Benefits Of Coconut Oil: Coconut Oil Benefits For Health & Beauty
Coconut oil has significant benefits for health, skin and hair. It is a good option to use for those want to lose weight, promote heart-health and give a boost to their fitness. If you haven’t tried using coconut oil yet, then here is everything you need to know.
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Table of Contents
What Is Coconut Oil?
As suggested by its name, coconut oil is obtained from coconuts. But what are coconuts? Coconut is one of the sweetest tropical fruits/nuts/seeds. There is not enough evidence that suggests where coconuts come from. But some scientists and food historians say that coconuts are a form of a prehistoric plant that cultivated in the South Pacific.
Coconuts are versatile, with a number of uses and benefits. The inside flesh of a coconut is rich in protein and the coconut milk extracted from it is fresh and light, with a low level of sugar. Other than health and beauty benefits, coconut was also used as an insect repellent by early civilizations.
Watch: Benefits Of Coconut Oil
Nutritional Value Of Coconut
The most beneficial thing inside the coconut is the oil. Coconut oil is an edible oil and is quite popular among people due to its multiple benefits. Coconut oil is highly beneficial for oral health, heart health, and more. It doesn’t have a color but does have a distinct ‘coconutty’ taste and flavor, that goes very well with seafood.
It is considered to be a superfood though there have been studies that refuted such a claim. By and large, coconut oil is considered to be amongst the healthy sources of healthy fats and when consumed in moderate quantities, it can be quite beneficial.
Coconut oil contains fatty acids that hold together the antioxidants for health benefits and saturated fat content. Coconut oil can be easily digested as it is easy to process by the liver.
Nutritional Value Of Coconut Oil
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Benefits Of Coconut Oil: Types Of Coconut Oil
1. Unrefined Coconut Oil
Unrefined coconut oil is also called pure coconut oil or virgin coconut oil. Extraction of unrefined coconut oil is done by a quick dry method or by a wet mill process.
In the quick-dry method, the flesh of the coconut is dried very quickly and then the oil is mechanically pressed out. In the wet mill method, the flesh of the coconut is processed into coconut milk and then the milk and oil are separated.
The coconut milk and coconut oil are separated by boiling, fermenting or straining along with the use of enzymes or centrifuge. Both these methods of separating the milk and oil are quick. Pure coconut oil has most flavors of the coconut as there are no added preservatives or bleaches to it.
2. Refined Coconut Oil
Refined coconut oil is obtained from coconut flesh called khopra which is dried. This flesh is bleached and refined for the reduction of bacteria from the coconut flesh. Refined coconut oil is obtained from the flesh of the coconut and this flesh needs to be treated as the process of drying, leads to the production of contaminants in the khopra.
After this process, coconut oil is treated by a process of high heat for extraction of smell and flavor of coconut from the coconut oil. Some manufacturers of coconut oil may use other chemicals for the extraction of maximum coconut oil from the khopra.
In some refined coconut oils, sodium hydroxide is added to increase the shelf life of the oil. Refined coconut oil is sometimes hydrogenated partially which leads to the production of trans fats, so read the nutrition label before buying refined coconut oil for consumption.
Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Health & Beauty
Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Health
1. Aids In Weight Loss
It is a lesser-known fact that coconut oil can help in losing weight. Unrefined coconut oil acts as a burner of fats and calories. It can also bring down your appetite and hence, you eat less without contributing to weight gain.
Coconut oil has capric acid which can boost up the performance of the thyroid and as a result, the resting heart rate of the body is reduced which leads to the burning of fat.
2. Improve In Digestion
Coconut oil can improve the process of digestion by managing the intake of fat-soluble components such as magnesium and vitamin in the body.
It can also remove the toxin bacteria and candida from the body which is responsible for poor digestion and inflammation of the stomach. Coconut is also known to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.
