The fact that coconut oil is a source of saturated fats worries some people. These lipids have gotten a negative reputation that’s quite unjust. Different kinds of saturated fats exist, and the ones found in coconut oil happen to be amazing for health.
Coconut oil can be used for cooking, the preparation of natural remedies and skin care products. It’s a source of numerous important nutrients that enhance the functioning of primary organs and bodily systems.
Below are some of the most talked about health benefits of coconut oil.
Top Coconut Oil Health Benefits
Yes, the consumption of certain kinds of fats can have a positive impact on heart health.
Coconut oil is an excellent source of lauric acid – a substance that plays a role in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol. An optimal good to bad cholesterol ratio is one of the essentials for reducing the risk of heart disease.
Several studies suggest that the regular intake of coconut oil maintains the blood vessels in good condition and minimizes the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Coconut oil consumption is also a good option for regulating blood pressure.
While more research will be needed to confirm the effectiveness of coconut oil, there’s some preliminary evidence suggesting it could have a protective effect against cancer development.
Some researchers believe that a ketogenic diet (that limits the number of carbs consumed) is an excellent anti-cancer form of nutrition. There’s some evidence that cancer cells need glucose in order to survive. Healthy fats like coconut oil can thus be included in a diet that reduces the risk of malignancies forming.
Researchers have also made another curious discovery. Lauric acid is capable of exterminating colon cancer cells. A clinical trial was presented in the Journal of Cancer Research and it involved in vitro treatment of colon cancer tissue with lauric acid. Within two days of the treatment, about 90 percent of the cancerous cells were destroyed.
The medical community already recognizes the importance of a healthy diet for the prevention of colon and rectal cancer. It seems that coconut oil could be a valuable addition to that healthy diet.
Maintaining Healthy Weight
Coconut oil can be used to reduce body fat. Maintaining healthy weight is an essential prerequisite for improving overall well-being in multiple ways. Being overweight has been linked to an array of medical conditions. Overweight and obese individuals are at a high risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, infertility and numerous other issues.
Research suggests that coconut oil improves insulin sensitivity in people who have type 2 diabetes. Another study showed that the consumption of coconut oil over a 12-week period contributed to higher weight loss than in the case of individuals consuming olive oil.
In comparison to other fat sources, coconut oil comes with 2.6 percent fewer calories. In addition, there is some evidence it could speed up metabolism. Coconut oil also produces a sense of satiety because it is nutrient dense. As a result, it can help people control their cravings.
Obviously, to make coconut oil work for the maintenance of optimal weight, it will have to be introduced into a healthy diet. Consuming junk food and hoping to shed the pounds through the addition of coconut oil isn’t going to do the trick.
A Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a very common form of dementia in the elderly. Evidence suggests that the condition prevents certain parts of the brain from using carbohydrates as a source of energy. As a result, the functioning of these brain regions becomes impaired.
Some preliminary research suggests that a ketogenic diet could provide the alternative source of energy that these parts of the brain require to function properly. Thus, the regular consumption of healthy fats like coconut oil could alleviate some of the Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
One study even showed that the consumption of medium chain fatty acids like the ones found in coconut oil could contribute to immediate improvements in brain function. Many additional studies are currently being carried out, and hopefully, researchers will replicate the success of the earlier experiments.
Hair and Skin Protection
Coconut oil can help improve the health and the appearance of both hair and skin. The fatty acids it contains nourish the skin and help lock moisture inside. A coconut oil treatment is also excellent for preventing split ends.
Coconut oil also acts as a mild form of sunscreen. It blocks approximately 20 percent of the ultraviolet rays, which reduces the risk of suffering from skin problems and the signs of premature skin ageing.
Coconut oil can be used as a skin and hair moisturizer on its own, or it can be added to cosmetics. The treatment is particularly beneficial for people who suffer from dry skin and the one’s who are sensitive to cosmetics that feature synthetic products.
Choosing a Good Brand of Coconut Oil
Keep in mind that the different coconut oil varieties on the market don’t all contribute to the same health benefits. Virgin, unrefined coconut oil is the best source of lauric acid as well as the other beneficial nutrients. Refined and processed forms of coconut oil aren’t healthy and should be avoided.