When European explorers first began exploring the coasts of India, way back in the 1500s, they came across something that freaked them out. It was a fruit growing on tall palm trees which looked quite a bit like a human head; with an equivalent of a hairy outer covering. What they saw was coconut. What they were amazed by was how useful coconuts could be. Those hair-like protrusions could make rope. Coconut-water tasted great. But the real elixir was coconut oil.
Over 1500 studies have now proved the amazing health benefits of coconut oil. Research indicates the oil contains medium-chain fatty acids such as Lauric and Capric acids. What does this mean? Simply that these saturated fats are much healthier than the usual KFC version of the thing. Apart from being even a good source of fuel, right off the bat you can expect the following benefits from such MCFAs:
- Easy digestion
- Immediately converted to energy and not stored as belly fat
The following are proven benefits of coconut oil, and 20 good reasons why you should incorporate it into your diet:
- Resistance to Alzheimer’s Disease
The digestion of MCFA’s by the liver creates ketones which are readily accessible energy forthe brain. Ketones supply energy to the brain without the need of insulin to process glucose into energy. Recent research has shown that the brain actually creates its own insulin to process glucose and power brain cells. As the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient has lost the ability to create its own insulin, the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to help repair brain function.
- Prevents Heart Disease
Saturated fats improve the level of good cholesterol in the body and can easily convert the bad cholesterol.
- Protects Liver and Fights UTIs
MCFAs disrupt the lipid coating on bacteria, thus killing them and healing the urinary and kidney system.
- Fights Arthritis
The high level of antioxidants in coconut oil helps cure joint inflammation and healing arthritis more effectively, study proves.
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- Helps Guard Against Cancer and Tumors
Cancerous cells need to access energy, which they are prevented from doing by the ketones in coconut oil.
- Boosts Immunity
Lauric acid in coconut oil creates a hostile environment for viruses and is also anti-fungal.
- Superior Memory
A study discovered that coconut oil’s fatty acids improved brain function and helped the memory of especially older people.
- Increases Energy
Processed by the liver the fats of coconut oil get instantly converted to energy and improves metabolism thus helping endurance levels too.
- Helps Digestion
It helps the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium and magnesium.
- Reduces Symptoms of Gall-Bladder Disease
Coconut oil digestion does not require the breaking down of pancreatic enzymes and thus lessens the strain on the pancreas and can do away with symptoms of inflamed gall bladders.
- Hair Oil par Excellence
Coconut oil is wonderful as a face cleanser, moisturizer and sun screen and keeps away dandruff and dermatitis. It is commonly used as hair oil in India.
- Prevents Tooth Decay
Antibacterial MCFAs fight periodontal disease and really saves you the trips to the awful dentist’s office.
- Cures Osteoporosis
Oxidative stress and free radicals are the two biggest culprits of osteoporosis. Since coconut oil has such high levels of antioxidants which help fight free radicals, it is a leading natural treatment for osteoporosis.
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- Improves Type II Diabetes
MCFAs help balance insulin production and cell permeability, thus alleviating the symptoms of diabetes.
- Coconut-Oil Diet for Losing those Pounds
Because of the energy creating abilities of coconut oil, it is no wonder that it is beneficial in losing weight. It helps to burn fat, decrease appetite and studies show that it was especially helpful in losing belly fat!
- Builds Up Muscle-Mass
MCFAs are great at building muscle mass. Try 3 tbsp. in a shake a day.
- Skin Disorders
Studies have shown that coconut oil fights the symptoms of a range of skin disorders from psoriasis to eczema.
- Yeast Infections
Capric and Lauric acids in coconut oil combat yeast infections and candida.
According to a research published in the medical journal Food and Function, coconut oil improves antioxidant levels and can slow ageing. Coconut oil works on reducing stress on the liver and by lowering oxidative stress.
- Hormone Balance
Saturated fats helps to balance hormones and are especially recommended for women undergoing menopause as it helps to balance the level of estrogen in the body.
Coconut Oil Side Effects
There are scarcely any side effects of coconut oil. Certain individuals who are allergic to coconuts may occur a contact allergy. Some of the products created by coconut oil have been known to cause contact allergies, but it is not common. In fact, coconut oil is known for reducing side effects of many medications. And in studies, it reduced the symptoms and side effects of cancer treatments!