Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a "super meal".
It has a beneficial effect on our health in a variety of ways, including helping to lose weight, boosting brain function, improving skin health, and so on.
Here are 10 impressive health benefits of coconut oil.
1. Coconut oil contains fatty acids with strong healing properties
In the past, coconut oil was considered harmful because it contained saturated fatty acids.
Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fatty acids known to man, as almost 90% of its fatty acids are saturated.
However, recent data show that saturated fatty acids are largely harmless. Many studies involving hundreds of thousands of people have not found a link between their diet and circulatory diseases.
It should also be noted that the saturated fatty acids in coconut oil are different from those found in other products, such as cheese or beef.
These fatty acids contain medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are medium chain fatty acids.
Although most of the fatty acids in our diet are long-chain fatty acids, the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are processed differently in the body.
They enter the liver directly from the digestive tract, where they are used as a fast-acting source of energy or converted into so-called ketones, which have healing properties for various brain disorders such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease.
Conclusion: Coconut oil contains a lot of medium-chain triglycerides, which are processed differently in the body and which have healing properties in several brain diseases.
2. The population in populations high in coconut oil is relatively healthy
In Western cuisine, coconut oil is an exotic ingredient that is mainly included in the diet of people who pay increased attention to a healthy lifestyle.
However, in some parts of the world, coconut oil is a key component of the diet that people have been consuming on a daily basis for generations.
The best example of this is the Tokleans of the South Pacific.
These people take more than 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the most active consumers of saturated fat in the world.
They are in excellent health and there is no evidence of circulatory disease among them.
Another example of a population that eats a lot of coconut and thus maintains excellent health is the kitchens.
Conclusion: Many populations around the world have maintained excellent health for generations, consuming large amounts of coconut fat in their diet.
3. Coconut oil can help burn more fat
Obesity is currently one of the most common health problems in the world.
While some people believe that obesity is solely related to the amount of calories they eat, others are convinced that the sources of these calories are also important.
There is no doubt that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. From this point of view, not all calories are created equal.
The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil speed up the caloric intake compared to the equivalent amount of other fats.
One study found that 15-30 grams of MCT per day increases energy intake over a 24-hour period by 5%, or about 120 calories per day.
Conclusion: Medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase calories burned by as much as 5% over a 24-hour period, leading to significant weight loss in the long term.
4. Coconut oil destroys harmful microorganisms
Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are lauric acid, a molecule containing 12 carbon atoms.
When the body processes lauric acid, it produces a substance called monolaurin.
Both lauric acid and monolaurin can fight harmful pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi.
For example, these substances have been shown to kill golden staphylococci (Staphylococcus aureus), which is a very dangerous pathogen as well Candida albicans Yeast Fungus - A Common Source Of Human Yeast Infections
Conclusion: The fatty acids in coconut oil and their end products can kill harmful pathogens, thus having the potential to help prevent various infections.
5. Coconut oil reduces hunger and helps you eat less
Coconut oil has an interesting property - it can suppress hunger.
This is most likely due to the way the body processes the fatty acids in it, as ketones have an appetite suppressant effect.
In one study, 6 healthy men ate varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides.
The men who took the most MCT ate an average of 256 fewer calories a day.
Another study of 14 healthy men found that those who ate the most MCT at breakfast ate fewer calories at lunch.
It should be noted that these studies are small and carried out in a short period of time. If the observed effects continue in the long term, they are likely to have a dramatic effect on body weight, for example over several years.
Conclusion: The fatty acids in coconut oil significantly reduce appetite, so its consumption in the long term has a positive effect on body weight.
6. Fatty acids in coconut oil are converted to ketones, which helps reduce epileptic seizures
The so-called ketogenic diet (very low in carbohydrates, very high in fat) is currently being studied as a method of treating various health conditions.
To date, the best known therapeutic use of such a diet is for drug-resistant epilepsy in children.
Ketogenic diets are based on the consumption of very few carbohydrates and a lot of fat, followed by increased levels of ketones in the blood.
For reasons not yet well explored, such a diet can dramatically reduce seizures in epileptic children, even if individual patients have not been successfully treated with various medications.
Because MCTs in coconut oil enter the liver and are converted to ketones, this oil is often used to cause ketosis in epileptic patients, while allowing them to include slightly more carbohydrates in their diet.
Conclusion: MCT in coconut oil increases the levels of ketones in the blood, thus helping to prevent seizures in children with epilepsy.
7. Coconut oil can normalize blood cholesterol levels
Coconut oil contains healthy saturated fatty acids.
These fatty acids are able to raise the levels of "good" HDL cholesterol while converting "bad" LDL cholesterol into a less harmful form.
Coconut oil also lowers other risk factors, thus preventing the development of heart disease.
In one study involving 40 women, coconut oil was shown to lower both total and LDL cholesterol compared to soybean oil, while raising HDL cholesterol.
Several studies have also been performed in rats in which coconut oil has been shown to lower triglyceride levels, total and LDL cholesterol, and to increase HDL cholesterol and improve blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status.
Conclusion: Studies in both humans and rats have shown that coconut oil normalizes a number of important risk factors, including total LDL, as well as HDL cholesterol, which in turn may mean a reduced risk of heart disease.
8. Coconut oil protects hair from damage, moisturizes the skin and acts as a sunscreen
Coconut oil also serves a variety of other purposes, not necessarily related to its consumption.
Many people use it for cosmetic purposes as well as to improve the health and appearance of the skin and hair.
Studies in people with dry skin have shown that coconut oil improves skin hydration and increases the fat content of the skin.
Coconut oil also provides particularly good protection against hair damage, and in one study it was found to be an effective sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun's ultraviolet rays.
In addition, it can also be used as a mouthwash in a process called oil extraction, which kills harmful bacteria in the mouth, improves dental health and prevents bad breath.
Conclusion: Coconut oil can also be used topically; studies show that it effectively moisturizes the skin and is able to protect against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild sunscreen and mouthwash.
9. The fatty acids in coconut oil improve brain function in Alzheimer's patients
Alzheimer's disease is one of the most common causes of mental illness worldwide, and its development is mainly seen in the elderly.
Patients with Alzheimer's disease are thought to have a reduced ability to use carbohydrates as an energy source for certain parts of the brain.
Researchers have pointed out that ketones serve as an alternative source of energy for these dysfunctional brain cells, reducing Alzheimer's symptoms.
- In a study conducted in 2006, the use of medium-chain triglycerides in the diet provided almost instantaneous improvements in brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer's disease.
These findings are supported by other studies, and medium-chain triglycerides are being intensively studied as potential therapeutic agents for Alzheimer's disease.
Conclusion: Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil increase blood ketone levels, which supply energy to brain cells, and reduce symptoms in Alzheimer's patients.
10. Coconut oil can help you get rid of fat, especially - harmful abdominal obesity
Since coconut oil suppresses appetite and promotes the utilization of body fat, it is only logical to conclude that it helps you reduce excess weight.
Coconut oil is believed to be particularly effective in reducing body fat in the abdomen - in the abdominal cavity and near the internal organs.
This is the most dangerous form of obesity and is closely linked to many chronic diseases.
Measuring waist circumference is very simple and this measurement serves as a great indicator of the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
In one study of 40 women with abdominal obesity, using 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of coconut oil per day produced a significant reduction in waist circumference over a 12-week period.
In another study of 20 overweight men, a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm was observed with 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of coconut oil per day for 4 weeks.
Although this figure does not seem impressive on the surface, it should be noted that these people managed to achieve it without additional physical activity and without limiting the amount of calories consumed.