Studies claim that coconut oil is the new miracle food. Coconut oil can help cure everything from poor immune system, stress, to heart disease, cancer, obesity and low metabolism. It has a unique combination of fatty acids with health benefits because of its medicinal properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial.
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Coconut oil is commonly used in cooking in the south Asian countries, like India, Srilanka, Thailand. It was also very popular in the United States and Canada until it was defamed by other oil industries in 1970, declaring that it as harmful for the human body due to the high content of saturated fats. However, in the last few years studies have shown that unlike the other types of saturated fats, these fats in coconut oil work differently. There are tremendous health benefits of coconut oil.
How does it work?
Coconut oil contains a combination of lauric acid, myristic acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid that has medicinal properties. These properties are beneficial for hair, skin, weight and cholesterol level maintenance, immune system, and heart. However, we have a very limited evidence of the benefits of these fatty acids.
Although fat is important for a good healthy diet, excessive fat is always harmful. It should always be used limitedly in the diet for real health benefits. The dietary guidelines recommend that saturated fats should make up less than 10% of the total calories in your body. Saturated fats have the potential to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Since coconut oil contains a high amount of saturated fats, many health organizations advice to avoid its regular consumption.
Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil:
- Haircare: Coconut oil has been used for centuries to improve hair growth. It is effective to repair hair damage. The fatty acids in the coconut oil help to retain natural proteins in the hair and protects the roots & strands from breakage. Regular scalp massage will retain moisture and improve blood circulation which will boost oxygen supply to your hair
- Skincare: Studies claim that coconut oil is effective for skin disorders like acne, psoriasis. Coconut oil acts as a natural moisturizer for the skin. It also removes makeup easily. It can heal bug bites, rashes, flaking skin, helps to soften wrinkles. The antioxidant properties act as anti-ageing agents.
- Immunity: The antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties in the fatty acids of coconut oil strengthen the immune system. The body turn this fat into monolaurin which is known to heal viruses such as herpes, influenza, candida, etc.
- Weight Loss: A study in 2009 found that consumption of coconut oil reduces abdominal fat in women. Coconut oil is easy to digest and helps in proper functioning of the thyroid system. Additionally, it also boosts metabolic rate. So, the higher the metabolic rate, the more you lose excess weight.
- Heart Disease: Although many organizations claim that coconut oil is harmful to the heart due to the high content of saturated fats, it has not been scientifically proven and the evidence are very limited. Coconut oil contains 50% of lauric acid which helps to avoid various heart problems like, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases.