Coconut oil has deservedly earned its name as a ‘super food.’ It has a whole host of health benefits while increasing numbers of people are realizing this.
There are fats and fats.
Unlike some of your unhealthy unsaturated trans-fats, coconut oil is one of the finest naturally occurring saturated cis-fats (cis-fats have a different molecular configuration to trans-fats). The fact that coconut oil is a saturated fat may sound alarm bells, but plentiful evidence has now shown that the idea of it having plaque forming contributions and artery clogging is a fairy story. Besides, its uniqueness makes it a different saturated fat compared to that of say steak or cheese:
Coconut oil has medium-sized fatty acids and undergoes unique metabolic processes, which contributes greatly to health.
So here are my 10 fact-based health benefits.
1 Weight loss
Coconut oil is metabolised fast and can be used as a quick energy source without a build-up of fat storage. Substituting this for other foods can therefore lead to weight loss; less fat build up such as that in the abdominal area… It also has the effect of appetite suppressing (stops food cravings).
2 Energy Boost
Not only does the above lead to weight loss by burning more fat but it also increases energy expenditure.
3 Aids digestion
Coconut oil has anti-pathogenic properties. It can kill harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses. It combats tummy bugs, reduces bloating bellies, helps stop digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and generally soothes…
4 Lowers the risk of heart disease
In a nutshell, studies have shown that coconut oil reduces LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increases HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), leading to less chances of heart disease.
5 Fights diabetes
Besides reducing fat storage, coconut oil improves insulin sensitivity, allowing more effective control over blood sugar levels.
6 Improves appearances of hair, skin, nails and teeth
Not only for cosmetic purposes; like hair damage prevention, reducing skin sagging and wrinkles, coconut oil also fights disorders. For example, it helps fight skin disorders like eczema and acne. For the skin, it can be effective taken both internally and externally: It increases lipid (quality fat) and moisture content. For teeth, it can be applied as a mouth rinse, thus killing bad bacteria, stopping bad breath and improving dental health.
7 Boosting brain function and anti-ageing
Coconut oil contributes to brain cell development for increased cognitive function and serves to reduce the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia.
8 Builds immunity
The healthy fats present in coconut oil (fats lauric, caprylic and capric acids) can contribute to the building of a strong immune system.
9 Great for cooking
Unlike many food sources coconut oil is resistant to the ravages of heat during cooking. For example, olive oil will oxidise at high temperatures and give nasty free radicals…
10 The proof in the pudding is in the eating!
Studies from all over the world where isolated indigenous populations such as the Tokelauans in the South Pacific and the Kitavans in one of the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea have been on very high intakes of coconut oil for many generations. This reflects their amazing health record.
I’ve no doubt that there are other health benefits. I hope this has inspired readers to do their own research and if they haven’t already, start eating the coconut oil.