It works wonders for the skin, aids in weight loss, strengthens your immune system, and is easily processed by the liver, which means that it never gets stored as fat!
Coconuts are often native to tropical countries, so you might not have heard of it before, but now they’re making waves all over the world, and for good reason. In fact, there are more than 1,500 studies that have been conducted to figure out just what exactly coconut oil can do for your health.
But before we can discuss this with you, let’s look at the composition of coconut oil, since most of its health benefits are dependent on the fact that it’s rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs).
By that, we mean it contains capric acid, caprylic acid, and lauric acid. These are healthy, saturated fats, which actually serve as the perfect energy source because these types of fat only go through a three-step process that’s easily digestible by the body.
Most of the fats we consume (we’re talking the unhealthy ones from all those fast food items you keep ordering even after we told you not to) go through 26 steps just to be broken down and be converted into energy. And most of them don’t even get used and are instead stored as fat in the body, hence, making you gain weight.
MCFAs are easier to digest, have antibacterial and antifungal properties (much like aloe vera), and are not stored as fat since the body almost instantly uses it after consumption.
These days coconut oil is in a supplement, used as cooking oil, mixed into smoothies, and applied topically on the skin and hair. Its benefits range from the physical to mental and even hormonal health! Keep reading to find out about the amazing benefits of coconut oil that you probably don’t know about yet!
Antibacterial and antifungal
We briefly mentioned earlier that coconut oil contains lauric acid. In fact, half of the fatty acid content is lauric acid, which is powerful at fighting infections. Why? It’s good at killing fungi, virus, and bacteria. You can use it externally as a salve on your wounds.
On the other hand, ingesting coconut oil makes the lauric acid react with enzymes, and form monolaurin, a monoglyceride that kills harmful pathogens in the body, including candida albicans and staphylococcus.
When the liver digests MCFAs, it also creates ketones that the brain can use as a source of energy immediately. Like we mentioned earlier, MCFAs only go through a three-step process.
Coconut oil can boost ketones, which can boost supply to the brain without having to need to use insulin to be converted into glucose and then into energy.
In fact, the brain can actually make its own insulin to power the brain cells. But three steps versus 26 steps to do this might be crucial. In the cases of Alzheimer’s patients, the three-step process might create a huge difference.
People who suffer from Alzheimer’s aren’t capable of producing their own insulin as their condition worsens. Coconut oil is one way to supply ketones at a faster rate in order to repair and boost brain function for these patients.
A 2004 study found in the Journal of Neurobiology of Aging, MCFAs was found to improve memory in senior patients.
These patients, who previously reported moderate memory loss and difficulty with memory recall, stated that there was a marked improvement in their memory after taking coconut oil.
Much the same as how coconut oil works for Alzheimer’s patients, it produces a readily-available supply of ketones that the brain can quickly access in order to function more efficiently.
Did you know that before toothpaste was used, people used the technique called oil pulling? What it is is pretty much just swishing oil in your mouth in order to get rid of bacteria (remember benefit number 1) and treat periodontal diseases.
And just because toothpaste exists now doesn’t mean you can’t use this technique anymore. If you’re down to try it out, use this technique three times a week for 20 minutes.
If you’re a fan of home remedies, listen up: incorporating at least two tablespoons of coconut oil in your diet may help reduce hot flashes. At least according to Bruce Blair, who writes for Female Menopause Mentors.
There’s not enough scientific research to support this claim, but we do know this scientific fact: saturated fats are good for hormonal balance. Following this logic, it makes sense to tout coconut oil as something that can alleviate the symptoms of menopause.
Natural remedies often recommend taking less sugar and grain and upping healthy fat intakes like those you can get from flax seeds, avocados, and coconuts.
Coconut oil for weight loss is a no-brainer, thanks to the way MCFAs work in the body. In 1985, the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health published an animal study that injected male rates with capric acid, which is found in coconut oil.
It worked to decrease food consumption in mice and body fat loss at an initially rapid pace before slowing down eventually. Other human studies also found that since coconut oil contains no carb, it works well to help you lose belly fat while providing your body with an abundant supply of ketones that never get stored as fat.
Studies have also shown that capric acid has the capacity to improve thyroid function and control your resting heart rate.
The concept that applies to conjugated linoleic acid’s (CLA) effectivity to fight fat applies to coconut oil, too. CLA is naturally found in beef and dairy, but you would have to consume copious amounts of these in order to see a difference in weight loss.
This is why people who want to lose weight with the aid of conjugated linoleic acid are often recommended to opt for CLA supplements.
They’re both types of fat, which seems counterintuitive to use if you’re trying to get rid of body fat, but they’re actually fats that contribute to fat loss rather than hinder it.
Among the most significant studies conducted on coconut oil’s effects on weight loss is the study published by the Obesity Research Journal, which tested the effects of fat tissues in rats that were given caprylic acid.
Results showed that it obliterated fat at the same rate and effectivity as that of fasting, which prompted the body to use the stored energy in the body and got rid of the other stocked fat reserves in order to get rid of the unnecessary weight.