Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is a food that has a unique combination of medium-chain fatty acids and can produce great benefits for our health such as weight loss, improvement of brain function, among others. These benefits have been shown by numerous scientific studies in addition to demonstrating that it is completely safe and non-toxic to humans.
In the past, the consumption of Coconut Oil was not well seen because it contains saturated fats. In fact, it is one of the few vegetable oils rich in saturated fats. However, Coconut Oil does not contain the usual saturated fats found in red meat or cheese. On the contrary, it contains medium-chain fats (which are also found in breast milk and which may be beneficial to the body) that are metabolized differently than long-chain fatty acids as they pass directly to the liver from the digestive tract where it’s then used as an immediate source of energy.
Today it is consumed by people who care about their health. However, in some parts of the planet, coconut is part of a diet’s foundation since ancient times. An example can be found in the populations of the South Pacific; the tribe of Tokeluans ingest 60% of their daily calories from coconut and are the largest consumers of saturated fats on the planet. This tribe enjoys excellent health and does not show evidence of cardiovascular diseases among its members.
Adequate dosage of Coconut and its Oil
Amount recommended for an adult: 3½ tablespoons (50 grams) per day. This dose is based on the amount of medium-chain fatty acids found in breast milk. The same amount can be obtained from 10 oz of coconut milk or 150 grams of fresh raw coconut.
The main benefits studied and evidenced of this food are:
- Improves the health of skin and hair: it helps to clean the skin at night after a day of accumulating dirt by the effect of contamination. It is applied to the skin with a gentle massage and is gently removed with a wet wipe. Hair: if applied on dry and brittle hair, it strengthens and gives shine.
- Helps relieve stress and maintain cholesterol.
- It contributes to weight loss and improves the immune system, digestion and metabolism.
- Provides relief from kidney problems, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
- Helps improve tooth quality and bone strength.
- It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial and soothing properties.
- On obesity: the medium-chain triglycerides present in coconut oil can increase the energy expenditure of the organism when compared to the same amount of calories obtained from long-chain fatty acids. A recent study found that ingesting between 15 and 30 grams a day of medium-chain triglycerides can accelerate our metabolism by up to 5% (or about 120 kcal).
- Against infections: lauric acid contains almost 50% of the total fatty acids present. When it is digested enzymatically monolaurin is formed. These compounds, lauric acid and monolaurin, can kill pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or fungi.
- Helps control appetite: occurs when the fatty acids it contains are metabolized, because the ketone bodies that form can help reduce appetite. In one study, different amounts of medium and long chain fatty acids were supplied in 6 healthy adults. Men who consumed medium-chain fatty acids ate on average 256 calories less during the day than those who consumed long-chain fatty acids.
- Heart Health: in a study of 40 women, Coconut Oil reduced total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) while raising HDL (good cholesterol) when compared to soybean oil intake.
- Abdominal fat: we have mentioned before that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, but it also seems adequate in reducing abdominal fat. A study developed with 40 women with abdominal obesity supplemented with 30ml of coconut per day reduced both her body mass index and her abdominal perimeter in only 12 weeks.
- It is a moisturizer par excellence and is used to massage the body, especially dry and scaly skin. The skin will feel rejuvenated, soft and radiant in a few minutes.
The Tokeluans? (inhabitants of Tokelau Island) diet comprised nearly 60% of all their fat energy derived mainly from coconut. In 1960, a study was made on the two main islands of the South Pacific, Pukapuka and Tokelau, where the entire population of both islands was taken into account.
Scientists wanted to assess the health of these populations and then compare them with those who migrated from the islands to New Zealand. The diet of the population of both islands was high in fat from coconut (saturated fat), but remained low in cholesterol. All meals contained coconut and coconut oil was used for cooking and coconut sage as a sweetener.
The results showed that the inhabitants of both islands had adequate blood cholesterol levels compared to the migrants.
- Scientifically proven benefits. Coconut oil, the whole truth and scientific facts. April 2015
- How to take Coconut Oil, the correct dose. Alan Santana, Home Health.