Coconut oil is celebrated as a health-supporting oil. The oil of the coconut is a true multi-talent in terms of health. It is not only used for cooking but also scores as a beauty product.
The oil is obtained from the crushed and dried pulp of the coconut. It is a solid fat that becomes liquid at room temperature. This product should be part of a balanced diet.
The oil of the coconut tolerates temperatures up to 200 degrees Celsius and is therefore ideal for frying.
When buying coconut oil, make sure to choose high-quality, preferably cold-pressed, virgin versions in organic quality. This way, it is not chemically hardened, is richer in minerals and nutrients, and positively affects health.
Health benefits of coconut oil
Healthy medium-chain fatty acids
It consists of 90 percent saturated fatty acids, which do not have a particularly good reputation and are considered unhealthy. The belief that saturated fatty acids are partly responsible for heart disease is widespread.
However, in many studies, it was not possible to confirm this opinion. Studies were unable to establish a link between saturated fatty acids and heart disease.
Instead, the fatty acids found in coconut oil may protect against heart disease by helping to lower total cholesterol and increase health-promoting HDL cholesterol.
It should also be noted that coconut oil is considered a staple food in some parts of the world. For example, in the Tokelau area of the South Pacific, locals consume up to 60 percent of daily dietary calories in the form of coconuts. Despite the high consumption of saturated fatty acids, there are no health problems such as heart disease in this area.
Ketones with healing effects
Furthermore, the oil contains particular saturated fatty acids, namely medium-chain or medium-length fatty acids. These are metabolized differently by the body than conventional, long-chain saturated fatty acids.
Medium-chain fatty acids travel from the digestive tract directly to the liver, where they are either used for rapid energy production or converted into so-called ketones.
These ketones can have a curative effect on brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s or epilepsy and are used to treat lipid metabolism disorders.
Protection against harmful microorganisms
Coconut oil consists of 50 percent lauric acid. During digestion, this is converted into monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
For example, the consumption protects against the yeast disease Candida Albicans or pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus. It can be mixed with other foods, like smoothies and health drinks.
Weight loss with coconut oil
In addition to its health benefits, the oil is a natural metabolism booster and helps burn more calories when losing weight.
Compared to other fatty acids, the metabolism of medium-chain fatty acids burns up to five percent more calories throughout the day. Medium-chain fatty acids are easy to process in our bodies. They can be digested without the support of bile acids. They are water-soluble and therefore pass straight through the bloodstream to the liver.
There – and this is the next advantage – they are readily used by the body for energy production and are less readily stored in the fat depots. Besides, medium-chain fatty acids provide one calorie less per gram than other fatty acids.
Furthermore, coconut oil keeps you full for a long time. One reason for this is ketones that are formed during the metabolism of medium-chain fatty acids. These have an appetite-suppressing effect.
Studies show that after consuming medium-chain fatty acids fewer calories are consumed during the rest of the day.
Coconut oil not only boosts metabolism and keeps you full for a long time, but it also helps reduce harmful belly fat.
Coconut oil as a beauty product
Not only the consumption keeps you healthy. The oil of the coconut also helps externally to provide optimal care for skin and hair.
For example, it can restore moisture and provide balanced oil content to dry skin or protect hair from drying out.
Coconut oil counteracts the breakdown of hair proteins and can be applied as a hair mask. It must be heated in a water bath to about 25 degrees until it is liquid. It is then combed into the hair and should be left on for about an hour.
Coconut oil also supports good oral hygiene and can be used as a “mouthwash.” This mouthwash with coconut oil is also called “oil pulling.” Coconut oil helps reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth, such as plaque, and promotes fresh breath.
To do this, a teaspoon of coconut oil, just like mouthwash, is gargled back and forth in the mouth for 15 to 20 seconds, pulled through the teeth, and then spit out.
With all these health benefits, why not consider enjoying coconut oil in cold-pressed organic quality and avoid processed fats (contained in convenience products) from unsaturated fatty acids? You will feel and see the difference.