Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

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Coconut oil is rightly a super food with innumerable health benefits. Earlier it was known to be not-so-healthy and causing heart disease but now research has proved it otherwise. It is actually good for your heart. Finally, it is back in the health community zone. Its exceptional combination of fatty acids makes good for your health in a variety of ways.

Coconut oil happens to be the densest area present in coconut. Like butter, it remains solid at room temperature. Unlike other oils, it will not break down because of heat or light nor does it become rancid. It also contains a very pleasant tropical aroma.

If you want to add up some healthy fats in your diet, coconut oil can prove to be a great way to do this. In addition to this, it also assists in the assimilation of fat soluble vitamins. That time of being advised against saturated fats consumption is over now. You can now consume coconut oil without letting any such worries haunting you. Another plus point about it is that it is readily available, extremely affordable, and totally natural.

Among myriad of health benefits of coconut oil, Some of the health benefits are: weight loss, boosted immune system, , stress relief, cholesterol level maintenance, relief from heart diseases and kidney problems, haircare, skin care and lots more. Coconut oil owes all these benefits to the existence of caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid in it. This also gives coconut oil antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, soothing and antioxidant properties.

Here are some health benefits that might make you nuts about coconut oil:

Lowers Heart risks

The first thing you can do is shed off the popular misconception regarding coconut oil that it is not healthy for the heart as it contains a high amount of saturated fats which adversely affect blood lipid profile. Research shows the opposite side of the reality. 50% or coconut oil is lauric acid which aids in warding off heart-related problems such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. The saturated fats of coconut oil do not pose any risk like vegetable oils do. Furthermore, it minimizes the damage to arteries, and stops LDL level from increasing which eventually keeps atherosclerosis away. It is responsible for increasing HDL instead which is good cholesterol.

Helpful in losing weight

Have you been trying to lose weight? Then keep this natural and extremely useful coconut oil in mind as well. Coconut oil can do wonders for you as it increases your energy expenditure and simultaneously aids in burning more fat. The medium and short chain fatty acids in coconut oil help in losing weight. What coconut oil does is speed up the rate of metabolism and relieving stress from the pancreas and assisting in burning more energy which is immensely helpful to overweight and obese people. It can be digested easily too and keeps the thyroid and endocrine system functioning smoothly. Ever noticed people who live in the tropical coastal area who are habitual of using coconut oil? They are never obese, overweight, or fat.

Want to kill your hunger without even trying? Now one of the amazing features of coconut oil is that it reduces hunger. Metabolism of fatty acids might cause this because ketone bodies tend to have a hunger reducing effect. In this way you will eat less and over a long period this could affect the body positively.

Assists in digestion

Facing digestion problems? Here is good news for you. The coconut oil contains saturated fats which possess antimicrobial qualities assisting in controlling bacteria, fungi, and parasites which lead to indigestion or digestion related problems like irritable bowel syndrome. It also aids in absorbing nutrients like amino acids, vitamins and minerals keeping you healthy on the whole. Therefore, it is a good idea to use it as cooking oil.

Protects your Skin

Looking for a safe solution for your skin which has no side effects? Topical application of coconut oil on the dry and flaking skin can be really good. It is a remarkable massage oil like mineral, but the good part is it doesn’t have any side effects like mineral oil. It is an excellent moisturizer for all kinds of skin, especially dry skin. It is responsible for enhancing the lipid content and moisture of skin.

It will keep you looking younger for a long time as it wards off sagging and wrinkles of skin. Owing to the antioxidant qualities of coconut oil, you will age very slowly and will remain away from premature aging. Furthermore, it is used to treat many skin problems like dermatitis, psoriasis, skin infections, and eczema. It is no wonder that it is used in lotions, cream and soaps as a base ingredient.

According to a study, it can block 20% of ultraviolet rays coming from the sun and so act as a sunblock too.

For healthy hairs

Coconut oil is considered to be among the most remarkable nutrients for your precious hairs. It not only facilitates its growth but also adds shine to them. It also helps in recovering protein to your hair which normal results in giving your hair unhealthy and unattractive look. It is no wonder that coconut oil is used in many dandruff relief creams, different conditioners and hair care oil. It aids in stimulating the re-growth process in hairs that are damaged.

Massaging it into the scalp, makes it a very effective dandruff remedy and also acts as a hair conditioner. All you have to do is massage into the scalp overnight and wash it off in the morning. It will strengthen hair, prevent hair damage and add some shine too. In other words, it is an effective conditioner.

Immunity Booster

You can also boost your immune system with coconut oil. In fact, coconut oil helps in strengthening the immune system as it consists of lauric acid, caprylic acid, capric acid and antimicrobial lipids which possess antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Another interesting thing is that human body changes the lauric acid into monolaurin. According to a research, this is highly effective in combatting with bacteria and viruses that lead to influenza, herpes, HIV, and cytomegalovirus. It also wards off bacteria such as helicobacter pylori and listeria monocytogenes  along with disease-causing protozoa like giardia lamblia.

