Jun. 3rd, 2014
Coconut oil is a saturated fat and because of this has been shunned for many years by health experts due to the fact that high saturated fat consumption has been linked to heart health issues. However upon further study of coconut oil, you may be surprised to find just how it's really not like other saturated fats.
Coconut oil is made up of a unique blend of both short chain fatty acids and medium chain fatty acids, which is made up mostly of lauric acid (44%) and myristic acids (16.8%). Because of this make up it is very easily digested and is sent directly to your liver to help produce energy, which also means it does not get stored as fat. And by this way of digestion, your body does not need to use pancreatic enzymes or bile to break it down in your body which makes it great for those who are diabetic or have gallbladder problems. Also lauric acid, which is found in abundance in breast milk, is converted into monolaurin which is a monoglyceride compound. These types of compounds have properties in them which allow them to break down the lipid membranes in negative organisms present in the body, such as bacteria, fungus, and viruses. It is also a natural antioxidant which helps in the absorption of other important minerals and nutrients our body needs like Vitamin D and calcium.
There are many uses for this oil. Because of its stability it does not break down at high heats like some oils can making it great for stir fries and frying eggs among many other things. It is also great to add to smoothies to add that extra boost of energy. And because of its immunity boosting capabilities it is great to melt a spoonful in a hot cup of tea to smooth sore throats and to help fight against the cold and flu. Coconut oil also becomes hard in cold temperature which makes it great for no bake desserts that you make in the fridge or freezer. This is a great way to enjoy the benefits through ingestion.
Ingestion however is not the only way to benefit from coconut oil. Topical use of this oil can be used in many different ways to benefit the health of your skin as well. Great to use in lotions to leave your skin feeling soft without leaving an oily residue afterwards. Also by applying the oil before getting in the shower, you can use it for shaving your legs with soft and noticeable smooth results. With regular use on your scalp, it can treat and prevent dandruff. It can also be used as an intense conditioner. Apply the coconut oil for hair loss or dry hair and put up in a shower cap. Leave on for an hour or two and then rinse. Your hair will be soft, smooth, and healthy. Just need a touch up? Put a little on your fingers and run through the tips of your hair to tame frizz. You can use it as a great eye make-up remover which has been shown to reduce wrinkles around your eyes. And with regular application, can help reduce cellulite. Pregnant? Use coconut oil to help with stretch marks. And once the baby comes you can use this oil as nipple cream to help with them becoming chapped and will allow baby to benefit from the coconut oil as well.
Do the benefits of coconut oil outweigh the fact that it is a saturated fat? Like most things in life, our bodies react in different ways to things, and because of its unique make up, it should not be treated the same as other saturated fats out there. There is such a broad spectrum of benefits as well as uses for coconut oil, that to pass it up because of it being labeled a saturated fat, would not be the best course of action.