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Coconut oil is one of the most popular ‘superfoods’ these days. This is not surprising at all, given its specific combination of fats which have a beneficial impact on health, including fat loss and improved brain function.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
1. Coconut Oil Contains a Unique Combination of Fatty Acids With Powerful Medicinal Properties
- Coconut oil has been scrutinized and demonized earlier as it contains saturated fat. As a matter of fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat, with about 90 percent of the fats in it being saturated.
- Recent data shows that saturated fats are not harmful as they were believed to be earlier. Multiple studies that involve hundreds of participants prove that the idea of coconut oil being artery-clogging oil is nothing but a myth.
- It is worth noting that the saturated fats in coconut oil are not the same as those in cheese or steak. On the other hand, coconut oil contains MCTs, fatty acids of a medium length. The majority of fats in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fats in coconut oil are metabolized in a different way.
- They go directly to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are either utilized as source energy or converted into ketone bodies, which have therapeutic effects on Alzheimer`s and epilepsy.
2. Populations That Eat a LOT of Coconut Are Among The Healthiest People on The Planet
- Coconut is an exotic food in the Western world and is mostly consumed by health conscious individuals. But, in some regions, coconut is a staple that people have been fed on for many generations. Tokelauans which live in the South Pacific are a good example of such a population. Up to 60 percent of their calories come from coconuts, and these people are in great health, with no evidence of heart disease whatsoever.
3. Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Energy Expenditure, Helping You Burn More Fat
- At this point, obesity is one of the major health problems worldwide. Although most people believe that obesity is a matter of calories, it turns out that the sources of the calorie intake are the key. Different foods impact our bodies and hormones differently. MCTs in coconut oil can boost energy expenditure as opposed to the same amount of calories that come from longer chain fats. According to one study, 15-30 grams of MTCs daily increased the 24-hour energy expenditure by 5 percent.
4. The Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses, and Fungi, Helping to Stave Off Infections
- Lauric acid makes up to 50 percent of the fatty acids present in coconut oil. When digested, coconut oil forms monolaurin, a monoglyceride. Both lauric acid and monolaurin have the ability to kill of detrimental pathogens, such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses. For instance, they have been shown to kill of Staphylococcus Aureus and Candida Albicans.
5. Coconut Oil Can Kill Your Hunger, Making You Eat Less Without Even Trying
- Coconut oil has the ability to reduce hunger, and this ability is associated with the way in which fatty acids are metabolized. In one study 6 participants were given medium and long-chain triglycerides in varying amounts. Those eating the most medium chain triglycerides ate 256 fewer calories daily. Another study involving 14 participants found that those who ate the most MCTs for breakfast ate fewer calories for lunch.
6. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Are Turned into Ketones, Which Can Reduce Seizures
- The best-known application of the ketogenic diet is treating epilepsy in children. This diet is based on low carbohydrate intake and high fat intake, which leads to elevated concentrations of ketone bodies in the bloodstream. This diet has been also shown to reduce the rate of seizures in children with epilepsy, even those who didn’t notice any improvement in various drugs. Given that MCTs in coconut oil are sent to the liver and converted into ketone bodies, they are frequently used to treat epilepsy to induce ketosis.
7. Coconut Oil Can Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels and May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
- As already discussed, coconut oil is packed with saturated fats which don’t affect the blood lipid profile. They actually increase good cholesterol and alter the bad one, turning it into a benign subtype. A study on 40 women has shown that coconut oil reduced total and bad cholesterol while increasing the good one as opposed to soybean oil.
8. Coconut Oil Can Protect Hair Against Damage, Moisturize Skin and Function as Sunscreen
- Interestingly, you can reap coconut oil`s benefits without ingesting it! Manu people are using to improve the health of their hair and skin. It has been scientifically shown that those with dry skin can benefit from topical application of coconut oil, as it improves the moisture and lipid content of their skin.
- It also protects against hair damage and works as the natural sunscreen, inhibiting about 20 percent the sun`s ultraviolet rays. Ultimately, many people use it as a mouthwash in order to kill of detrimental bacteria and reduce bad breath.
9. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Can Boost Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients
- Alzheimer`s is one of the most common causes of dementia, affecting elderly people in most cases. Alzheimer`s patients have a reduced ability to utilize glucose for energy in specific parts of the brain. Ketone bodies have been shown to supply energy for the brain, working as the alternative energy source for abnormal cells. According to a 2006 study, consumption of MCTs led to improvement in brain function in Alzheimer`s patients.
10. Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat, Especially The Dangerous Fat in Your Abdominal Cavity
- Due to its ability to reduce appetite and stimulate fat burning, it`s no wonder that coconut oil can promote weight loss, too. It is particularly effective in reducing abdominal fat, which affects the abdominal cavity and surrounding organs. This type of fat is the most dangerous and is linked to most Western diseases.
- Waist circumference is a solid marker for the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity. According to a study involving 40 women with abdominal fat, supplementing with 1 oz of coconut oil daily led to the notable reduction in waist circumference in the period of twelve weeks. Another study has also shown that an ounce of coconut oil daily led to the notable reduction in waist circumference in 20 obese individuals.