It might seem incredible but coconut oil does have an unlikely cousin – breast milk.
And here’s another startling fact –
coconut oil, a saturated fat, is good for health.
The main benefits of coconut oil lies in the size and type of fatty acid it is composed of. We have been conditioned to think that saturated fats raise cholesterol levels and could eventually lead to a stroke. So, here’s the surprise. Not all saturated fats are alike and the body responds differently to different fats.
The key lies in the type of saturated fat and size of the fat molecule, and coconut oil scores on both counts.
Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides or fatty acids.
In contrast, vegetable oils, which we popularly use in out cooking, are composed of long-chain fatty acids that the body finds difficult to metabolise.
Thus, coconut oil can, in fact, reduce serum cholesterol levels and help in the treatment of heart disease. So, by switching to coconut oil as your main medium of cooking, you would be doing your heart and blood vessels a huge favour!
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Extracted from the mature kernel of the coconut fruit, people in tropical cultures have been exploiting coconut oil for its health benefits and medicinal advantages for centuries. No wonder, native people in the tropics such as India, the Philippines and Malaysia enjoy surprisingly good health.
The reason for coconut oil benefits is thanks mainly to its chief component – lauric acid – which is also abundant in breast milk. Lauric acid works wonders for the immune system and combats all sorts of microbes including pathogens that cause serious diseases such as staphylococcus aureus. This advantage is especially beneficial in times when many bacteria have grown resistant to antibiotics and doctors are increasingly incorporating coconut oil into their disease treatment strategies.
This much-maligned oil is also recommended, believe it or not,
- for weight loss as it helps reduce cravings for sugar and carbohydrates.
- It is also especially good for the skin and bones as it increases the absorption of calcium and other minerals.
- Thus, incorporating coconut oil into your diet will keep your body functioning – pardon the pun – like a well-oiled machine!
Benefits of Coconut Oil
There are several misconceptions that surround coconut oil, which arise mainly due to its high concentration of saturated fats. However, the ethnic cultures that exist in the tropical regions of the world are living testimony to the myriad health benefits that can be derived from the consumption of coconut oil. Since time immemorial these cultures have subsisted on a diet rich in coconut oil and have exploited its medicinal and healing properties as well. Modern science has also corroborated these claims and coconut oil is widely used today in the manufacture of skin and hair products as well as in the prevention and treatment of numerous diseases and disorders. See now some benefits of Coconut Oil.
The coconut oil benefits are:
Prevents virulent bacterial infection
Coconut oil contains a very powerful anti-bacterial chemical known as lauric acid, which has been found to be an effective defense against virus and bacterial diseases such as influenza, herpes, cytomegalovirus and the dreaded HIV. It strengthens the body’s immunity against harmful bacteria such as listeria and giardia lamblia. Due to its antiseptic benefits, coconut oil has been extensively used in the ancient medical practice of Ayurveda.
Ever wondered why the people in the Indian subcontinent sport such a healthy growth of hair? Their secret is the extensive uses for coconut oil, which has been found to be the best natural nutrition for hair. People in India and parts of south Asia regularly use coconut oil by massaging it into their hair and scalp after bath. Applying coconut oil on the hair before or after a bath would prevent the formation of dandruff and cleanse your scalp of lice and other tiny parasites.
Prevents heart diseases
Although coconut oil comprises of 90 per cent saturated fats, it is ironically a very useful prevention against heart diseases. This is due to the presence of lauric acid, which stabilizes the high cholesterol, and blood pressure levels in the body and contributes to sound heart health. The high concentration of saturated fats present in coconut oil reduces the incidence of arterial injury and prevents the onset of arteriosclerosis.
coconut oil for weight loss
Coconut oil has been found to be an effective catalyst that aids in the process of weight loss. The oil contains small to medium sized chains of fatty acids that raises the body’s metabolism. As a consequence the body is able to burn more energy and tangibly reduces excess body fat in obese individuals. This is one of the reasons why people living in tropical coastal areas who use coconut oil as a cooking medium are normally slim and slender.
Bolsters the immune system
An organic diet that includes virgin coconut oil can work wonders for your immune system due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. These immunity-strengthening properties are attributed to the presence of antimicrobial lipids as well as lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid, which further strengthen the resilience of the body’s immune system. This is one of the reasons why HIV infected patients are fed a diet consisting of organic healthy foods including coconut oil, which replenish their nutritional requirements and strengthen their immune system.
Coconut oil is a naturally occurring antiseptic that when applied to wounds or infected skin, creates a chemical layer that protects the infected portion from bacteria, dust and viruses. Coconut oil is also used as a natural cure in the treatment of infectious diseases such as measles, herpes, hepatitis and SARS. Several skin infections including ringworm, candidiasis, athlete’s foot and thrush.
Prevention of kidney and gall stones
Calciferous stones that are formed in the kidneys due to the build up of unfiltered calcium can be successfully dissolved by using virgin coconut oil as a cooking medium.
This is an amazing health benefits of coconut oil.
Consumption of coconut oil can effectively prevent the development of diabetes. This is because coconut oil helps in regulating blood sugar levels and also normalizes the secretion of insulin.
Coconut oil improves the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium body. This makes it very effective prevention against degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis, which is caused due to the lack or improper absorption of calcium. Coconut oil is hence very useful for middle-aged women who are more prone to bone diseases.
Effective treatment for malnutrition
Since coconut oil is relatively cheap and widely available in most parts of the globe, it has been used as an effective treatment for malnutrition. In many third world countries where wholesome nutritious food is unaffordable by the poorer sections of society, coconut oil is consumed as it an easy source of nutrition and also facilitates the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals including calcium, vitamin A, D, E and K.
In addition to its plethora of health benefits, coconut oil has been known to produce a calming effect on the mind when applied on the scalp as hair oil. Weight watchers and body-builders alike can also benefit majorly from this organic healthy food as it is very low in calories and packed with valuable nutrients for the healthy growth and development of the body.