Coconut oil has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Besides being delicious, coconut oil is also highly nutritious oil with a wide range of health benefits. As a result of this, it has become a staple food in the U.S.
The oil is packed with medium-chain fatty acids or healthy fats such as caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid. Since coconut oil possesses 91% healthy saturated fats, it is considered to be among the healthiest oils ever in existence.
Namely, its unique combination of fatty acids can help treat many neurological disorders. The regular consumption of the oil can also enhance digestion, strengthen the immune system, stimulate weight loss, and more.
The topical application of coconut oil can also help treat almost all skin conditions.
Top 10 Therapeutic Effects of Extra Virgin, Raw Coconut Oil:
The Oil Possesses a Unique Combination of Fatty Acids that Have Incredible Medicinal Properties
The oil is actually among the richest sources of saturated fats. It contains about 90% of saturated fatty acids.
Recent studies have found that saturated fats do not negatively affect human health. Several meta-analyses have proven that the consumption of coconut oil does not clog the arteries.
The oil possesses Medium Chain Triglycerides, i.e., fatty acids of a medium length, which are metabolized differently.
These fatty acids go directly to your liver from your digestive tract. Your liver converts them into a quick energy source or ketone bodies. The ketone bodies have beneficial impact on brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, etc.
It Elevates Energy Expenditure and Increases Your Body’s Ability to Burn More Fat
It is a well-known fact that obesity is among the most commonly experienced health issues worldwide.
Some people believe that obesity is triggered by high intake of calories, whereas others think that the source of the calories is also important.
Different foods have a different impact on your hormones and body.
Additionally, the medium-chain triglycerides present in the oil can elevate energy expenditure in comparison to the same calorie content from longer chain fats.
According to a study, the daily intake of 15-30g of these medium-chain triglycerides elevated 24-hour energy expenditure by a whopping 5%, which means that it may stimulate weight loss.
The Daily Consumption of Coconuts Promotes Longevity
Many health conscious people in the Western world consume coconuts on a regular basis.
But, coconut is a dietary staple that has been consumed daily in some parts of the world.
For instance, Tokelauans, who live in the South Pacific, consume this super-food every single day.
In addition, they actually get more than 60% of their calories from coconuts. These people are considered to be the greatest consumers of saturated fats.
Tokelauans are healthy people without any evidence of cardiovascular or heart disease.
The Consumption of the Oil Reduces Your Hunger and Makes You Eat Less
As mentioned previously, coconut oil is a remarkable source of fatty acids, which are metabolized differently, thus creating ketone bodies that decrease the feeling of hunger.
It is also associated with the properties of coconut oil to help you lose weight as well as keep you stay fit.
A study involved 6 healthy men who received different amounts of long and medium chain triglycerides. Those who consumed the highest amount of medium chain triglycerides took 256 fewer calories daily.
That’s not all, another study involved 14 healthy men. The participants who consumed the highest amount of medium chain triglycerides at breakfast took dramatically fewer calories at lunch.
In fact, both studies were small and conducted for a short period of time. But, in case this beneficial effect of coconut oil persists for longer, it may have a significant impact on body weight within a few years.
It Can Help You Lose Fat, Particularly the Dangerous Abdominal Fat
Since coconut oil has an ability to lower your appetite and promote fat burning, it can also help in the weight loss process.
Coconut oil can also lower abdominal fat that lodges in the abdominal cavity and the surrounding organs.
It is actually the most dangerous type of fat that is linked to various health problems.
A study involved 40 women who received either 30g or 2 tbsp. of soybean oil or coconut oil within a period of 28 days.
The coconut oil group experienced a reduction in belly fat or waist circumference, whereas the soybean oil group experienced a mild increase in abdominal fat.
The Oil Contains Lauric Acid that Can Destroy Fungi, Viruses, and Bacteria
About 50% of the fatty acids present in the oil are Lauric Acid.
In addition, the oil also creates a monoglyceride known as monolaurin when enzymatically digested.
Monolaurin and lauric acid have an ability to destroy harmful micro-organisms such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria, thus fighting fungal, viral, and bacterial infections.
That’s not all, they have also been found to destroy the dangerous bacteria called Staphylococcus Aureus, and the yeast known as Candida Albicans, which is a common yeast infection.
It Can Reduce LDL (Bad) Cholesterol Levels and May Decrease Your Likelihood of Heart Disease
The saturated fats found in the oil do not negatively affect the blood lipid levels like previously thought.
But, these saturated fats increase HDL (good) cholesterol as well as change bad cholesterol to a benign subtype.
Moreover, according to a study, 40 women who ate coconut oil had a significant reduction in LDL and total cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol in comparison to those who ate soybean oil.
Furthermore, another study on rats showed that those rats that received coconut oil had a great decrease in triglycerides, LDL and total cholesterol, and an increase in HDL cholesterol. They also had an improvement in antioxidant status and blood coagulation factors.
So, it may result in a lower risk of developing heart disease.
Coconut Oil Can Decrease Seizures
Scientists have been studying the health benefits of a ketogenic diet, which includes a small amount of carbs, whereas a high amount of healthy fat.
So, it can significantly elevate the ketone body concentrations in the blood.
This type of diet may help in the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in children.
It can greatly lower the rate of seizures in epileptic children. The diet offers beneficial effects even in those epileptic patients who found multiple different types of drugs ineffective.
It Can Improve Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Sufferers
Alzheimer’s disease is a common form of dementia that affects millions of people in the United States.
Certain parts of the brain of Alzheimer’s sufferers have a lower ability to utilize glucose for energy.
On the other hand, a ketogenic diet that involves high amounts of beneficial fat and very low amounts of carbs, offers positive effects in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Namely, ketone bodies can provide the brain with energy, thus providing an alternative source of energy for the malfunctioning cells and lowering the Alzheimer’s symptoms.
According to a 2006 study, Alzheimer’s patients suffering from milder forms of the disease took medium chain triglycerides and experienced an instant improvement in their brain function.
Many other studies have confirmed these findings and coconut oil is being currently studied as a potential natural remedy for Alzheimer’s.
The Oil Can Act as Natural Sunscreen, Moisturize Skin, and Prevent Hair Damage
Many store-bought skin care products possess large amounts of harmful chemicals that can lead to skin irritation, redness, allergies, etc. Specifically, these commercial skin care products may cause more harm than good.
However, coconut oil can also be used for cosmetic purposes thanks to its powerful anti-microbial properties, lauric acid, and medium-chain fatty acids. All these ingredients and properties can improve the health and appearance of your skin. Also, they can condition your scalp, strengthen and re-grow your hair.
The oil can also reduce protein loss and if used for a long period of time, it may also help in reversing gray hair due to its antioxidant properties.
Several studies that included people with dry skin confirmed that the oil can enhance the lipid content and moisture of the skin.
The topical application of the oil can also prevent hair damage and act as excellent all-natural sunscreen, because it blocks around 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Plus, it can be used as mouthwash to destroy harmful mount bacteria, eliminate bad breath, and enhance oral health. The process of using coconut oil as mouthwash is known as oil pulling.