Good for the brain

Coconut oil had been previously criticized for containing saturated fats. Oh yes! It contains a lot of saturated fats. 90 percent of the fatty acids it contains are saturated, but the new research proves it to be harmless. Medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are metabolized in a different manner. They directly travel to the digestive tract. There they are either utilized as an instant source of energy or changed into ketone bodies which are known to have therapeutic effect on the brain and can be useful in brain disorder like Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.

Diabetes

Stressed out about your fluctuating sugar levels? Then you should know that coconut oil is really helpful for controlling blood sugar level as it stimulates the secretion of insulin and effectively utilizes glucose in the blood.

65% of coconut oil consists of MCT (medium chain triglycerides). It is known that if your diet is rich in MCTs and your body will become more glucose tolerant. As compared to diets rich in LCTs (long chain triglycerides), MCTs help to lessen fat accumulation in the body. Insulin sensitivity may be improved in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Boosts Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients

The most common cause of dementia around the world is Alzheimer. Certain parts of the brain of Alzheimer’s patients show that the ability to consume glucose for energy is reduced. Research shows that the ketone bodies can provide the brain with energy and can play the role of alternative energy source for malfunctioning cells of the brain. In this way, symptoms of Alzheimer can be minimized. Moreover, it is supported by a study that medium chain triglycerides can act as therapeutic agent for Alzheimer.

On a short note, increased level of ketone bodies in blood due to fatty acids in coconut oil provide the brain cells of Alzheimer patients with energy.

Healing and infections

Have you bruised yourself or got any kind of infection? If yes, apply coconut oil over the affected area. Coconut oil makes up a chemical layer which keeps the affected area away from bacteria, viruses, fungi, air and dust. The lauric acid present in coconut oil kills harmful pathogens virus, bacteria, and fungi. It stimulates the healing of damaged tissues and speeds up bruise recovery. The reason that it is very effective for treating infections is because of its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal qualities.

Coconut Research Center has shown that coconut oil is responsible for killing viruses that lead to measles, herpes, influenza, SARS, hepatitis and other diseases. It is also responsible for getting rid of bacteria that lead to throat infections, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, gonorrohoea and ulcers. Thirdly, it also helps to get rid of yeast and fungi that result in athlete’s foot, ring worm, diaper rash and thrush. In fact, a Study shows that chemical makeup of coconut oil can kill a very dangerous pathogen Staphylococcus Aureus and even the yeast Candida Albicans which results in yeast infections.

Coconut oil reduces cholesterol

Coconut oil consists of a saturated fat known as lauric acid which is a kind of MCT. Lauric acid is known for elevating good HDL cholesterol in your blood which aids in making cholesterol ratio levels better. Coconut oil helps to lower cholesterol by converting it into pregnenolone.

Coconut oil also keeps the thyroid functioning properly. If thyroid is not functioning properly, it causes an increase in bad cholesterol. A research shows that coconut oil reduces LDL, HDL, and Total cholesterol.

Delays aging

Worried about your wrinkles and looking aged? Then thanks to coconut oil for its positive antioxidant action in human body. Oxidation is known to be a big cause of skin aging and heart problems, but coconut oil prevents harm to healthy tissues and fats present in our body. Coconut oil also minimizes our body’s need for antioxidant consumption.

  • What else?
    • If you are up for utilizing ALL the benefits of coconut oil sketched out for you in the article, then use organic, virgin coconut oil. Avoid the refined ones.
    • Wondering if coconut could have any kind of side effects? Well, the good news is there are no side effects of coconut proved to date. However, nobody knows how much quantity a day can help you reap most benefits. It seems 1 to 2 tablespoons per day can prove to be really beneficial.
  • Incorporating coconut oil in your diet… How?

Keep away from manufactured or packaged foods that contain hyrdrogenated coconut oil. If you want to cook, opt for only virgin coconut oil. Use it in a moderate manner like you use other cooking oils.

It is best to store it in a dark and cool place. It remains solid at room temperature and turns to liquid when exposed to heat. It is good for cooking because of its ability to withstand heat. Here are some useful ways in which you can incorporate coconut oil in your cooking:

  • Coconut oil is remarkable for baking purpose best it is light sweet and has an unforgettable coconutty flavor.
  • It serves as a great replacement for butter shortening in different recipes.
  • You can also add it to granola to make your breakfast healthier.
  • Not only is it good in baked items like banana bread and zucchini but also with vegetables. The taste is fabulous if it accompanies bitter vegetables like kale.
  • It can also be used as a part of garlic and onion saute which gives a very pleasant and different taste.
  • You can mix it with oatmeal to make it more creamy and remain healthy.

Here are some coconutty recipes:

Resources:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282857.php
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1092-coconut%20oil.aspx?activeingredientid=1092&activeingredientname=coconut%20oil
http://wellnessmama.com/5734/101-uses-for-coconut-oil/
http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/health_benefits_of_coconut_coconut_oil

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