5 Key Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is hands down the most highly utilized superfood in my home.
Coconut oil helps maintain a healthy body weight
Coconut oil is primarily made up of MCT’s, medium chain triglycerides (fatty acids) which are the most easily absorbed and metabolized by the body. Unlike the LCT’s, long triglyceride chains found in meats, which are often stored in the liver; the MCT’s in coconut oil are immediately digested and instantly converted into energy. This creates a raise in metabolism which helps with fat loss.
The high fat content of coconut oil helps to satiate hunger sensations which helps reduce overeating and calorie intake.
Studies in both male and female subjects, showed a reduction in the amount of abdominal body fat just by adding a spoonful of coconut oil to their diet daily. This was accomplished without an increase in physical activity or a reduction in calories.
The MCT’s in coconut oil also aid in digestion which allow the body to extract more nutrients out of food to satisfy it. A body that is nourished won’t crave extra calories if its nutritional needs are met.
Coconut oil protects the body
Coconut oil is high in a substance called lauric acid, which when digested is converted into monolaurin, an effective antiviral. Monolaurin is especially effective at dissolving the lipid protective layers around microbes and viruses which then allows them to be destroyed.
Various journals studies that have demonstrated that coconut oil and it’s components have an adverse with infections such as Candida, Giardia, HIV and Measles.
Coconut oil for better oral health
Oil pulling is a process where coconut oil is swished around the mouth for 20 minutes. The coconut oil mixes with the enzymes in the mouth and kills germs, harmful bacteria and helps to reduce inflammation around the gums. Oil pulling also helps to whiten teeth and freshen breath.
Coconut oil nourishes the skin
Coconut oil works as a combination cleanser and moisturizer. It is effective for removal of make up and dry skin. It helps to seal moisture into the skin to reduce the signs of aging. The antibacterial properties of coconut oil are excellent for fighting skin infections as well as keeping wounds clear of germs.
People in tropical countries have long applied it to their skin to prevent sunburn. It is also wonderful at soothing sunburn or other minor burns.
Coconut oil in the kitchen
Coconut oil has a delicious mild flavor that can be added to almost any dish. It can be eaten raw or cooked and be used in baking as well as cooking. It is a good choice when you are trying to substitute healthy fats into a recipe.
Coconut at room temperature is soft and jelly like and oil turns into a solid at temperatures below 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) It is excellent to use for recipes that require low heat to medium high heat.
Due to it’s antibacterial qualities, it has a very long shelf life.
It is important to use organic virgin coconut oil or at the very least a variety of virgin coconut oil. Many commercial types that have been highly refined lose a lot the healthy benefits that the natural variety has. It is available at almost any supermarket or health food store. I buy mine from a national warehouse store in large quantities because I use so much of it.
Fatty Acids and Derivatives as Antimicrobial Agents Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1972 Jul; 2(1): 23–28. PMCID: PMC444260 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC444260/
Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. Lipids. 2009 Jul;44(7):593-601. Epub 2009 May 13. PMID: 19437058, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058
Equivalence of lauric acid and glycerol monolaurate as inhibitors of signal transduction in Staphylococcus aureus.
,J Bacteriol. 2000 May;182(9):2668-71. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10762277