Coconut oil is an edible oil obtained from the kernel of coconuts. This oil is proven to be a “Star” in the health sector. It is extensively used by many athletes, celebrities and recommended by nutritionists. Coconut is extensively grown and used traditionally in more than 90 countries in the world. Sanskrit language considers coconut as “kalpa vriksha” meaning necessities of life. Malaysians defines coconut as “pokok seribu guna”, which means the tree of thousand years. Philippines considers coconut tree as “Tree of Life”. Not to mention, there are many parts of the world where they use coconut religiously. Pure unadulterated coconut Oil has 99.9% fatty acids. In it, 91.9% are saturated fatty acids and 6.4% unsaturated fatty acids.
Chemical Properties Of Coconut Oil
Saturated Fatty Acids
- Lauric acid (45%-52%)
- Mystic acid (16%-21%)
- Palmitic acid (7%-10%)
- Caprylic acid (5%-10%)
- Capric acid (4%-8%)
- Stearic acid (2%-4%)
- Caproic acid (0.5%-1%)
- Palmitoleic acid (0.0001%)
Unsaturated Fatty Acids
- Oleic acid (5%-8%)
- Linoleic acid (1%-3%)
- Linolenic acid (0.2%)
Top Coconut Oil Health Benefits
1. Weight Loss
While coconut oil has a high calorie count of 117 per 1 tablespoon, it still has proven weight reducing properties. Let me explain how.
In a randomized controlled trial, a group of women were said to consume 30 ml of coconut oil each day. After 4 weeks, there was significant reduction in waist circumference up to 2 centimeters.
Though it contains lot of fatty acids,coconut oil has instant metabolic mechanism. These fats are easily absorbable and convertible into energy. Besides, coconut oil can help you give a “full” feeling which helps you avoid snacking. Many athletics use coconut oil for their fitness regime. With the right amount of exercise and coconut oil consumption, you can lose weight within a few weeks.
2. Immune System
Monolaurin is a derivative in lauric acid, which is present breast milk. They have immunity giving essential nutrients like minerals and vitamins to protect against diseases. Lauric acid is present excessively in coconut oils. Though this is one of the overlooked benefits of coconut, it is the most effective one. So, consuming coconut oil regularly can help you develop a strong immunity system.
Also check: 16 Amazing Coconut Oil Beauty Uses
The phenolic compounds present in coconuts helps to treat and maintain blood sugar. It is most suitable for diabetic patients, since they are low in cholesterol and does not affect blood sugar levels compared to other cooking oils.
Coconut oil helps in regular secretion of insulin and helps to maintain sugar levels in blood. Regular consumption of coconut oil in diet helps to control diabetes.
4. Cardiovascular Diseases
Coconut oil has proven potential to make your heart healthy. Lauric acids present in it helps to fight and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Most of the oils have long chain fatty acids which easily gets deposited on the arteries and heart. This tend to block proper blood flow and leads to heart risks.
Coconut oil has medium chain fatty acids which are easily absorbable and utilized as energy. Besides, it also helps to break down the deposited fats and protect it from cardiovascular diseases.
Ketone bodies are responsible for boosting function of brain cells. The fatty acids and ketones in coconuts are considered an alternative fuel to glucose in improving brain health and memory power.
Studies show that coconut oil is also proven to improve neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, that is caused by death of brain cells.
Liver is one of the vital organs present in your body, which are responsible for storage control of oxygen and regular detoxification. Due to exposure to harmful pollutants in environment and chemicals we intake, livers are easily prone to damage. Coconut oil has powerful anti-oxidants which helps to fight against agents that affect liver and also promotes healthy functioning of liver.
Many believe a myth that cholesterol are bad for health. It is only necessary to maintain a good cholesterol ratio. Cholesterol are essential for proper functioning of cells and hormones. There are two kinds: good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Fortunately, coconuts are blessed with good cholesterol which helps to improve the body function.
8. Blood Pressure
Blood pressure rises when there happens a restricted or disrupted flow of blood. It happens mostly due to fat deposition. Some vegetable oil have long chain fatty acids that deposits fats and block regular blood flow.
Saturated fats are generally easily convertible to energy and does not have any negative impact. This makes coconut oil suitable for high blood pressure patients.
9. Weight Gain
Yes, coconut oil is capable of losing as well as gaining weight. When I mean weight gain, it means a healthy weight gain. If your infants have low body weight, try switching your cooking oil to coconut oil. Coconut oil has amazing nutritional properties and helps to strengthen the body. You might have also noticed many body builders use coconut oil in their daily routine. So, if you want to build your weight and strength, try using coconut as cooking oil.
Tropical countries mostly prefer coconut oil as their cooking oil. It helps to prevent as well as treat any kind of digestion and stomach problem. It has potential anti-microbial properties which helps to improve the digestion. Besides, coconut promotes better absorption of minerals, vitamins and amino acids.
11. Bone Density
Calcium and magnesium are the primary components of bone development. Coconuts helps better absorption of both these nutrients. It is very essential to take care of bone health for growing kids and osteoporosis in women during their middle ages.
12. Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between anti-oxidants and pro-oxidants. The pro-oxidants are capable of damaging heart and cells in body. It is necessary to counteract this oxidation process.
Vitamin E is a natural anti-oxidant present in coconut oil. Consuming coconut oil regularly can help to cancel out oxidants present in the body.
13. Boosts Energy
Coconut oil has medium chain triglycerides, which are essential fatty acids. The vitamins and magnesium present in it helps to perk up the mood and increase metabolism of body. Hence, it improves overall body function. This way it promotes a positive mood and also helps in boosting energy. Many athletes and body builders include coconut oil in their diet for this reason. You do not need expensive health supplements to energize all you need is to include a portion of coconut oil to your everyday diet.
Also check: 10 Practical Hair Uses of Coconut Oil
14. Fights Diseases
Coconut oil being rich in oxidant properties, help to fight against damage to cells, tissues and organs. They have powerful anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, which prevents and fights diseases.
15. Dental Care
Calcium is necessary for strengthening gums and teeth. Coconut oil helps better absorption of calcium levels to promote healthy teeth. Coconut oil can stop and prevent tooth decay.
The saturated fatty acids are capable of fighting cancer cells. It is also proven to reduce the effects of HIV with its anti-viral properties.
They key to use all these amazing properties of coconut oil is to use an unadulterated product.