Coconut oil was once believed to be a “bad” fat due to its high content of saturated fat, but now as nutritional research becomes more savvy, fats and saturated fats are not the enemies they once were.
In fact, since the movement of low-fat diets we are more obese and more diabetic than ever before.
There are still ‘bad’ fats however these are typically trans-fats or hydrogenated oils which are man-made. They are often found in deep fried foods, margarines, shortening and processed foods.
Coconut oil is extremely therapeutic and offers a multitude of healing benefits, it also has a high smoke point which means it’s excellent to cook with.
Here are the top 8 scientifically backed healing properties of coconut oil:
1.) Weight loss: surprisingly, coconut oil can help you lose weight. The oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which instead of storing in the body as fat, actually help to boost your metabolism and increase energy. One study found that by consuming 30 ml of coconut oil, belly fat was reduced in just 3 months.
2.) Brain Function: The MCT’s found in coconut oil have been shown to reduce the acceleration of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment. The study published in the Neurobiol Aging journal found evidence that ketones bodies are an effective energy substate for the brain and that MCT’s helped to elevate plasma ketone levels.
3.) Anti-Fungal: coconut oil has anti-fungal and anti-parasitic qualities. When exposed to the fungus, Candidia albicans, coconut oil was able to kill off the species, making coconut oil an extremely efficient treatment method for thrush and other fungal infections. Coconut oil was also shown to be more effective than permethrin when treating head lice and also makes a great hair mask or dandruff treatment.
4.) Wound Healing: coconut oil has long been used in ancient medicines for its ability to heal wounds. Science has now confirmed that coconut oil can accelerate epithelial tissue growth, increase antioxidant enzyme activity and stimulate the formation of collagen. This also makes coconut oil an effective anti-ageing and eczema remedy.
5.) Anti-Inflammatory: One study investigated the pharmacological properties of coconut oil and found that it was not only anti-inflammatory but also analgesic and antipyretic. Coconut milk was also proven to reduce inflammation associated with ulcers.
6.) Testosterone Regulator: While the findings were only preliminary, scientists found that when they fed coconut oil to rats, their testosterone levels were regulated in the testes and benign prostate growth was also reduced.
7.) Improves Cholesterol Ratio: coconut oil was able to improve the ratio of high density to low density lipoproteins further supporting that not all saturated fats are bad. While coconut oil did not effect total cholesterol levels, it did help regulate the ratio.
8.) Bone Health: studies revealed that coconut oil could reduce oxidative stress within the bone helping to prevent structural damage and osteoporosis.
When it comes to choosing coconut oil, unrefined virgin coconut oil is best however, it does have a strong taste and odor. Refined coconut oil has been processed to deodorize the oil to remove the distinct flavor. Some refined coconut oils can contain hydrogenated fats and should be used with caution.
If you must choose refined coconut oil, go for an organic oil that has been minimally processed and contains no hydrogenated or trans fatty acids.
If you don’t mind the taste or smell of coconut oil, choose pure, unrefined virgin coconut oil for the best results.