Six CAA directors in hot waterCoconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.” Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health. This includes fat loss, better brain function and various other amazing benefits. Here are the top 10 health benefits of coconut oil that have been experimentally confirmed in human studies.
Coconut Oil Contains a Unique Combination of Fatty Acids with Powerful Medicinal Properties
Coconut oil has been demonized in the past because it contains saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90% of the fatty acids in it being saturated.New data is showing that saturated fats are harmless. Many massive studies that include hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole “artery-clogging” idea was a myth.
Additionally, coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak. They contain so-called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length.They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Energy Expenditure, Helping You Burn More Fat
Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world. While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are critical too. It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie. One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day.
The Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi, Helping to Stave Off Infections
Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid. When coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it also forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi. For example, these substances have been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen) and the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans
Coconut Oil Can Kill Your Hunger, Making You Eat Less Without Even Trying
One interesting feature of coconut oil is that it can reduce your hunger. This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketone bodies can have an appetite reducing effect .
In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men.
The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer caloriesper day, on average. Another study in 14 healthy men discovered that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch.
These studies were small and only done for a short period of time. If this effect were to persist over the long term, it could have a dramatic influence on body weight over a period of several years.
Coconut Oil Can Protect Hair Against Damage, Moisturize Skin and Function as Sunscreen
Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it. Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair. Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and lipid content of the skin.
Coconut oil can also be very protective against hair damage and one study shows effectiveness as sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Another application is using it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health and reduce bad breath.