Coconut oil is often described as the “healthiest oil on earth.”
This wasn’t always so. For years it had a reputation of being unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content.
We now know coconut oil is different from most fats and is actually good for us. We have listed twelve of the most important health benefits of this newly declared PowerFood.
How Did Coconut Oil Get a Bad Reputation?
- Coconut oil is saturated oil. Saturated oils were understood to raise blood cholesterol and cause heart disease.
- A specific study conducted 40 years ago seemed to verify this concern. Yes, it did increase heart disease.
But, what no one at the time seemed to take into account was that this study was done on hydrogenated coconut. The problems with hydrogenated oils are well documented by numerous studies. Even the general theory of saturated fats is now suspect. Read more about this here: Is Saturated Fat Bad For You?
Coconut oil has been used throughout Asia and the Pacific for thousands of years as both a food and a medicine.
In tropical climates like Polynesia, Sri Lanka, and the Yucatan where they have a diet high in coconut oil, the people are healthier, have less heart disease, cancer, and colon problems than unsaturated fat eaters. It is now accepted that there is good cholesterol and there are good saturated fats.
To quote Dr. Mary Enig: “The research over four decades concerning coconut oil in diet and heart disease is quite clear: coconut oil has been shown to be beneficial.”
Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil (cold pressed):
1. Thyroid-stimulating: Research shows that coconut oil contains a medium-chain fatty acids accelerate that stimulates metabolism, gives you more energy.
2. Get candida in check: Coconut oil has a good quantity of caprylic acid in it which is well known to kill off excess candida by targeting harmful bacteria.
3. Lowers cholesterol: It is rich in lauric acid which protects your heart by reducing total cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.
4. Helps with weight loss: Here is an interesting fact about coconut oil; even though it is a fat, it actually helps with weight loss! Read more here: Weight Loss With Coconut Oil. The healthy medium chain fatty acids do not circulate in the bloodstream like other fats; they are sent directly to the liver and are converted into energy. Thus the body does not store the fat in coconut oil as fat; it uses it to produce energy instead.
5. Helps keep diabetes in check: It does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream. Instead it helps control blood sugar by improving the secretion of insulin. Note: This is not a free pass to eat a lot of sugar and other dumb arbs.
6. Reduces heart disease: studies on people in the Pacific Islands found that their total caloric intake included thirty to sixty percent from fully saturated coconut oil. These Pacific Islanders have nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease.
7. Gastrointestinal malabsorption diseases: Combining Vitamin E supplements with coconut oil through the skin proved to be a good alternative for those with gastrointestinal malabsorption diseases. Study in Canada 1999 University of Western Ontario
8. Supports the immune system. It is rich in lauric acid, a nutrient that supports the body’s immune system.
9. Good for the skin: When applied externally it forms a protective antibacterial layer protecting the infected body part. Also, coconut oil speeds up the healing process of bruises by helping to repair damaged tissue. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/coconut-oil-super-powers-pt-2
10. Nourishing for the brain: Studies show that it improves cognitive function, and stalls, or even reverses, neurodegenerative diseases in their early stages.
11. Ancient medicine:
Coconut oil has been part of Ayurvedic medicine for 5,000 years in India.
12. Speeds Recovery:
People in Panama drink a glass of coconut oil to protect themselves from illness as it is also believed to speed recovery from sickness.
Read about the numerous research studies done on coconut oil: Coconut Oil Research
“Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the anti-viral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria!” according to research by Dr. Mary Enig.