Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.”Its benefits include weight loss, better brain function, skin health and many more.Coconut oil has been demonized and there were targetted campaigns against it in the past because it contains saturated fat.In fact, 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 (1).However, new data is showing that saturated fats are mostly harmless. Many studies with hundreds of thousands of people have found no link to heart disease (2).So we can give that doubt a rest.Here are 7 impressive health benefits of coconut oil
1.Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL) in your body, but also help to convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols.
By Increasing the HDL’s in the body, it helps promote heart health, and lower the risk of heart disease.
2. 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 important too.It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is not a calorie.
One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day (7).
3.Immune System Boost (antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral)
Coconut oil is a rich source of Lauric Acid. This can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi .
For example, these substances have been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans (9, 10).
4. Can Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels
Coconut oil contains healthy saturated fats.
The saturated fats in coconut oil may increase “good” HDL cholesterol in your body, but also help convert the “bad” LDL cholesterol into a less harmful form.
Coconut oil may also improve other risk factors and therefore protect against heart disease.
In one study in 40 women, coconut oil reduced Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL compared to soybean oil (17).
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5. Improve memory and brain function
In a 2004 study published in the journal of Neurobiology of Aging, they found that the MCFA’s found in coconut oil improved the memory
problems in their older subjects.
Across all the patients there was a marked improvement in their recall ability after taking this fatty acid. As the MCFA’s are absorbed easily in the body and can be accessed in the brain without the use of insulin, they are able to fuel brain cells more efficiently. (5)
6. Protection against Hair 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.
Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and fat content of the skin (20).
In fact in Kerala , India coconut oil is used daily on skin and hair to improve the moisture and also to have better hair.
Bottom Line: Coconut oil can be applied topically as well, studies showing it to be effective as a skin moisturizer and protecting against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild form of sunscreen and as mouthwash.
7. Help You Lose Fat, Especially The Harmful Abdominal 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 at reducing belly fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs.This is the most dangerous fat of all and is highly associated with many chronic diseases.
Waist circumference is easily measured and is a great marker for the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
In a study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL (2 tablespoons) of coconut oil per day led to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks (17).
Not All Coconut Oil Is the Same
In order to enjoy the health benefits outlined in the article, then you must get organic, virgin coconut oil, not the refined stuff. So be clear about what you are buying and get only the best