Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil

Exploring the Unique Fatty Acid Profile of Coconut Oil

It may seem strange to many people, but that hard-shelled exceptionally large seed from the coconut palm is one of nature's most healthy foods. That's right coconut not only tastes good, but is also exceptionally good for you. Best of all, it doesn't matter whether you eat the meat of the coconut, drink the water or even cook with coconut milk, it all has health benefits. Let's look at these benefits in terms of each of the different products made from coconut.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is derived from the meat of the coconut and it can help beat sugar cravings and aid weight loss. Coconut oil can be used in a variety of cooking applications and can also be found in skin care products. The health benefits of coconut oil include:

• Helps the body resist viruses and bacteria that cause illness
• Helps prevent yeast infections/Candida
• Helps improve insulin and control blood sugar levels
• Improves digestive health (for those not sensitive)
• Provides a variety of antioxidants that help to fight off diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and more.
• Can help get you into a fat-burning state (ketosis) useful for weight loss and Alzheimer's disease
• Can aid in weight loss
• Improves skin, keeping it moisturized and helping to slow the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• Makes for healthy shining hair

Coconut oil is easy to use and can be used in place of other types of oil in cooking. It is solid at room temperature, making it ideal for cooking and baking as a butter substitute. It works especially well when used to cook bitter-tasting greens such as kale. While Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, these fats are not the same as the saturated fats found in meat. Meat has long-chain triglycerides, and coconut oil has medium-chain triglycerides (MTCs). Our bodies convert these MCTs to energy rather than storing them as fat.

Coconut oil has been found to help those suffering from digestive disorders like IBS constipation, those with yeast overgrowth and bacterial infections like SIBO. The oil has antimicrobial properties and can help us create a healthy microbiome in the gut. Those with salicylate sensitivity need to avoid coconut products though as they are high in salicylates.

Coconut Meat

Raw coconut meat has all the health benefits of coconut oil, just in lower concentrations. Adding raw coconut to baked foods, muesli, and other dishes can help you prevent heart disease, keep blood glucose levels stable and help to improve metabolism.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk can be used in making creamed soups and sauces. It is made from grating brown coconuts and then squeezing them using a cheesecloth to get out the rich white liquid. You can also soak the grated coconut in warm water before squeezing it to get a thinner milk. Since coconut milk has some of the oil from the coconut, its health benefits are similar to that of coconut oil.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is the clear liquid in the centre of green coconuts. Coconut water has been dubbed nature's sports drink due to its high levels of electrolytes. This water is slightly sweet and has a slightly nutty taste. It also contains high levels of potassium as well as other important minerals that your body needs. Coconut water is especially beneficial in hydrating the body after exercise. However, it is fairly high in natural sugars so don’t go overboard!

The Unique Health Benefits of Coconut Oil's Fatty Acids

Coconut oil is a superb source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that the body can convert into energy with speed. This rapid conversion process makes coconut oil an excellent source of instant energy, distinguishing it from other fats that take longer to metabolise. Additionally, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is celebrated for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, offering further health benefits. Unlike the monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolised directly by the liver, enabling quicker and more efficient energy utilisation. This unique metabolic pathway not only provides a quick energy boost but also supports various bodily functions in a way that other fats cannot.

While you don't want to overdo the use of coconut oil, milk, meat or water, including a small amount of some of these products in your diet can have benefits for your overall health.

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