Natural Ingredients

Coconut Oil – Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

Coconut is originated from the south pacific region of the world. There are a number of useful components of the coconut itself, which include the outer brown covering, the husk, the inner white meat, and the coconut water. One thing, however, exists within the coconut that is extracted from it is its oil.

Coconut oil has now been categorized as a superfood. Since it contains many nutritions, it is also being endorsed by many bloggers and nutritionists. You must have gone to the supermarket and found a variety of coconut ingredients such as flour and biscuits. It is natural and exotic.

The recent surge in the use of coconut has exceeded beyond its existence in a chocolate bar. The best part of all is that it is appropriately priced and is affordable by many

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Since coconut oil is considered to be a superfood, you might well be aware of the benefits it holds. It not only helps with inner health but is also helpful for our external health as well.

Coconut oil helps increase the level of good cholesterol, in other words, HDL. The researchers are still not clear on this stance. However, the effect of extra virgin coconut oil is quite similar to olive oil, according to studies conducted in 2018.

  • Coconut oil is also beneficial in the regulation of blood sugar levels in the body.
  • It has properties of being an antioxidant, and it might help reduce stress.
  • The physical effects of coconut oil have long been known to protect hair from damage. This leaves them with a shiny appearance.
  • The use of coconut oil for skin and hair has been used for quite a long time, especially in the Asian region.

It is also helpful in maintaining good oral hygiene both for humans as well as animals. An old method of oil pulling is used to reduce dental plaque. In this process, coconut oil is the primary preference. Coconut oil helps in the prevention of tooth decay. This is because it does not allow the build-up bacteria in the mouth.

MEDICAL USES

  1. Heart

Coconut oil is considered to be a staple in many parts of the world. People in those parts of the world that have been consuming coconut oil from generations have reported good overall heart health. These people also had less prevalence of heart disease.

However, this effect varies from population to population. This is because some of the population reported an increase in the occurrence of stroke and heart attacks.

  1. Weight Loss

Obesity is a significant cause of concern in developed countries. Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These MCTS’s are known to encourage the burning of fat. This fat-burning effect is more pronounced in MCT’s as compared to Longer chain fatty acids.

Currently, there are no researches about whether coconut oil has the same effect or not. However, the MCT is proved for its fat-burning effect through several research studies.

  1. Anti-Microbial Activity

The fatty acid in coconut oil is made up of two carbon lauric acid. This lauric acid, when digested by the body, produces a substance which is called monolaurin. Lauric acid and monolaurin are essential to kill microbes and all types of pathogens.

This was proved with the help of a research study carried out in 2000. According to the article, it proved that Lauric acid and Monolaurate were inhibitors for the growth of Staph species of bacteria. This species is the causative agent for minor skin conditions such as pimples. It can also cause significant infections such as cellulitis.

  1. Candidiasis

Candida Albicans is the culprit behind the most common fungal infection. When the tongue is affected by it, it is commonly called the thrush. On the other hand, if the vagina gets infected by it, it is called a yeast infection. Invitro studies in 2007 showed that coconut oil resisted the growth of Candida Species.

The study further showed that coconut oil was 100% effective as compared to fluconazole. Fluconazole is an antifungal drug developed for candida species.

  1. Satiety

As previously discussed, Coconut oil is rich in MCTs. Another essential function of MCT is that it gives a feeling of fullness. This feeling of fullness is the reason many people lose weight when on a coconut oil diet. People who consume large proportions of coconut oil tend to have fewer calories in a day.

According to research, 14 men said that if they had MCTs in breakfast, they consumed fewer calories during the rest of the day.

  1. Skin, Nail, and Hair

Coconut oil has been used for topical benefits for quite a long time. It is used as a moisturizer for the skin. Many people have reported improvement in skin conditions such as eczema. It is also used to protect hair, skin, and nails from damage. Leaving the skin and hair looking fresh and damage-free.

People swish coconut oil in their mouth known as oil pulling method to reduce tooth decay. It also helps prevent plaque and cavities. The coconut oil pulling method also reduced bad odor from the mouth. This means that coconut oil helps to improve the personal well being of a person.

  1. Mental Health

Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants; hence it helps to reduce stress. It is also known to improve cases of dementia in patients. The coconut oil is rich in ketones. Ketones help improve Alzheimers and cases of seizures. Coconut oil is also an essential component of a keto diet.

Side Effects of Coconut Oil

The use of coconut oil has increasingly exceeded in the past few years. Since it has been marked as a superfood. However, many nutritionists are asking to avoid it. Some of the reasons are;

  • Not all types of coconut oils are the same. The lesser a coconut oil is processed, the more benefits it yields. Therefore it is essential to choose the right type of coconut oil to gain the most health benefits.
  • There are 121 calories and 11.2grams of saturated fat in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. It has vitamin E, but other than this, there are hardly any nutrients. Coconut oil is completely fat. These fats present in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides that are harder to convert for the body.
  • Coconut oil is not much researched. Therefore, critics are not recommending the excess intake of coconut oil. Some even claim that excessive use of coconut oil might lead to a gain in weight.
  • Coconut oil may not be consumed for heart health or if you have cholesterol issues since it might worsen the condition.

CONCLUSION

Coconut oil is very beneficial in a number of ways. It is light and nutritional. It is good for your health, including your external appearance. It is affordable, and people can easily manage to get coconut oil.

However, getting the right type of coconut oil is the key. Extra virgin cold-pressed coconut oil is the best of its type since it is the least processed out of all. This means that it is the most beneficial since it does not go through extensive heat processes.

However, according to some of the nutritionists, extra caution should be taken by people who have heart and cholesterol issues. The claims are not based on definitive researches, but it is better to remain on the safe side in this case. Until the researchers come up with a definitive answer, whether it is good for the heart or not.

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