Coconut oil, or copra oil, is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). It has various applications. Because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize and, thus, resistant to rancidification, lasting up to six months at 24 °C (75 °F) without spoiling.
The unique existence of fatty acids in coconut have some positive effects on your health, which may include fat loss, improving heart health, and boosting brain function etc.
1. Coconut Oil Comprises of Fatty Acids With Powerful Medicinal Properties
Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat. Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated.
Additionally, coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak.
No, they contain so-called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length.
Most of the fatty acids in the diet are long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently.
They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
2. People Who Eat a LOT of Coconut Are Among The Healthiest People on Earth
Coconut is kind of an “exotic” food in the Western world, primarily consumed by health conscious people.
However, in some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.
They eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world.
These people are in excellent health, with no evidence of heart disease
3. Coconut Oil Can Help You Burn More Fat
Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.
While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others believe that the sources of those calories are critical too.
It is a true that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie.
The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats.
4. Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi, Helping to Stave Off Infections
Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid.
When coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it also forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin.
Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
5. Coconut Oil Can Kill Your Hunger
One interesting feature of coconut oil is that it can reduce your hunger.
This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketone bodies can have an appetite reducing effect.
In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed toizures
6. The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Are Turned into Ketones, Which Can Reduce Seseizures so-called ketogenic (very low carb, very high fat) diet is currrently being studied to treat various disorders.
The best known therapeutic application of this diet is treating drug-resistant epilepsy in children
This diet involves eating very little carbohydrates and large amounts of fat, leading to greatly increased concentrations of ketones bodies in the blood.
For some reason, this diet can dramatically reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children, even those who haven’t had success with multiple different types of drugs.
Because the MCTs in coconut oil get shipped to the liver and turned into ketone bodies, they are often used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis while allowing for a bit more carbs in the diet
7. Coconut Oil Can Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels and Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought.
Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype
This improvement in cardiovascular risk factors should theoretically lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over the long term.
8. Coconut Oil Protect Hair Against Damage, Moisturize Skin and Function as Sunscreen
Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it.
Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.
Coconut oil can also be very protective against hair damage and one study shows effectiveness as sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet
9. Coconut Oil
Can Boost Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and occurs primarily in elderly individuals.
In Alzheimer’s patients, there appears to be a reduced ability to use glucose for energy in certain parts of the brain.
Ketone bodies can supply energy for the brain and researchers have speculated that ketones can provide an alternative energy source for these malfunctioning cells and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
In one 2006 study, consumption of medium chain triglycerides led to immediate improvement in brain function in patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s .
10. Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Fat
Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help you lose weight.
Coconut oil appears to be especially effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs.
This is the most dangerous fat of all and is highly associated with many Western diseases.
Waist circumference is easily measured and is a great marker for the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
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