Coconut oil is one of the few oils that provide numerous health benefits for the body. The oil itself is primarily made of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are highly stable and remain unchanged even in very high temperatures. Due to this reason, more and more people are switching to organic coconut oil for cooking.
Aside from its nutritive nature, coconut oil doesn’t alter your food’s flavor but rather preserves it. Another added benefit of using coconut oil for cooking is that our bodies digest medium chained fatty acids much easier than other oils. Outlined below are some of the nutritional profiles of coconut oils and their benefits to our bodies that you need to know about.
Nutritional benefits of Coconut Oil
According to research, 100 grams of coconut oil packs a whopping 884 calories. This makes it one of the most calorie dense oils on the market today.
This is causing some concern as to the amount of coconut oil one should consume in any given day. While the American Heart Association are still recommending to keep all saturated fat consumption to below seven percent of one’s daily calories, other experts say that the calories found in coconut oil are respired to produce energy almost immediately, which means they do not get stored as fat.
High in medium-chained triglycerides (MCTs)
As mentioned earlier, coconut oil is high in MCTs which aren’t destroyed by high temperatures especially while cooking. The triglycerides are therefore absorbed directly into the bloodstream thus providing the much-needed energy.
In addition to this, these MCTs induce a sense of satiation thus helping one cut down on the amount of food he/she eats in a sitting. Another added benefit of using coconut oil is that it helps increase good cholesterol levels in the blood – this helps keep the heart healthy.
Anti-fungal, bacterial, and viral properties
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a natural compound that inhibits bacterial, fungus, and virus growth. The oil can, therefore, be used to prevent illnesses caused by many of these microbes such as herpes, influenza, toenail fungus and acne.
Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidants needed for proper cell development and skin health. Cold-pressed coconut oil is considerably the richest source of Vitamin E and other tocopherols as compared to hot-pressed coconut oil. This is because heat easily destroys vitamin E, hence can only be preserved by cold-pressing the copra during extraction.
As coconut oil contains a high amount of vitamin E, it is now commonly used in various skin care products. You can find out more about the benefits of coconut oil for the skin here.
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