What makes coconut oil healthy?
Coconut oil is all fat — much of it saturated fat. The best health benefits for coconut oil include benefits for heart health, weight, dementia, stress, and skin.
For thousands of years, coconut oil has been a popular household item. It is not just popular in tropical islands and the Caribbean, but also in Asia, Canada, and Europe. A survey found that in the U.S., 72% of Americans consider coconut oil healthy, and it is popular in diets like the Paleo diet and Ketogenic diet. It is, indeed, high in natural saturated fats which benefit both beauty and health.
Below, we discuss the reasons why coconut is such a worldwide popular aid.
Coconut oil is all fat — much of it saturated fat. It mostly contains the fatty acid lauric acid, which studies show is heart-healthy. It contains no fiber, no cholesterol, and minimal amounts of plant sterols, minerals, and vitamins. Epidemiological studies show that populations who use coconut as part of their traditional diet have lower rates of cardiovascular disease. Example groups are those from Polynesia, India, and the Philippines.
How does coconut oil benefit the body?
Increases good cholesterol: Harvard Health Publishing circulated a report that stated coconut oil helps to increase good cholesterol, known as HDL, which improves heart health.
Healthy cooking oil: A healthier coconut oil can be substituted for several unhealthy recipe ingredients. The following are common conversions:
- 1 egg can be replaced with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 cup of shortening can be replaced by ¾ cup coconut oil
- 1/2 stick of butter can be replaced by ½ cup coconut oil
Though coconut is a healthy alternative, you must make sure you are buying virgin coconut oil. Processed coconut oil loses its natural, health benefits for the human body.
Weight loss promotion: An article in the journal LIPIDS suggested that coconut oil is good for weight loss and decreasing abdominal obesity. Studies also suggest coconut oil increases metabolism by removing stress on the pancreas, in turn burning energy to help overweight people lose pounds.
Antimicrobial properties: Coconut oil exhibits antibacterial and antifungal properties naturally:
Heart health improvement: Multiple studies show coconut oil as a healthy fat for the heart. 50% of coconut oil fat is medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). They are absorbed easily and can be used to produce energy in the body.
Reduction of dementia symptoms: A research study published information suggesting that coconut oil benefits Alzheimer's patients by improving cognitive abilities. MCTs found in the oil provide ketones associated with memory improvement.
Yeast infection prevention: Candidiasis is a condition caused by the abnormal growth of yeast in the body. A study suggests that coconut oil reduced inflammation caused by yeast internally and externally, relieving symptoms.
Improved liver and kidney health: MCT presence and fatty acids in coconut oil can help to prevent diseases of the liver, kidney, and gallbladder.
Stress relief: Aromatherapy procedures that use pure coconut oil are very soothing and help the body to release stress. Apply the oil to the head, gently massage, and watch the mental fatigue go away.
What are some beauty benefits of coconut oil?
Skin moisturizer: By application of small amounts and gently massaging into the skin, coconut oil is an effective moisturizer. Research has shown that coconut oil is safe and very effective. Pure organic, non-GMO, cold-pressed oil is good for all types of skin, especially dry.
Smile big: A practice known as oil pulling is effective for various dental problems like plaque and bad breath. This technique works by putting two teaspoons of coconut oil in your mouth and swishing for 20 minutes. It in turn sucks toxins out of your mouth and can help to reverse tooth decay, kill bad breath bacteria, and help with bleeding gums.
Healthy hair: For frizzy, dry hair, a small amount of coconut oil can be applied to the shaft and allowed to set from a few minutes to overnight, and then washed out. Coconut oil can help to strengthen damaged hair with extra moisture. This helps to prevent lice, dandruff, fungus, and more. It can add shine and volume as well.
Smooth lips: Coconut oil can be used as a lip balm for smooth, soft lips.
Are other forms of coconut beneficial?
Coconut milk comes from coconut flesh. It has two different forms:
- A thick form sometimes referred to as a cream is used in sauces and desserts.
- Fluid form with more water is used as a milk substitute.
The fluid form has fewer calories than whole milk. However, the cream form has calories so portion sizes should be monitored.
Coconut flour is good dietary fiber. This means it is able to help reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol or heart disease. As compared to wheat and cornflower, it is lower in carbohydrates, benefitting those with diabetes because of its impact on blood glucose levels. It is also gluten-free, which helps those with celiac disease. It is a good source of protein that aids in cell repair and keeps you fuller longer.
Coconut water is popular for being a hangover remedy. It is naturally full of electrolytes and can help with nausea and vomiting. It is clear and comes from new green coconuts. Those coconuts are mostly water and have no flesh, so fat content and the calorie count are low.
The popularity of coconut oil in recent years is due to the many benefits to your health and beauty regimen. Celebrity endorsements and claims of weight loss, skin beautifying, and immune health will keep coconut oil in the headlines as an all-around beneficial body tool.