Coconut Oil has been used for centuries in tropical regions like India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka or Thailand, Polynesia. More particularly, population with healthy lifestyle like Polynesian Indians have been inspiring the Western countries. Coconuts, and especially Coconut Oil, play a big role in their daily food consumption, and those people show in general a very good health and fitness condition.
So let’s see what this is all about.
1. Coconut Oil: good fats that push the bad fats of the body away
Coconut Oil is mainly composed of 85-90% of Saturated Fats. We know today that saturated fats are crucial for our health, as long as they come from a good clean source (see my blog about Fats).
Usually, Saturated Fats are composed by Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFAs). But it is different for Coconut Oil: it’s is composed of Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs). Those MCFAs are much easier to digest, break down and absorb, which makes them an immediate usable form of Energy for the body. They boost your energy and endurance, speeding up your metabolism. This in turn can explain why some people lose some weight when they start eating Coconut Oil on a regular basis.
Medium Chain Triglycerides have also shown to have many therapeutic benefits for brain disorders, epilepsy, and they may prevent Alzheimer disease.
2. Coconut Oil: a powerful Immune booster
Coconut Oil is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal.
Many microorganisms get destroyed by Coconut Oil because of the Lauric Acid it contains.
Lauric Acid, when metabolised, turns into monolaurin. Both together are potent germ, bacteria, viruses, fungus killing agents. With some other MCFAs, they help fight Candida overgrowth (this is especially due to caprin acid, another MCFA), athlete’s foot, ringworms, infections that weaken your body when it is overstressed or run down.
3. Coconut Oil: especially good for pregnant or nursing women, and for infants
Lauric Acid is also the fatty acid that you find in breast milk. This is what helps protect the baby from unwanted infections too. When pregnant or nursing women increase their Coconut Oil intake, they boost the immune agents of the womb and the milk they produce. Often times, it also helps them breastfeed more easily.
Coconut oil can also be very beneficial for babies or infants, even more so if they were born by C-section. Their immune system is often weaker as they didn’t receive all beneficial protective bacteria of their mother’s vagina. Coconut Oil is very easy for them to digest and absorb, and provides them with many vitamins, antioxidants, and immune booster fats that will help them grow and develop properly. When used topically, it can help relieve skin rashes and itching.
4. Coconut Oil: an aid for weight loss
Coconut Oil reduces appetite. The body creates ketone bodies when it breaks down fat for energy, providing an immediate usable alternative energy source for the brain. When eating coconut oil, you produce a lot of these ketones, helping managing your hunger better.
Also, a study showed that scientists determined that Long Term substitution of Medium Chain foods for Long Chain would induce weight loss if energy intake remained constant.
Coconut oil also helps balancing your blood sugar levels, therefore diminishing cravings in between meals.
5. Coconut Oil: other main health benefits
Let’s see what other health benefits we can expect from Coconut Oil:
- Better digestion and absorption of other nutrients: vitamins, minerals, amino acids
- Improved bowel function
- Decreased inflammation
- Improved cholesterol ratio
- Rich in antioxidants
- Helps relieve symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Prevents obesity and overweight problems
- Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose
- Helps balancing hormones in general
- Prevents tooth decay through coconut oil pulling
- When used topically, protects skin from infections, wards
- prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, age spots
And Coconut Oil is completely non-toxic for humans, it has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
6. Other uses for Coconut Oil
- Apply on your skin as a potent moisturizer
- Apply as a great facial cleanser / make-up remover
- Great shaving lotion
- Efficient sunblock cream
- Keep some in your mouth, maybe add some Peppermint Essential Oil or Tea Tree Oil for taste, and swish it around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. This will help for gum diseases, plaque build up, tooth decay and whitening, and also it will help freshen breath and kill bad bacteria
- Natural deodorant (see recipe here)
- Insect repellent: add essential oils like peppermint, lemon, rosemary, tea tree or even vanilla to it
- Use as a hair mask or hair oil to nourish and repair damaged hair
- Add as a coffee creamer to enhance coffee effect and nutritional value
- The best oil to use when cooking at high temperatures
- When used consistently on skin, can help reduce cellulite
- Mix with sea salt to remove dry skin on feet
- Can be used as ingredient in homemade soap for laundry
- Helps for itchy/sensitive skin for babies as well
And the list could go on and on, but at least you get it.
I have one big jar of Coconut Oil in my bathroom, and another one in my kitchen. Always. Whether I eat it raw, put it on my skin or cook it in my food, it doesn’t matter. I know it’s always going to be a good choice.
Of course, it has to be Organic, unrefined if possible, raw, extra-virgin, fair-trade. Many brands now see the increase of consumption of Coconut Oil and start producing very bad quality oils that won’t be as beneficial at all. Therefore, be conscious with the one you are choosing for you and your family.
Hope you enjoyed this article,
In Health and Happiness,