Coconut oil has gained popularity over the years as an invaluable commodity that helps us live a better life. It offers not just a wide array of benefits to health but a general usefulness for things we might not even expect.
Arguments have been made about its efficacy as a health supplement and the actual risks of consumption but one thing is for sure. People have used coconut oil for generations and have sworn by its ability to provide us with amazing benefits that can be gained from continued use.
Here are some surprising facts:
1. Cultures that have adopted coconut oil as a staple food product are among the healthiest people in the world
In most western countries, the consumption of coconut oil might seem like a foreign idea but there have been cultures and societies in other parts of the globe that have been using coconut oil for generations for varied purposes.
These cultures consume up to almost 60% of their diets in coconut. Most islands in the South Pacific where the coconut industry thrives include coconut as part of their daily staple food.
An example of this would be the people from Tokelau, formerly known as the Union Islands, a territory of New Zealand in the South Pacific. They are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world. They might just be the world’s healthiest people with no evidence of cardiovascular disease.
2. Coconut oil improves brain function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease
A diet high in coconut oil can be beneficial to patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Patients of this disease are unable to utilize glucose in certain parts of their brain.
By consuming coconut oil, their bodies are able to produce a build-up of ketones that supply energy for the brain.
High consumption of MCTs (Multi-chain triglycerides) such as that in coconut oil could lead to improved brain function. The results are quite evident in patients with milder forms of the disease. Studies are continually being conducted to verify its potential as a therapeutic agent.
3. Coconut oil reduces belly fat
Belly fat is the most dangerous storage of fat in our bodies. Located in the abdominal cavity, it houses most of the major organs that could be affected by many diseases. Coconut oil helps reduce the build-up of belly fat. It is recommended that weight loss programs should include a diet that utilizes coconut oil.
A study of women with abdominal obesity or belly fat was previously conducted by requiring them to consume at least 30 ml of coconut oil per day. The result was a significant reduction in their Body Mass Index (BMI) and waistlines after a period of 12 weeks.
In a similar study conducted with obese males, a reduction of about 1.1 inches in their waistlines was the result of consuming about 30 ml of coconut oil per day after a period of about 4 weeks.
4. Coconut oil improves the quality of your skin and hair
If there is a single most proven benefit of coconut oil, it would be its amazing success in improving the quality of your skin and hair. Oral consumption isn’t necessary to experience its effectiveness in maintaining a soft, supple skin and shiny and healthy head of hair.
Applying coconut oil to dry skin improves its moisture and increases its lipid content. It can also be used as a sunscreen as it is known to block about 20% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
Some people also use coconut oil as an effective mouthwash. This is a process called oil pulling where about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil is rolled in the mouth just like a mouthwash for several minutes. This has been proven to be an effective remedy for bad breath as it kills harmful bacteria and at the same time, whitens your teeth.
5. Coconut oil helps fight infections by arresting bacteria, virus, and fungi
Coconut oil is composed mostly of lauric acid. Lauric acid is known to have anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties that help fight infections. It is considered to be a healthier saturated fat having many properties of the medium chain fatty acids.
When coconut oil is consumed, lauric acid travels through the body and fights off the various bacteria, viruses or fungi that cause us to be sick. It has proven to be an effective remedy for yeast infection in humans.
6. Coconut oil curbs your hunger and helps you feel more full
If you are planning on undergoing a detox program, don’t forget to include coconut oil in your menu. Coconut oil helps you stave off your hunger as it makes you feel fuller and more able to fight the hunger pangs that usually taunt us during periods of detox.
The medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil make you less hungry and as a result, you lose weight naturally.
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