3. Boost In Energy
Coconut oil which is unrefined can improve the level of energy and strength of the body. Coconut oil is rich in healthy saturated fats, which is different from various other types of fats that you consume.
The healthy saturated fats boost up the burning of fat and provides the body and the brain with swift energy. When these saturated fats are consumed, they go directly into the liver and then they are used as a speedy source of energy.
4. Reduces The Risk Of Heart Disease
Coconut oil is rich in saturated fats, which is responsible for increasing the good cholesterol and lowering of high triglycerides in your body which is the main cause of heart diseases.
5. Reduces The Risk Of High Blood Pressure
Coconut oil is 92 % saturated fat and has medium chain fatty acids or omega-3 fatty acids. These nutritional contents of coconut oil are believed to lower the blood pressure more effectively than vegetable oils.
When you consume polyunsaturated fats, omega-6 fatty acids including soybean oil and vegetable oil, your blood vessels compress. But that is not the case with coconut oil. Coconut oil has omega-3 fatty acids which can widen the blood vessels and relieve the arteries from inflammation.
6. Improved Brain Function
High levels of sugar can lead to Alzheimer’s. In the Alzheimer’s disease, the brain doesn’t allow the intake of glucose and hence, it leads to general neurodegeneration.
Coconut oil contains MCT (medium chain triglycerides) which can improve the function of the brain in patients with mild Alzheimer’s. These MCTs in coconut oil may also be beneficial for memory-impaired adults.
7. Regulates Blood Sugar & Diabetes
Coconut oil has the ability to fight against insulin resistance, lowering the level of obesity in the body, which can turn to type 2 diabetes, if not controlled on time.
Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Hair
By now, you know that coconut oil has many health benefits, but you might not know that coconut oil is beneficial for hair as well.
- Do you ever wonder why women from tropical coastal regions have long shiny hair? This is because they commonly apply coconut oil in their hair.
- Coconut oil ensures that your hair grows in a healthy manner and gives the hair luster and shine.
- Coconut oil has a thick butter-like structure and ensures that there is very less loss of protein from your hair, which is usually what leads to unhealthy hair.
- Coconut oil has very low molecular weight, which penetrates the hair and protects them from damage.
- For the same reasons, coconut oil is also added in some conditioners and creams for relief from dandruff.
- Unrefined coconut oil is most beneficial for hair and it can be applied regularly.
- Coconut oil also protects hair from damage caused due to hygral fatigue – a result of over-moisturizing your hair.
- Application of coconut oil keeps your hair free from dandruff, ensures that the scalp is moisturized and protects hair from lice infestation.
Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Skin
Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants and is highly anti-bacterial, hence it is very beneficial for the skin. The various skin problems that it can treat are:
- If applied to a burnt area, it gives immediate relief. This is for superficial burns only. Anything more than a minor burn injury must be treated as per a health expert’s advise.
- It protects the skin from harmful bacteria that cause skin infections and pimples.
- Coconut oil suits any skin type as it is a natural moisturizer for the skin.
- Coconut oil aids in the quick healing of a wound.
- It can help in the treatment of dermatitis.
- It also protects the skin from ultraviolet rays.
- Coconut oil has a high content of antioxidants, which is believed to slow the process of aging. It can slow the process of aging as it removes any undue stress on the liver, and acts as a free radical scavenger.
Side Effects Of Coconut Oil
- Coconut oil is safe to consume but if consumed in excess, it may result in weight gain.
- Coconut oil is safer if it is used for a short period of time as a medicine.
- There is not enough evidence that suggests that coconut oil is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Hence, you must consult an expert before you start using it.
- There is no proof that coconut oil is safe to consume by children.
- For people who have high cholesterol, coconut oil should not be a part of all the meals as then it may be detrimental.
In conclusion, coconut oil has many benefits for health, skin and hair with very less side effects. Hence, it is a good option to use. If you haven’t tried using coconut oil yet, then you may start using it for all the benefits it has.