Coconut oil has a wide variety of advantages. It doesn’t just stop at health; it transcends to beauty as well. The benefits of coconut oil cannot be over-emphasized. It is the safest oil to use for cooking because of its numerous benefits, many of which this article will highlight.
Coconut oil is best consumed when it is without chemicals and is unprocessed so as to ingest as much nutrients as is contained in it. The saturated fats in the oil are very healthy for the body but they become unhealthy when the oil is processed or bleached. For best results, get extra virgin coconut oil. See how to make extra virgin coconut oil at home here.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These fats comprise of:
- Caprylic acid
- Lauric acid
- Capric acid
MCFAs are different from long-chain fatty acids because
- They digest easier
- They are processed by the liver and hence, are converted to energy and not stored as fat
- They are smaller in size, permitting simpler cell penetration for immediate energy
- They are antimicrobial and antifungal
About 91 percent of the fats in coconut oil is healthy saturated fat.
The health benefits of coconut oil are many:
Natural treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
The normal brain creates its own insulin to process glucose and power brain cells. However, the ability of the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient to create insulin diminishes. Coconut oil helps solve this problem.
The liver converts the MCFAs contained in coconut oil are converted to ketones which supply energy to the brain without needing insulin to convert glucose to energy. In other words, the ketones from coconut oil provide an alternative source of energy to fix brain function.
The ketones gotten from coconut oil are often used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis, reducing the rate of seizures, especially in children. This is best done by using coconut oil in ketogenic diets.
It was earlier stated that coconut oil contains Lauric acid. About 50 percent of the oil is made up of the acid. When Lauric acid is digested, it forms a substance known as monolaurin. Both of them kill dangerous pathogens such as bacteria, fungi and viruses.
Examples are seen in using coconut oil to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus and the yeast Candida Albicans, a popular source of yeast infections in humans.
Lowers Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
Coconut oil is rich in saturated fats. These fats increase the healthy HDL cholesterol and converts the LDL bad cholesterol into good cholesterol.
By doing this, it helps to reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease.
Coconut oil also helps the heart by lowering high triglycerides.
Protects the liver and treats kidney infection
The MCFAs in coconut oil serve as an antibiotic by killing bacteria, rupturing the lipid coating. According to research, coconut oil directly protects the liver from damage.
Diminishes Arthritis and Inflammation
A study in India showed that the high levels of antioxidants in unprocessed coconut oil lowered inflammation and cured arthritis better than prominent medications.
Preventing and Treating Cancer
Coconut oil fights cancer in two ways:
Tumors are glucose-dependent and cannot access the energy from the ketones produced when ingesting coconut oil.
The ketones digest the lipid walls of bacteria.
Boosting Immune system
The lauric acid in coconut oil kills bacteria and creates a hostile environment for viruses. This action prevents diseases and thus, boosts the immune system.
Other benefits of coconut oil include;
- Produces a longer sustained energy and increases your metabolism.
- Aids digestion and prevent stomach ulcers.
- Cures most skin diseases when used as a face cleanser, moisturizer and sun screen.
- Swishing coconut oil in your mouth can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
- Improves type II diabetes.
- Coconut oil helps burn fat and calories, curbs appetite, thereby instigating weight loss.
- It is great for building muscle.
- Assists dry and light hair.
- Helps to naturally balance hormones