Coconut is popularly known as one of Mother Nature’s sweetest tropical fruits. Scientists are not sure where coconuts came from, and when, but their best theory is that they are a variety of prehistoric plants that originated in the South Pacific, most likely in New Guinea. When you open a coconut, the meat inside it is considered by nutritionists to be rich in protein. The milk inside the coconut, on the other hand, is light and refreshing and has a low sugar level. Coconut also has a lot of uses, and they are even used as an insect repellent by natives.
But the most useful ingredient that you can find inside a coconut is the coconut oil, which is considered to be one of the best raw superfoods. According to food advocates, it can contribute to higher energy levels and a stronger metabolism. This is the reason why a lot of people turn to coconut oil to make their wellness habits better.
If you are wondering about the health benefits that you can get from coconut oil, and you want to know more about them, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are going to give you the different health benefits that this versatile raw superfood has.
What Is Coconut Oil
Before we give you the list of health benefits of coconut oil, let us know first what it is exactly. Coconut oil is a body-friendly food that has a lot of benefits. It comes from coconut kernels and is tasteless and colorless. When you go to stores, you will be able to find it in refined and unrefined versions.
Coconut oil is considered as a superfood. It is rich in fatty acids and proteins that hold antioxidants and provide lots of health benefits. It is also filled with medium-chain fatty acids that are comprised of caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid. About 60% of all coconut oils are comprised of these three fatty acids, while 90% of coconut oil fats are comprised of heart-healthy saturated fats.
Since coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids, among other advantages, they are easily digestible and are more effectively and quickly converted to energy and not fat inside the body.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Here are some of the best health benefits that you can get from coconut oil.
Coconut Oil Contains Healthy Fatty Acids
Coconut oil, as mentioned above, is high in certain saturated fats. These fats can have different effects on the body. It can encourage your body to burn fat, and they also provide quick energy to the body and brain. Aside from that, these fatty acids can also raise good cholesterol or HDL in your blood, helping you reduce heart disease risk.
Since these fatty acids go straight to the liver, and the body uses them as a quick source of energy or turn them into ketones. These ketones can have powerful benefits for the brain. In fact, researchers are studying them as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.
Coconut Oil May Help Boost Heart Health
Coconut is uncommon in the Western world, where many health-conscious people are the main consumers. But in other parts of the world, coconut, which is filled with coconut oil, is one of the dietary staples that people used for generations.
Based on a study made in 1981 in the population of Tokelau where there are lots of coconuts, more than 60% of their calories came from coconuts. And according to the researchers, they not only have good overall health, but there are also very low rates of heart disease in that place. The same goes for the Kitavan people in Papua New Guinea, who also eat lots of coconuts, as they have little stroke or heart disease cases.
Coconut Oil May Help in Burning Fat
One of the biggest health issues affecting the world today, especially in Western countries, is obesity. Some people might think that obesity is just a matter of how many calories someone eats. But keep in mind that the source of those calories is also important. It’s because different foods affect the body and hormones in a variety of ways.
The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil can help in increasing the calories in your body burns compared to longer-chain fatty acids. However, keep in mind that coconut oil is high in calories. This means that if you take in too much of it, it can also lead to weight gain.
Coconut Oil Can Help with Digestion
Another benefit that you can get from coconut oil is that it can help with digesting food. It’s because it has fat-soluble components like vitamins and magnesium. Aside from that, it also eliminates toxic bacteria and candida, which fights stomach inflammation and poor digestion. This means that coconut oil can also help in preventing stomach ulcers.
Coconut Oil Can Be an Anti-Aging Component
Since coconut oil is rich in antioxidants, it can also help in slowing down the aging process. This happens by curbing any undue stress on the liver.
Coconut Oil May Have Antimicrobial Effects
The fatty acids in coconut oil are made up of 50% lauric acid. When lauric acid is digested by the body, it forms a substance that is called monolaurin, which can kill harmful pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. There’s also evidence that using coconut oil as a mouthwash is good for oral hygiene. This is known as oil pulling.
Different Ways to Take Coconut Oil
According to health advocates, limiting your daily intake of coconut oil to two tablespoons or 30ml should leave enough room in your diet for additional fat nutrients, such as fruits, nuts, and olive oil. If it’s your first time to take coconut oil, then you can start with only one tablespoon, then gradually work your way up to two tablespoons per day. Keep in mind that ingesting too much coconut oil can lead to nausea.
Aside from taking raw coconut oil, you can also include them in different foods in many ways. Some of them are by stir-frying veggies and meats using coconut oil, and as well as baking or adding some to your coffee and tea. There are also coconut oil supplements that you can purchase, and some of them are in capsule form.
Also, according to health professionals, when buying coconut oil from stores, it’s better to go for virgin coconut oil and avoid refined doses.
These are some of the benefits you can get from coconut oil. It is indeed a versatile raw superfood that is highly nutritious. However, keep in mind that using or taking in coconut oil should be limited as it also has health risks when high amounts are consumed.