Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as “superfood“. Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health. This includes fat loss, improved brain function and various other incredible benefits.
We will acquaint you with 10 health benefits of coconut oil, which have been experimentally confirmed as such by research on humans.
Coconut Oil Contains a Unique Combination of Fatty Acids with Powerful Healing Properties
Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fatty acids. The largest number of fatty acids when it comes to nutrition are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil behave differently in the metabolism. From the digestive tract they head straight to the liver where they are converted into a fast energy source or ketone bodies, which can have a therapeutic effect on brain diseases such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
Populations That Consume Coconut Are among the Healthiest on the Planet
Coconut is a kind of “exotic” food in the Western world and it is consumed primarily by health-conscious people. However, in some parts of the world, coconut is one of the main foodstuffs. A presentable example of such population are the Tokelauans, who live in the South Pacific. They get 60% of calorie intake from coconut, and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world. These are people of excellent health, with no cases of heart disease.
Coconut Oil Increases Energy Consumption and Helps You Burn More Fat
Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world. Some people think that obesity is just a matter of calories. The fact is that different foods and hormones affect our bodies in different ways. In that sense, a calorie is NOT a calorie.
In other words, medium chain triglycerides from coconut oil can increase energy consumption juxtaposed to the same amount of calories in longer fat chains. Medium chain triglycerides from coconut oil have been shown to increase energy consumption by as much as 5%, which potentially leads to significant weight loss over a longer period of time.
The simplest way to consume coconut oil is to take it with your morning coffee. Add a spoon of oil in hot coffee and stir to dissolve. The coffee will have a mild coconut flavor and it will impprove your health and help with the loss of unnecessary pounds.
Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi; Prevents Infection
12-carbon lauric acid constitutes almost 50% of fatty acids in coconut oil. Lauric acid and monolaurin (monoglyceride resulting from enzymatic digestion of coconut oil) can kill harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi, ie. pathogenic substances.
It has been proven that these two kill the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and yeast Candida albicans, a common source of fungal infections in humans.
Thus, fatty acids and metabolite products from coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens and potentially help prevent infections.
It Can Reduce Appetite and Help with Weight Loss
One interesting property of coconut oil is that it can reduce appetite. This may be related to the way in which fatty acids break down in the body, because ketone bodies may have an effect on appetite reduction. Therefore significant weight loss can occur in the long run.
Fatty Acid from Coconut Oil Are Converted into Ketones, Which Can Reduce the Rate of Epileptic Seizures
The so-called ketogenic diet (very low in carbohydrates, very high in fat) is currently being studied as part of the treatment of various disorders. The best known therapeutic use of such a diet is in children suffering from epilepsy. This diet includes small amounts of carbohydrates and large amounts of fat, which leads to a substantial increase in the concentration of ketone in the blood.
For some reason, this diet can significantly reduce the rate of epileptic seizures in children, even in those for whom various different types of medications have shown no result.
It Increases Blood Cholesterol Levels and Can Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which do not actually tamper with the lipid profile, as it was once considered. Saturated fats increases levels of good cholesterol in the body and reduce the amount of bad cholesterol, even more effectively than soy oil. It also improves blood coagulation and antioxidant status.
Research on humans has shown that coconut oil reduces main cardiovascular risk factors.
Protects the Hair from Damage, Moisturizes the Skin and Acts as a Sunscreen
Coconut oil can serve a variety of purposes that are not directly related to nutrition. Many people use it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair. Research on individuals with dry skin shows that coconut oil can improve moisture retention of the skin.
Coconut oil can also be an excellent protection against hair loss, and one study has shown the effectiveness of oil as a sunscreen; it blocks about 20% of ultraviolet rays. However, during summer months it is advisable to use sunscreen creams.
It can also be used to rinse mouth and mouth cavities. In addition to killing some of the bacteria in your mouth, it improves your health and tones down bad breath. Rinsing the oral cavity with coconut oil is also called the “oil pulling” method.
Fatty Acids from Coconut Oil Can Increase Brain Function in Patients Suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia in the world and it mostly occurs in the elderly. Alzheimer’s disease appears to reduce the ability of the organism to use glucose to generate energy in certain parts of the brain.
Ketone bodies can supply energy to the brain, and scientists assume that ketones can provide an alternative source of energy for such anomalies and reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
It Can Help You Burn Fat, Especially Dangerous Fat in the Abdominal Cavity
Since coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it is only logical that it can also help with weight loss. Coconut oil is particularly effective in reducing levels of abdominal fat and fat acccumulated around organs. Those are the most dangerous fats and they are associated with many diseases.
Research has shown that consumption of coconut oil helps reduce waist circumference, and it should be noted that the subjects of the research did not engage in other weight-loss activities, such as exercise and restrained caloric intake. Lose significant amounts of abdominal fat by simply adding coconut oil to your diet.
If you want to gain all the benefits of the coconut oil mentioned in the article, try to get organic, virgin coconut oil.