We know that the natural components of many supplements, health foods and superfoods make positive contributions to our health and wellbeing but you’ll be simply amazed at just how many of them are contained in one fantastic foodstuff: Coconut Oil.
When it comes to superfoods, Coconut Oil is in a class of its own. Supercharged with a unique combination of fatty acids, Coconut Oil can bring truly remarkable positive health benefits. However, as incredible as this oil may be it’s important to note you must get the cold-pressed, virgin stuff to maximize its efectiveness.
Seemingly limitless in what it can do for you this versatile foodstuff is your flexible friend. An easy way to reap the benefits of Coconut Oil is to take it in the form of a supplement such as our Coconut Oil Capsules.
Here’s a round up of the top ten assets of Coconut Oil, your superfood friend:
1. Coconut oil carries a distinctive amalgamation of fatty acids that has remarkable and powerful healing properties.
Until recently coconut oil was vilified for its high saturated fat content – almost 90 percent of the fatty acids in it are saturated. But fear not. New research is showing that saturated fats are not quite the big bad wolf we once thought.
Furthermore, the saturated fats found in coconut oil are not your every-day saturated fats such as those in foods like cheese or steak.
The fats in this foodstuff are called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) and are fatty acids of a medium length. The relevance of this to you is that: most fatty acids in our diet are long-chain fatty acids but the medium-chain fatty acids present in coconut oil are metabolized differently. When they leave the digestive tract they make a beeline for the liver, which uses them as a quick energy source or turns them into ketone bodies – all of which can have beneficial effects on such brain disorders as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
2. You’ll really LOVE this one: Eating coconut oil can increase your energy expenditure helping you to burn more fat
The headlines are constantly full of it: obesity causes more health problems than almost anything else in the world and is a huge strain on the health services. But regular consumption of coconut oil could significantly reduce those statistics. Isn’t that a great friend to have?
It’s simplistic though to think that obesity is merely a matter of calories. Also critical is the SOURCE of the calories you intake. There’s no escaping that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways – therefore a calorie is NOT just a calorie.
The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats. Indeed, one study found that taking in 15-30 grams of MCTs per day caused 24-hr energy expenditure to increase by 5 percent. And that equates to roughly 120 calories per day. Not insignificant if you are trying to lose weight.
3. Coconut oil can kill your hunger
It’s a feature of coconut oil that it can lessen your appetite. It’s possible that this is due to the way the fatty acids in the oil are metabolized in the body because ketone bodies have an appetite minimizing effect.
In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to six healthy men. Those who consumed the most MCTs ate, on average, 256 fewer calories per day.
In a further study of fourteen healthy men it was observed that those men who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate notably fewer calories at lunch.
These were small studies carried out over a short timescale. Were this effect on appetite to continue over a longer time span the influence on body weight could be quite dramatic.
4. Coconut oil can be a fat buster – particularly the fat in your abdominal cavity
Coconut oil is particularly effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around your organs. This is the most dangerous body fat of all and is associated with many western diseases.
You don’t necessarily have to be overweight to have too much fat around your abdominal organs – some body types are prone to carrying weight in that region only rather than it being spread around the body. So even if you are slim it makes sense to ensure you minimize problems in that area – and coconut oil will certainly do that. Your waist circumference is simple to measure and is a useful indicator of the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.
In a study of forty women with abdominal obesity, a daily supplement of 30 mls of coconut oil led to a noticeable reduction in both waist circumference and BMI across a 3-month period.
A further study of twenty obese males observed a reduction in waist measurement of 2.86 cms after a four-week period of taking 30 ml of coconut oil per day.
It’s important to note here that, while these numbers may not appear very impressive at face value, the participants in these studies were not taking any other dietary or exercise measures. They lost significant amounts of fat from the abdominal region by the simple expedient of adding coconut oil to their diets.
5. Some of the healthiest peoples on the planet are those that eat a lot of coconut
The coconut might be viewed, by many of us in the western world, as an exotic food or something eaten mainly by the health conscious but it’s a staple part of the diet for groups of people such as the Tokelauans from the South Pacific. Not only have they survived on coconuts for generations – they have positively thrived and suffered no ill effects. Over 60 percent of their calorie intake is derived from coconut making them the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world – yet vascular disease is uncommon and there is no evidence of these populations being harmed by their huge saturated fat intake.
6. The Lauric acid present in coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi helping to stave off infections.
Of the fatty acids in coconut oil nearly 50 percent of them are made up of the 12-carbon Lauric Acid – and Lauric Acid hates bacteria and viruses. Furthermore, when coconut oil is enzymatically digested it forms a monoglyceride known as monolaurin.
So how does this help you? Well both Lauric acid and monolaurin can kill such potentially harmful pathogens as bacteria, fungi and viruses. There’s evidence that these substances kill the Staphyloccus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections.
7. Coconut oil may improve blood cholesterol levels so lowering your risk of heart disease
It was thought that the saturated-fat laden coconut oil would be damaging to the blood lipid profile – however that has been found not to be the case. The saturated fats in coconut oil raise HDL (good cholesterol) and change the LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype.
One study carried out with forty women showed that coconut oil reduced both Total and LDL cholesterol while producing an increase in HDL compared to that of soybean oil. Similarly, in studies on rats the coconut oil induced a reduction in triglycerides, Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL and improving blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status.
Additionally, studies performed on rats showed that coconut oil reduces triglycerides, Total and LDL cholesterol. It also increases HDL and improves on blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status.
Such an improvement in cardiovascular risk factors could potentially, over a long time period, lead to a lowered risk of cardiac disease.
8. Coconut oil’s fatty acids can boost brain function in sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease
Occurring primarily, but not necessarily, in older individuals. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia worldwide.
Alzheimer’s patients appear to have reduced ability to turn glucose into energy in certain parts of the brain.
Ketone bodies can supply energy to the brain and it’s been speculated that ketones can provide an alternative energy source for these malfunctioning cells and thus may reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
9. Coconut oil’s fatty acids are turned into ketones –potentially this can reduce seizures
A so-called ketogenic (very low carb but very high fat) is currently being studied for its efficacy in treating a range of disorders. The best-known medicinal application for this diet is in the treatment of infantile drug-resistant epilepsy.
The diet is centred around eating very few carbohydrates and large amounts of fat which leads to increased concentrations of ketone bodies in the blood stream.
It appears that this diet can bring a about a substantial reduction in the rate of seizures in epileptic children – even those who’ve had limited or no success with different drugs types.
Because the MCTs in coconut oil get transported to the liver and converted into ketone bodies they are frequently used in epileptic patients to induce ketosis while, at the same time, allowing the diet to have a few more carbs.
Sources: authoritynutrition.com, healthambition.com