5 Benefits to using Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.” Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health. This includes fat loss, better brain function and various other amazing benefits.
Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated. Additionally, coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak
Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world. While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are critical too. It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie.
3. The Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi, Helping to Stave Off Infections
Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid. When coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it also forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
One interesting feature of coconut oil is that it can reduce your hunger. This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketone bodies can have an appetite reducing effect. In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men. The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer calories per day, on average. Another study in 14 healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch.
Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it. Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair. Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and lipid content of the skin. Coconut oil can also be very protective against hair damage and one study shows effectiveness as sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Another application is using it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health and reduce bad breath.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg. People are using coconut oil for all sorts of things with incredible success. Just make sure to choose organic, virgin coconut oil… NOT the refined stuff.
Feel free to add to the list in the comments!