The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
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Coconut oil is perhaps one of the most misunderstood of all the edible oils. Coconut oil can help with weight loss, skin and hair care, increase immunity and boost energy levels while also helping strengthen bones and promote a healthy digestive system.
Coconut oil also very stable at high temperatures so is ideal for frying as it doesn’t easily break down to create harmful byproducts like most of the common polyunsaturated vegetable oils do.
The human body carries normal levels of a substance called monolaurin. This substance assists in increasing our immune system by warding off harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses. Monolaurin levels in coconut oil help improve a compromised immune system while also increasing the body’s proper nourishment and energy levels.
Lauric Acid as a Healthy Oil Alternative
Monolaurin derives from our body’s natural production of lauric acid. Coconut oil’s main component is lauric acid, which is among a group of medium-chain triglycerides in the saturated fat group. Unfortunately, because of the negative publicity of saturated fats, the wonderful benefits of coconut oil have been widely overlooked.
A common misconception about coconut oil is its association with weight gain when in fact the opposite is true. Coconut oil consists of 50% lauric acid, which is a medium-chain triglyceride. Also included is myristic, caprylic and palmitic acid. The presence of these acids helps to reduce appetite while increasing proper function of the thyroid. This does not mean they are an appetite suppressant, but rather they allow a healthy level of food consumption and provide longer time durations of feeling full.
The increase in metabolism and thyroid function assists in our body burning fat calories rather than storing them. The presence of medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil allows the rapid digestion of these acids before they reach the intestinal tract whereas other oils contain slow digesting long-chain triglycerides. These particular long-chain triglycerides also trigger the body’s fat storing function ultimately resulting in weight gain.
Hair and skin can reap the benefits of coconut oil because of its high level of antioxidants, which effectively combat free radicals. Free radicals promote the bodies aging process by weakening skin tissue, whereas antioxidants work to combat free radical levels. In addition, a natural derivative of coconut oil is Vitamin E. This vitamin strengthens skin tissue and hair follicles while retaining skin and hairs optimum condition. The antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties in coconut oil (lauric and caprylic acid) ward off skin infections such as acne and blemishes as well.
What other uses can coconut oil be used for? Tell us more below!