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Over 1500 studies have been conducted till date to evidence the health benefits of coconut oil, also tagged as a ‘superfood‘. Coconut oil, being one of the healthiest foods on our planet, has uses going beyond what most people realize. It is a unique combination of the following three types of fatty acids:
- Caprylic acid
- Lauric acid
- Capric acid
These fatty acids aide faster digestion, better brain functioning, and many more.
10 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
1. Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
Saturated fats are known to increase healthy cholesterol namely HDL cholesterol and also helps to convert bad cholesterol into good cholesterol. Coconut oil is the best source of natural saturated fats.
An increase in the HDL in our body, promotes heart health, hence reducing the risk of heart disease. Coconut oil also benefits the heart by lowering high triglycerides.
A study showed that 116 patients followed a diet that included coconut oil and it lead to a rise in the levels of the good HDL cholesterol.
2. Reduces Hunger, Helping you eat less
One of our favorite benefits of coconut oil is that they can significantly contribute in reducing ones appetite. This is majorly because the way fats are metabolized, because ketones can help reduce hunger.
The studies have shown that if one persists in consumption of coconut oil over long term, it can also be a significant contributor to body weight loss, over a period of several years.
A large number of produced supplements use processed forms of MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids).
The vast majority of heavily produced supplements, however, use processed forms of MCFAs. By eating actual coconuts instead, you get the “real deal.” I recommend adding three tablespoons of coconut oil to a muscle-building shake daily.
3. Boosts Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia all cross the world and occurs primarily in elderly individuals.
When MCFAs are digested by liver, it creates ketones which are used by the brain for energy. Ketones are energy supplying agents to the brain, without the need of insulin to process glucose into energy.
An Alzheimer patient loses the ability to create its own insulin, hence the ketones work wonders as it is an alternate source of energy which helps the brain to function.
In one of the studies conducted in 2006, consumption of medium chain triglycerides suggested improvement of functioning of brain yielding great results, especially, in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s.
4. Boosts Immune System
Coconut oil carries antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral qualities. It contains lauric acid (monolaurin) which fights bacteria and creates a defensive environment for viruses. Most evidently, diseases are caused by the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi, viruses and other parasites in the body.
The best replacement for grains and sugar can be coconut oil which can be a great source of energy. While sugar increases the growth of bad bacteria, taking one spoon of coconut oil three times a day will keep you free from all diseases in the long run. Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables as well.
5. Improves Skin, Hair and Dental Condition
Skin is the best face cleanser, moisturizer, toner and sun screen. It works well to treat conditions like burns, eczema, dandruff, dermatitis, and psoriasis. It is a special home remedy for scalp psoriasis. The caprylic and laupic acids in coconut oil helps to reduce, both internally and externally, inflammation and gives deep cleansing results. The antimicrobial properties balances the candida and fungal sources which causes many serious skin conditions.
Cleansing your mouth with coconut oil cleans the mouth bacteria and heals periodontal disease. It has high antibacterial MCFAs which fights well with mouth odor and decay. If you want to heal your gums and repair your teeth, I recommend coconut oil pulling three times a week for 20 minutes a day.
People with dandruff and hair dry complains have this perfect oil at their rescue. You can make homemade coconut lavender shampoo to improve your hair growth and use straight coconut oil as an all-natural hair conditioner.
Mix one tablespoon of coconut oil and 10 drops of rosemary essential oil, massage it for a while onto your scalp and shower 30 minutes later.
6. Kills Harmful Microorganisms
Digestion of Lauric acid, which makes up to 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil, forms a substance called monolaurin.
Monolaurin and Lauric acid works well to kill harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses.
Researches have shown that it helps to kill a peculiar bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and the yeast Candida albicans which are considered extremely dangerous, known to spread infections in humans.
7.Helps in Hormone Balance
Coconut oil is a hormone friendly super food. There are innumerable benefits of coconut oil. They naturally help balance the hormones and is highly recommended food during menopause. It also has positives effects on estrogen levels.
In addition to this, reducing the consumption of sugar and grains and loading your diet with healthier fats like coconut oil, avocados, ghee, peanuts and flax seeds, can yield staring results.
Coconut can also be consumed in other forms like, tender coconut, coconut butter or dried coconut.
8. Coconut Oil for Weight Loss
Coconut oil is a low carb high energy food, hence a weight loss friendly ingredient. It aides cutting down of calories and burning of fat. Coconut oil also helps in reduction of appetite which is especially important for losing belly fat.
MCFAs have the super power to control variety of physiological processes and hence lays down a multi dimensional phenomenon in context of weight loss.
A research conducted in 1985 proved that capric acid shows significant improvements in thyroid function, it also helps in lowering of resting heart rate and burning of fat.
More recently, the Obesity Research Journal published a study from Boston University Medical School that gives us a clue why MCFAs have fat-burning ability.
Testing the effects that MFCAs have on fat breakdown, adipose (fatty) cells in rats were pretreated with caprylic acid. They observed that fat breakdown occurred at such a significant level that it literally mimicked the characteristics of fasting.
Fasting, in this sense, is not to be regarded as negative, but positive in that the body uses its energy reserves most effectively and speeds up the breakdown of needless fat reserves.
In the words of the researchers who conducted this study, “Such changes could contribute, in part, to weight loss in animals and humans associated with dietary medium-chain fatty acids.”
9. Coconuts may Reduce Seizure
Many studies are being conducted to know how ketogenic can be used to treat various disorders.
With high intake of coconut oil, one chooses a diet with low carbohydrates and hence, increases concentrations of ketones in the blood.
The diet has been known to dramatically reduce seizure rates in epileptic children, working even for those who have tried multiple drug treatment but didn’t get satisfactory results.
The fatty acids in coconut oils get transported to liver and turns into ketones, which is used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis, with a bit more carbs in the diet.
10. Anti- Aging Properties
As per the research published in medical journal Food and Function, coconut oil improves antioxidant levels and can slow aging. Coconut oil works by reducing stress on the liver and lowering oxidative stress
Coconut oil is also an agent for detoxification, which works well with liver.
Take one tablespoon of coconut oil with antioxidant rich berries for breakfast, this is sure to naturally slow down the process of ageing. This can also be directly applied to skin for immediate glowing and smooth skin results.
Coconut oil is a bundle of benefits with few side effects. A contact allergy may tend to occur for certain individuals. Coconut is also known to reduce side effects of many medications and may also reduce symptoms and side effects of cancer treatment. Hence, Benefits of Coconut Oil cannot be overlooked.