to your health. This list isn’t even that comprehensive yet. It just points out some of the most significant health benefits of coconut oil. We haven’t even mentioned its benefits benefits to your brain. Do you use coconut oil? If not, try it out.
P.S. When buying coconut oil in your local supermarket or online, aim for the organic, extra virgin coconut oil.