Coconut oil was mistakenly considered unhealthy, especially for the heart, because of its high saturated content. Scientific research has uncovered the unique properties of coconut oil, that gives health benefits beyond any other oil and now it’s gaining popularity as a nutritious health food.
5 Major Benefits of Coconut Oil
Highly nutritious, coconut is rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Coconut oil has healing properties and is extensively used in traditional medicinal practices like ayurveda. It has antifungal and antimicrobial properties and is believed to help in fighting cancer and heart disease. It has too many health benefits to cover in just one article, so here are the 5 major benefits of coconut oil:
1. Coconut oil boosts immunity
Nearly 50% of fat in coconut oil is Lauric acid, also found in breast milk, is one of the predominant type of MCFA found in coconut oil. This miracle compound, rarely found in nature has unique health promoting properties that boost the immune system.
Since coconut oil has resistance to free radical formation and has ability to support the immune system, it is useful in treating many ailments.
2. Coconut oil is good for the heart
Populations that consume coconut oil on a regular basis are known to have lower rates of heart disease. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that protect arteries and help in preventing atherosclerosis.
Polyunsaturated oil increase formation of blood clots by increasing platelet stickiness while coconut oil promotes normal platelet function. Coconut oil has no trans-fat.
3. Coconut oil as a weight loss weapon
Coconut oil is known to increase the body’s metabolism, help the body burn more energy and improve thyroid function, all of which help in weight reduction.
It is now proven that medium-chain fatty acids [MCFAs] in coconut oil are digested and metabolized differently from other oils. They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are turned into ketones and used as a quick source of energy. They don’t get stored as fat and they help us feel satiated for longer periods – thus controlling the cravings for sweets, sugar and carbohydrates.
4. Coconut oil aids digestion and nutrient absorption
MCFAs are easily digested as they do not require pancreatic enzymes and coconut oil is thus considered as ideal food for those with digestive problems and is used in infant formulas. It is associated in with improved blood sugar and insulin control.
Coconut oil is believed to improve mineral absorption and thus help in strengthening bones and teeth. It is a rich source of Vitamin D which is necessary for absorption of calcium.
5. Coconut oil is ideal for skin and hair care
Coconut oil protects the skin from ageing effects of free radicals and promotes a youthful looking skin. It aids in exfoliating dead skin cells making the skin smooth and clear. It penetrates in the layers of the skin nourishing and moisturizing it.
Virgin coconut oil is an excellent treatment for eczema and various other skin infections. Coconut oil is also a wonderful moisturizer and conditioner for hair.
With a Masters in Food Science and Nutrition, Tilottama has carved a niche for herself in the Health Writing Industry. She is passionate about helping her readers make informed decisions about the food they eat. She believes in the healing power of food and in food as medicine. Tilottama is an editor and writer at Fitnesshacks.org.