Coconut oil is called as ‘the healthiest oil on earth’ and there are facts to prove this. In fact, Ayurvedic medicine had recognized coconut oil to be beneficial as much as 4000 years ago and has incorporated it for its medicinal values. After extensive research, it has been scientifically proven that coconut oil brings about several benefits such as skin care, weight loss, maintaining proper cholesterol levels, hair care, maintaining digestion and metabolism, increasing immunity, etc.
People hesitate to use coconut oil due to their fear that it is an artery clogging fat oil. An anti-tropical and anti-saturated fat oil campaign particularly in the 1980s is responsible for this notion. Fats are divided into three categories depending on their molecular chain length as short chain, medium chain and long chain fatty acids. Health benefits are observed from short chain and medium chain fatty acids. Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides.
Coconut oil also contains capric acid, caprylic acid and lauric acid. Lauric acid in particular is extremely beneficial and is found in mother’s milk. It destroys harmful viruses and bacteria, thus improving immunity. Lauric acid is a component critical to the building of a baby’s immune system. Added to this, coconut oil has several antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. This explains how coconut oil improves the immune system of a human being. Coconut oil is also reported to be beneficial for internal organs such as the kidneys and the heart. The most benefited organ is undoubtedly the liver. Medium chain fatty acids assist in maintaining liver health and minimizing free radical formation.
Coconut oil contains an abundance of minerals, vitamins, fiber and other nutrients. Over ninety percent of the oil is made of saturated fats. The best part is that these fats are naturally occurring fats. Artificially created fats are produced through the process of hydrogenation and this is harmful for the human body. As a matter of fact, there was a study conducted to see the effect of the saturated fats in coconuts on the human body. In this study, it was found that people inhabiting the South Pacific Islands follow a diet containing a high amount of coconut and they do not suffer from any clogged arteries. In fact, their cardiovascular systems were found to be in excellent condition.
There are many profound benefits of adding coconut oil to one’s diet.
Coconut oil stimulates the metabolism of a person and causes better functioning of the thyroid. It also removes stress that would affect the pancreas.
Since this oil contains medium range fatty acids and some short range fatty acids as well, it can help in keeping off additional weight. In a study, it was reported that including coconut oil in a person’s regular diet leads to losing belly fat.
The lauric acid concentration in coconut oil is as high as fifty percent. This prevents high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Coconut oil does not lead to an increase in the LDL levels.
Incidence of injuries to the arteries is also reduced and as a result, atherosclerosis is prevented.
The saturated fats found in coconut oil prevent the growth of parasites and fungi responsible for indigestion and other complicated problems such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Studies have shown that coconut oil is best for cooking. On heating, oils such as soy oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, canola oil and safflower oil produce trans-fats and toxins. Coconut oil is found to be stable in the high temperatures produced during cooking.
Coconut oil has several advantages even when applied on the skin.
When applied on a dry scalp, it prevents the growth of dandruff. In countries such as India, it is used as a conditioner and massaged on the head. Coconut oil, when massaged on the face and body, delay skin sagging and wrinkle formation.
Problems such as eczema, dry flaky skin, dermatitis and psoriasis can be cured by regular application of coconut oil.
Coconut oil is often the main ingredient of several soaps, shampoos, lotions and creams.
In fact, coconut oil can be applied on cuts and other wounds. In such situations, coconut oil forms a shield and prevents the entry of viruses, bacteria and dust on the wounded area. This is a very critical function and aids in repairing the damaged tissues.
Among other oils coconut oil is considered to be light, sweet and nourishing as well as soothing and calming for the skin and nerves.
Coconut is slimy and heavy by nature. The taste and the after taste are sweet. As per Ayurvedic view, it assists in balancing body systems distortion caused by aggravation of the Vata and Pitta doshas. Thus coconut is regarded to be extremely useful in curing related ailments.
Ideal for Weight Loss
Coconut oil promotes metabolism. Coconut oil contains medium and short range fatty acids that can be easily digested. It is highly beneficial for women to lose waist circumference and abdomen fat. The coconut fats can be digested easily and also converted into energy.
Nutritional Diet Supplement
Coconut oil improves the ability of the body to utilize efficiently the blood sugar. This reduces having blood sugar. In fact, coconut oil has many antioxidants and so resists oxidation. This makes this oil completely saturated, which means it does not oxidize fats into toxins and can tolerate high heat while cooking.
Boon for Hair
Coconut oil is ideal as hair care and can cure hair maladies such as dandruff, hair fall and damaged hair. It has naturally calming and cooling properties and so is highly beneficial for hair conditioning, hair growth and toning. It also repairs dry and damaged hair, so that it combats dandruff and helps in hair growth.
Coconut oil when applied on wounds prevents entry of virus, bacteria and dust. It speeds up the healing process. It has the property to decrease inflammation, heal wounds and burns of the skin, besides repairing the damaged tissue and cooling by nature.