The oil from this tropical nut has been much misunderstood. Many people mistakenly believe that coconut oil is taboo because it contains significant amounts of saturated fats. What they do not know is that the saturated fats in coconut oil are quickly assimilated by the body and is therefore quite beneficial for health.
Ninety percent of coconut oil is saturated fatty acids, namely lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid and palmitic. Medium chain triglycerides are also present. Besides these, coconut oil also consists of polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, poly-phenols, fatty chlorides, Vitamin E, Vitamin K and minerals.
According to research, lauric acid is an essential fatty acid that helps maintain and strengthen the body’s immune system. Apart from coconut oil, an abundance of lauric acid is found only in the mother’s milk! This in itself is ample evidence of how essential lauric acid is for the immune system.
It is a common misconception that coconut oil increases cholesterol levels and is therefore unhealthy for the heart. But the fact is, lauric acid in coconut oil may lower cholesterol levels and keeps LDL levels under control. Thus, this oil may actually be helpful in preventing fatal heart diseases. Since lauric acid defends the health of the arteries, they may prevent the occurrence of arteriosclerosis too.
The medium chain fatty acids present in coconut oil aid metabolism. These are easily digested by the body as they place little to no strain on the liver or pancreas during digestion.
Coconut oil may aid weight loss. This is because the fatty acids in coconut oil are easily digestible. Since these fatty acids ease the strain on the pancreas, they help burn excess fats and may help obese people lose excess weight. Incidentally, people living in tropical areas and using this oil as a regular part of their diet are not obese or overweight.
Coconut oil speeds up the absorption of other nutrients present in the diet. Thus, by aiding the absorption of calcium into the body, it strengthens the bones and teeth.
The saturated fats in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and may thus help in eliminating fungi, bacteria and other parasites. Thus, the oil is effective in countering a number of infections like flu, measles, herpes, throat infections, pneumonia, gonorrhea and so on. The oil may also be applied over fungi and yeast infections like ringworm, diaper rash and so on. It may be applied over wounds to form a protective layer that shields the wound from bacteria, virus, parasites and dust. When applied over bruises, coconut oil speeds up the repair of tissues and thus brings about healing.
Coconut oil also prevents irritable bowel syndrome and boosts kidney health by dissolving kidney stones.
Coconut oil is one of the most popularly used oils for massaging the skin and the hair. Its antimicrobial properties help get rid of dandruff, lice, acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and other infections on the skin.
Coconut oil has a nutty flavor and is full of Nature’s richness. It boosts energy, fights infections and strengthens the immune system. With so many health benefits to recommend this oil, ignoring or avoiding it may not be a good idea.