The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera), is part of the Arecaceae family, commonly known as the palm family. The coconut tree’s fruit is botanically a drupe, not a nut.
It’s hard to say what is the health benefit of coconut oil that is the most important to us. In many cultures coconut traditional uses are ranging from food to cosmetics. They are a regular part of the diets of many people in the tropics. Coconuts are distinct from other fruits for their large quantity of water or “juice”. They are sometimes harvested for their potable “water”. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. We’ll discuss in this article about the health benefits of virgin coconut oil. So what are the health benefits of coconut oil? These are the most important health benefits of eating organic coconut oil backed by science:
1 Can Help Protect The Brain.
2 Can Help Fight Infections.
3 Increases Metabolism.
4 Helps With Weight Loss.
5 Increases Muscle Growth.
6 Fights Gum Disease And Protects Teeth.
7 Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease.
8 Anti-Aging Effect.
9 Protects Hair Against Damage.
10 Protects Your Kidney And Liver.
11 Reduces Inflammation And Arthritis.
12 Prevents Cancer Cell Growth.
13 Helps With Digestion Disorders.
14 Prevents Osteoporosis.
15 Can Help With Hormone Balance.
1. Helps Protect the Brain and Repairs the Brain Cells
It improves the function of the brain and memory due to fatty acids called MCFAs which can easily be absorbed in the body and fuel brain cells efficiently. As the brain of patients suffering from Alzheimer losses the capability to create it’s insulin, the ketones contained by the coconut oil create an alternate source of energy and help repair brain function.
2. Fights Infections
It strengthens the immune system due to the fact that it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Our body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is an effective barrier to viruses and bacteria that cause diseases like herpes, influenza or cytomegalovirus. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as Listeria Monocytogenes, Staphylococcus Aureus and Helicobacter Pylori.
It is believed that coconut oil can have an important role in reducing viral susceptibility for HIV and cancer patients.
3. Increases Metabolism
It increases the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, hence burning more energy and helping obese and overweight people lose weight. Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) from coconut fat are quickly processed by the liver where they are either utilized for energy or transformed into ketone bodies.
4. Weight Loss
Islanders living in tropical areas use coconut oil on a daily basis as cooking oil aren’t usually fat or overweight. Including coconut oil in your diet enhances your weight loss efforts. The MCFA’s can be quickly turned into energy for the body to utilize.
5. Muscle Growth
Coconut oil stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin. The role of insulin is to control the sugar level in the blood and carry nutrients to the muscles. More nutrients to muscles means more muscle mass.
6. Fights Gum Disease and Protects Teeth
It facilitates absorption of calcium and magnesium into the body, therefore it helps in developing strong teeth and stops tooth decay. Coconut oil is beneficial in reducing plaque formation, plaque induced gingivitis and bleeding gums. Oil pulling using coconut oil can be an alternative means for a mouthwash due to its antibacterial properties and has been used for centuries.
7. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
As I already mentioned it contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps preventing heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Clinical studies have proven that increased levels of plasma cholesterol due to high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) are correlated to coronary heart disease.
8. Anti-Aging Effect
According to research published in the medical journal Food and Function, coconut oil improves antioxidant levels and can slow aging. Coconut oil works by reducing stress on the liver and by lowering oxidative stress (eliminating free radicals).
9. Protects Hair
According to the Journal of Cosmetic Science researchers have discovered that coconut oil is able to prevent damage to all different hair types by reducing protein loss in hair.
10. Protects Kidneys and Liver
Severe damage to the kidneys can lead to organ failure and sometimes death therefore it’s vital to have healthy kidneys. Consuming coconut oil has been found to be very effective preventative treatment for kidney and liver. Researchers found that the active components in coconut oil can effectively protect the liver from severe damage by toxic drugs and toxins.
11. Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis
It’s been dicovered that the high levels of antioxidants in coconut oil have the ability to reduce inflammation and arthritis.
Coconut oil that was harvested with only medium heat was found to suppress inflammatory cells.
12. Prevents Cancer Cell Growth
Coconut oil prevents the cancer cell from developing because of the ketones that act as a barrier against tumor growth.
Therefore coconut oil might be used as an alternative to chemotheraphy.
13. Helps with Digestion Disorders
Coconut oil contributes to the body’s ability in taking up nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
Studies have found that MCFAs in the form of coconut oil can promote the breakdown and digestion of lipids by improving the efficiency of enzymes related to metabolism. Candida is a disease caused from excessive and uncontrolled growth of yeast called Candida Albicans in the stomach but luckily coconut oil can offer relief from it.
14. Prevents Osteoporosis
Another nutrient that promotes absorption in the stomach and intestines is calcium. Coconut oil allows more calcium to be taken up by the body, which helps in diminishing the effect that osteoporosis has on you bones (decreasing bones density).
Osteoporosis affects specially older people.
15. Helps Balance of the Hormones
Because of the abundance of saturated fats in coconut oil like lauric acid can have a role in balancing hormones. Studies concluded that high levels of high-density lipoproteins have a protective effect on conserving estrogen. Coconut oil help increase the level of beneficial proteins that conserve estrogen in women during menopause leading to healthier lipid profiles.
These are the most important health benefits provided by the coconut oil. Some other positive effects on the body are stress relief and improves type 1 diabetes. In conlusion, coconut oil is beneficial not only for our bodies (inside and outside) but our mind as well.
Coconut oil can be found refined or unrefined (organic, raw, virgin). When making use externally of coconut oil for instance as moisturizer or hair conditioner refined oil can be used even if it lacks specific taste ans smell while for internal use virgin oil is recommended. It’s important to store it at in proper conditions to ensure the its functionality. For instance frozen at -4°C although it has a high melting temperature (24 Celsius or 76 Fahrenheit).When you need to make use of it a water bath at 40°C allows to thaw quickly.
Coconut oil is a healthy substitute for other saturated fats like butter or margarine.It provides numerous benefits adding a lovely tropical taste and smell. Coconut oil has a high fat content, although it consists of beneficial fats, excessive consumption can cause weight gain and cholesterol level increases.
This is Vanessa giving you some beauty tips using coconut oil. Enjoy!
How to cook with coconut oil?
Actually you can simply replace butter or margarine with coconut oil in all kind of recipes. I usually use coconut oil for cooking and baking. You can add a tablespoon of it in your morning smoothie. You can apply it on your skin to help heal scars, eczemas, burns and such. There are rare cases when people are alergic to coconut oil. If that’s the case with you it’s better to avoid it but otherwise you can enjoy the numerous advantages of cooking with coconut oil.
Chemically processed, over-heated or refined oil (in order to increase its shelf-life) sometimes losses the most beneficial properties. That’s why I prefer for eating extra virgin coconut oil.
How do you use coconut oil?
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provided in this article is for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. We don’t dispense medical advice or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed at Eat-Healthy-Food are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, please see your doctor.