Coconut Oil: Here Are Some Benefits For Health
Coconut oil is derived from the flesh of mature coconuts obtained from the coconut palm tree, which belongs to the Arecaceae plant family.
Although commonly referred to as coconuts, they are actually drupes, a type of fruit containing a single seed.
The coconut has gained popularity in our kitchens and bathrooms, whether consumed as coconut water, applied as a moisturiser, or used in baking. Virgin coconut oil is considered superior to refined coconut oil, as it is believed to contain higher levels of antioxidant polyphenols and beneficial nutrients like vitamin E. Virgin coconut oil undergoes minimal processing, preserving its delightful tropical flavor. On the other hand, refined coconut oil undergoes further processing, resulting in a more neutral aroma and taste. Since it lacks the distinctive coconut flavour, refined coconut oil can be used as the primary cooking oil in a wide range of recipes. Nowadays, "refined coconut oil" is often referred to as "all-purpose coconut oil," so watch out for either phrase on the label.
Key health benefits of coconut oil
Rich in medium-chain fatty acids
Coconut oil stands apart from other dietary oils due to its abundant content of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). Unlike most oils that consist predominantly of long-chain fatty acids, the fatty acids present in coconut oil are composed of six to twelve carbon atoms, a shorter chain length compared to the more than 12 carbon atoms found in long-chain fatty acids. This structural distinction gives rise to various effects, affecting the digestion process and influencing the body in diverse ways.
Prevents dental caries
Oil pulling, an ancient ayurvedic remedy practised in India, has been associated with maintaining oral health. Recent research indicates that coconut oil, when used for oil pulling, might be helpful in preventing dental caries by reducing plaque buildup and gingivitis.
It has the potential to suppress the appetite
The presence of fatty acids in coconut oil has been found to have appetite-suppressing effects. When consumed, the fats in coconut oil are metabolised into ketones, which can help reduce feelings of hunger and promote a sense of fullness in the body.
Coconut oil aids in weight loss
With its ability to curb appetite and facilitate fat burning, coconut oil has been recognized as a beneficial aid in weight and fat loss. In particular, it has shown promise in targeting stubborn belly fat, which is associated with increased risks of various health conditions. Research suggests that incorporating coconut oil into your daily diet can lead to reductions in body mass index and waist circumference.
Controlling blood sugar
Studies suggest that Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil might help maintain insulin sensitivity.
Virgin coconut oil possesses potential antioxidant properties. In a study conducted on rodents, it demonstrated the ability to reduce stress caused by exercise and chronic cold exposure. Researchers speculate that virgin coconut oil could be beneficial in the treatment of certain types of depression.
Fights hair damage
Coconut oil and its products demonstrate the potential in safeguarding hair against damage. The presence of lauric acid in coconut oil fosters a strong attraction to hair protein, enabling it to permeate the hair shaft effectively. As a result, coconut oil and related products hold promise in mitigating protein loss-induced hair damage caused by grooming practices and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Promoting liver health
Certain components of coconut oil may have a protective effect on the liver.
Assists in minimising seizures
For a long time, individuals have employed ketogenic diets, which involve extremely low carbohydrate intake and high-fat consumption, as a means to address various conditions, including drug-resistant epilepsy. These diets have demonstrated the ability to reduce the frequency of seizures. One possible explanation proposed by researchers for this decrease in seizure occurrence among individuals with epilepsy following ketogenic diets is the limited availability of glucose to fuel brain cells. By decreasing carbohydrate consumption, the amount of glucose in your bloodstream is reduced, while increasing fat intake results in a notable increase in ketone concentrations. Ketones can serve as an alternative energy source for your brain instead of glucose.
In recent times, people have discovered that modified ketogenic diets, which incorporate medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and allow for a slightly higher carbohydrate intake to induce ketosis, can effectively address epilepsy.
While coconut oil can enhance the taste and diversity of one's diet, it is doubtful that research will classify it as a superfood. It's important for consumers to bear in mind that switching from one oil to another might have health advantages, but increasing overall oil consumption is unlikely to facilitate weight loss or enhance overall well-being. Maintaining moderation in the consumption of oils and fats, as well as incorporating them into a diverse diet, is crucial. Additionally, people should ensure that their activity levels are sufficiently high to burn off the calories they consume.
Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.