Is coconut oil the super food of the 21st century?
I was being skeptical each time I added a spoonful of coconut oil to my everyday meal because of the controversial facts everywhere regarding the health benefits of coconut oil. Some were strongly supporting the fact that coconut oil is the next super food while others were turning it down because of its high saturated fat content. Over 1500 Pubmed (1) articles have been published to answer this huge dilemma and the benefits have proven to outperform the tiny fraction of cons.
Here are the Top 7 reasons why you should add a jar of coconut oil to your kitchen/bathroom cupboard
1. Is it heart friendly?
The American Heart Association recommends restricting the saturated fat content in your daily diet close to 13 grams per day which is roughly equal to the amount found in about one tablespoon of coconut oil.
Coconut oil constitutes more than 90% of saturated fat from its total fat content and most of those are medium chain fatty acids. Although MCTs in coconut oil can increase your total cholesterol levels, most of it will contribute for the rise of HDL or “Healthy” cholesterol levels and decrease the LDL levels by converting them to good cholesterol which is good news for your cardiovascular system (2).
Furthermore, total cholesterol level is not a precise indicator of stroke or coronary illness (3). So, there’s nothing to fear about saturated fat, as long as you get it from solid sources like coconut oil, which naturally defeats the unhealthy sources. Inflammation is the cause for onset of most of these diseases and coconut oil is highly anti-inflammatory, making it heart friendly (4).
Based on these facts, as Coconut oil lovers we can come to a conclusion that coconut oil is healthier for your heart than animal based products that contain high levels of trans fat (unhealthy fat).
Coconut oil is heart friendly!
2. Helps to lose belly fat
Tired of following strict diets to lose your belly fat? Coconut oil has always been there to help you!
Medium chain fatty acids when compared with other fatty acids can be quickly metabolized by the body cells. So, you’re more likely to burn them instead of storing in the body. Researchers have found that
coconut oil has the ability to increase the thyroid function which in turn increases the body’s metabolic rate and assists your body in burning fat (5). This is the reason why most people living in tropical countries do not develop belly fat though they consume high levels of coconut oil in their daily diet.
However coconut oil is not a freebie food that can be consumed as you wish. So think wisely and eat healthy!
3. A natural antibiotic
Did you know that people in tropics received a natural protection against bacteria from coconut oil, even during the times when antibiotics were not found?
This was all because of its high content of MCT, Lauric acid. When digested, Lauric acid forms monolauric acid, both which in turn account for the antibacterial properties of coconut oil (6, 7).
So, you can use coconut oil as an ointment on the infected areas of your body after a shower to reduce the itchiness or add a spoonful of coconut oil to your daily diet to improve protection against stomach ulcers caused by pathogenic bacteria. It’s also kills oral bacteria and just by swishing oil in your mouth at least three times a week can help you to reduce the risk of periodontal diseases.
4. Prevents Osteoporosis
Are you suffering from post-menopausal osteoporosis? Adding a few spoonful of coconut oil to your daily meals will help you reverse the effect.
Free radicals and oxidative stress are the main risk factors for osteoporosis. Since coconut oils are rich in polyphenols which exert anti-oxidative properties, it is being recognized as a promising natural treatment for osteoporosis (8). Also, coconut oil can increase the absorption of calcium in the gut, which in turn increases the bone density and structure.
5. Prevent Alzheimer’s
Coconut oil is a brain food!
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease which occurs in the old age in which brain cells fail to metabolize glucose. It is the primary source of energy for brain and Alzheimer patients solely depend on ketones as the alternative energy source. Ketones are a byproduct of fat metabolism. So, the ketones produced when digesting fats in coconut oil will provide an alternative source of energy for such patients reducing their Alzheimer symptoms (9, 10). Also, coconut oil has proven its potential in reducing the rate of seizures in epileptic children, even for ones who haven’t had success with different types of drugs (11).
Gift a jar of coconut oil to your grandparents to keep them away from Alzheimer’s!
6. Great for your skin
Coconut oil is an amazing moisturizer, a cleanser, a sun screen and most importantly a natural anti-ager due to its high anti-oxidant content. Caprylic and lauric acids in coconut oil have the ability to reduce inflammation from both internally and externally and moisturize the skin, making coconut oil the best choice for any sort of skin condition such as burns, eczema, dandruff, dermatitis and psoriasis (12).
Take one tablespoon of coconut oil with berries for breakfast or apply it directly to smooth your skin and naturally reduce the speed of your growing wrinkles!
7. Great for your hair
Avoid using harmful chemical products for your hair and switch to this super natural hair booster! Coconut oil is the secret of the long, fast growing, shiny and thick hair of the ancient women in tropical countries.
Unlike other oils, coconut oil can be easily absorbed into the hair shaft because of its long straight structure given by the MCT, lauric acid. Nowadays it is used as a component in many hair care products to moisturize and condition, to detangle, to stimulate faster growth, remove dandruff and many other purposes (13).
What other coconut oil health benefits have I forgotten? Share your favorites in the comments below! Meanwhile, don’t forget to add a jar of coconut oil to your shopping list to experience these amazing health benefits for yourself.
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