Coconuts have been used for centuries for the general well-being in the traditional communities of the tropical regions. The coconut tree, also known as the 'Tree of Life', provides us with various options that help us in maintaining a well-balanced, nutritious, and wholesome diet. Coconut oil has been recognized very recently for its unique properties when used in foods, and these are often related to its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Recent studies have shown that the use of coconut oil is beneficial for those who lead a hectic lifestyle overlooking their health. Experts have suggested that reverting back to natural foods can definitely help reverse most of the diseases that have been manifested in the body through the highly refined diet so common modern society. Let's take a look at some of the health benefits of coconut oil for our body.
Coconut Oil Diet: Its Various Health Benefits
Coconut oil is known to strengthen the immune system and keep the body functioning healthily. This oil contains an important missing element of our daily diet, called lauric acid. The valuable contributions of lauric acid reach far and wide. This acid converts to monolaurin, a monoglyceride compound which battles viruses, microbes, fungi and protozoans, by destroying their lipid membranes. A good intake of coconut oil gives the body enough monolaurin that helps in keeping it away from a range of sicknesses.
Coconut oil helps in easy digestion. It is best advised to include this oil in your regular diet if you suffer from stomach bloating, gas after eating, or other such indigestion problems. The antibacterial properties of the fatty acids in coconut oil have a calming effect on the digestive tract, and assists in combating bacterial or parasitic infections in the digestive system.
Coconut oil is excellent for weight watchers, as it contains short-term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs). This is a healthy form of saturated fat as compared to the fats derived from other oils. Other cooking oils contain trans fat, which accumulate in the body and create blockages, leading to heart problems and raised cholesterol levels. Interestingly, MCFA is low-calorie fat which is sent directly to the liver and oxidized for energy for the brain and muscle functioning. Thus, it does not get stored as fat at any point of time.
Coconut oil is also known for its property of increasing metabolism. As this oil is easy to digest, it quickly converts to energy, thereby pushing the metabolic rate up. Due to this, the fat in the body burns at a faster rate. Adding a little bit of coconut oil to at least one item in a meal will help lose flab in no time.
Coconut oil has been recently regarded as a remedy of controlling and avoiding type 2 diabetes. The increase in metabolic rate, quick conversion to energy, and good amount of medium-chain fatty acids make this oil best suited for those trying to watch weight. Certain studies show that coconut oil prevents insulin resistance, as is seen in case of type 2 diabetes. As it prevents fat accumulation, it reduces the chances of obesity, which is a major factor related to diabetes.
Other Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can be great remedy for keeping the skin healthy. Add a few drops of this oil to your cream to keep it hydrated and glowing. It is also proven that it has anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects. Thus, it helps in getting rid of acne, eczema, dermatitis and other such skin problems.
Coconut oil is nature's gift for beautiful hair. The small molecular structure of fatty acids help the oil reach the hair's cell membrane easily. As the oil penetrates the hair shaft, it conditions and hydrates it from the inside and outside. Coconut oil repairs damaged hair by restoring its shine and luster. A regular head massage with this oil will help grow long thick hair.
Coconut oil can also offer a relief from dandruff. Dandruff, which is caused by dry skin or an internal fungal condition, can be effectively remedied with coconut oil. With regular use, this oil can kill the fungus and eliminate dandruff issues. Coconut oil can also prevent premature graying of hair and hair loss.
Coconut oil can be used as a moisturizer too. It softens and smoothens the skin, and can be used as an excellent oil for massage therapies. This highly multifunctional oil, therefore holds a prominent place in our lifestyle today.
Following a coconut oil diet is considered a healthy addition to a weight-loss diet. This is albeit the fact it has higher levels of saturated fat. It is known that desiccated coconut contains about 69% coconut fat. Full coconut milk has approximately 24% fat. Approximately 50% of the fatty acids are lauric acid. Adding it as a substitute to polyunsaturated oils helps to suppress appetite, bring about weight loss, and boost metabolism. Most dietitians recommend the addition of least 3 large tablespoons of natural coconut oil, processed or in virgin form, daily. It is therefore possible to add the right fat to the diet to help one lose weight and maintain a healthy body from thereon.
Food prepared by coconut oil tastes extremely delicious and the diet is one of the best-kept secrets in the tropics. The diet contains delicious food items, is fun, exciting, and is one of the few diets that will bring a smile to your face once you step on the scale.
Disclaimer: This NutriNeat article is for informative purposes only. In case of any health condition or diet plan, please visit your physician/dietitian for specific guidance.