Coconut oil is made by pressing fresh coconut meat or dried coconut meat called copra.
Virgin coconut oil uses fresh meat, while refined coconut oil typically uses copra. It is famous for its fresh aroma and unique taste that changes the smell and taste of your food.
The Philippines is the greatest worldwide producer of coconut oil. Indonesia and India are the next largest producers.
The Philippines, European Union, United States, and India are the greatest consumers of coconut oil. (Harvard)
Components and Major Properties of Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil is said to have many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Tocopherols are the natural antioxidants present in coconut oil.
In addition, virgin coconut oil contains high concentrations of polyphenols and may therefore have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory effects.
Because of the unique qualities of lauric acid (C:12) present, coconut oil is widely used in soaps and cosmetic manufacturing industries. Lauric acid is known to possess antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal qualities. (Science Direct)
Health Benefits & Uses of Coconut Oil:
- Healthy Fatty Acids
When you want to replace certain oils and ghees because they contain some bad fats, you can certainly use coconut oil as it has healthy fatty acids.
These fatty acids in coconut oil do not make you obese, rather, they help you burn fat. Studies suggest how the fatty acids in coconut oil can be good for your overall health. It is even better than ghee. Coconut oil has a better taste as well.
- Improves Cardiovascular Health
Heart patients should have coconut oil only as it has the fats that can be easily digested, converted into energy and does not even cause cholesterol problems.
While other oils cause blockages in arteries and veins, coconut oil helps open up these blockages.
This study explains how some people got their calories from solely coconuts and coconut oil. While they used a lot of coconut oil in their diet, their risks of heart diseases became very low.
- Fights Obesity
So many people suffer from obesity today. The reasons are unknown sometimes. You need to make careful switches in diet and lifestyle to fight obesity.
Studies suggest eating foods containing MCTs rather than longer chain fatty acids.
MCTs can promote fat-burning in your body. Although coconut oil has calories from MCTs, these fats help your body burn more calories than any other food substance.
Hence, the people who’re following a diet should consume coconut oil daily.
Coconut oil has 50% of lauric acid in it. If you consume this acid, it helps kill many harmful pathogens including virus, bacteria and fungi.
Some have even used coconut oil as a cleanser for their oral hygiene. It can be used to massage your body as well to reduce the chances of having skin infections.
- Suppresses Appetite or Hunger
We’re all stressed. Hence, we often tend to eat more sugar and junk food than ever. Binge eating can be a symptom of an underlying condition or a disease in itself.
NCBI explains how some ketones and MCTs can be responsible for reducing hunger and suppressing appetite in individuals suffering from stress and obesity.
Since coconut oil has many MCTs, it is safe to consume it as it can help you eat less and feel full.
- Improves HDL Cholesterol
This oil has saturated fats that do not harm the body or build up a plaque of any kind in your arteries. Instead, coconut oil helps clear out the plaque so you don’t suffer from cardiovascular problems and high cholesterol levels.
NCBI explains “T2 group C presented a higher level of HDL (48.7 +/- 2.4 vs. 45.00 +/- 5.6; P = 0.01) and a lower LDL:HDL ratio (2.41 +/- 0.8 vs. 3.1 +/- 0.8; P = 0.04). Reductions in BMI were observed in both groups at T2 (P < 0.05), but only group C exhibited a reduction in WC (P = 0.005).”
The study explains that the good cholesterol levels were increased and bad cholesterol levels were decreased in the participants who consumed coconut oil regularly.
- Improves Skin, Hair and Teeth Health
Coconut oil is used in many skin and hair care products as it can moisturize and cleanse skin as well as scalp. It has shown to reduce the symptoms of eczema.
It has antiacne, antibacterial and antifungal properties that can fight acne, fungal infections (Candida), bacterial infections in teeth or gums, and skin rashes. It is even helpful in the treatment of dandruff.
- Boosts Brain Cells
The ketones in coconut oil have the power to boost your brain cells so they function exceptionally well.
When our brain cells slow down, we suffer from mental illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
The MCTs and ketones can treat mental illnesses according to a study: Higher ketone values were associated with greater improvement in paragraph recall with MCT treatment relative to placebo across all subjects.
- Prevents Liver Diseases
Studies explain how virgin coconut oil reverses hepatic steatosis. It is extremely beneficial if you have fatty liver disease. Although the study was conducted on rats, it has proven that Virgin coconut oil (VCO), a fermented product of fresh coconut kernel, has been shown to impede the development of hepatic steatosis in rats
- Improves Dental Health
A traditional practice of swishing some coconut oil in the mouth in the morning helps remove toxins from the body, saliva and teeth.
Studies have found coconut oil pulling to protect against cavities, improve gingivitis, and influence the oral bacterial balance.
Side-Effects of Using Coconut Oil:
Though there are multiple ways of using coconut oil, if you use it excessively, it may have some side-effects for sure. Some people are allergic to natural oils, please check yourself for any allergies before using coconut oil topically.
See to it that it doesn’t make your skin or hair very oily. Here are some side-effects listed by WebMd.
- Pregnant women should use it in limits.
- Children should not take coconut oil orally as it may cause allergies.
- It may increase cholesterol levels if taken excessively.
- It may make you obese if consumed excessively.
- Apply it on your skin after intervals or you may have greasy skin.
- Watch out for drug interventions.
Coconut oil is considered to be one of the safest remedies ever because it is naturally made. You can buy any organic, virgin and pure coconut oil for daily use.