Coconut is known as the Indian nut. An Egyptian traveler from the 5th century AD wrote about the Indian nut that many scholars believe is coconut. Known as “shree phal” in India and considered as a holy fruit in the Indian Mythology. There is mention of this fruit in the Arabian nights’ stories. The Portuguese came up with the name Coconut and since then the fruit is referred as “coconut.”
The coconut was not an ordinary fruit in the western world for many years. The western world recently started adopting this fruit for its enormous health benefits. It is the staple food in one-third of the world area. Surprisingly the west has recently understood its scientific benefits and all their benefits.
Botanically speaking coconuts are drupes, they have three layers the exocarp, the endocarp and the mesocarp. In layman terms, coconut is a fruit, nut and a seed.
Since evolution coconut is used for fiber, fuel, folk remedies and as musical instruments in some of Asia Pacific Islands.
Various uses of Coconut
Coconuts have a variety of purposes. With human evolution, coconuts have also evolved into different forms and functions.
- Coconut has refreshing coconut water. The young green coconut is full of energetic coconut water. It is a naturally sweet and nutty water. This is an extremely low in calorie beverage and is a highly hydrating drink used by many athletes as their preferred energy drink. The refreshing juice has potassium equivalent to four bananas.
- The fleshy white part has coconut milk in it. Grated and soaked in water until the cream rises. The cream is separated and the remaining is squeezed in a muslin also known as cheesecloth. The milk has a right amount of saturated fatty acids boosting our metabolism.
- The outer cover of coconut is not waste. In many countries, coconut husk is used to make mats. The actual husk and shell are naturally used as bowls, pots and as fuel.
Now its time for our king “coconut oil.” The dried fleshy part is used to extract the coconut oil. This oil scientifically has multiple health benefits. It has health benefits like reducing inflammation, protection from hair damage and supporting all processes of the body.
Coconut oil consists of 80% saturated fats of medium chain fatty acids. The short and medium chain fatty acids are quickly absorbed by human body.
Lauric acid is saturated fat which is in 45-55 % of quantity in coconut oil. Lauric acid is a component found in breast milk. This acid increases the body’s immunity and also helps fighting viruses and diseases.
Coconut oil contains vitamin E, which is excellent for your hair and skin.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil helps in Brain Disorder
As I had told you before coconut oil had short-medium chain fatty acids. These fatty acids can be quickly absorbed by the liver and metabolized.
Ketones are a product of converting fatty acids. Ketone is an essential element that helps our brain to energize. There are possibilities that Ketones have therapeutic effects on people suffering from memory loss or Alzheimer.
Coconut oil may have the ability to prevent aggregation amyloid beta peptoids. The peptoids are the cause of Alzheimer.
Increase Weight loss
Consumption of coconut oil helps increase energy expenditures compared to any other oil. The body is capable of converting this fat into energy.Readers who are trying to lose weight may consume small portions of this oil as they help you increase your metabolism.
An examination done by American Journal of clinical Nutrition proved that MCFA oils had positive effects on overweight participants as compared to long chain fatty acid oils.
Lose abdominal fat with coconut oil
It is a well-known fact that the western world is suffering from obesity. Certain types of obesity are more dangerous than others and abdominal obesity is the most dangerous one.
Abdominal obesity is more likely to cause coronary heart events. Researchers have found out the benefits of using coconut oil specially for a woman suffering from abdominal obesity.
Treatment trials showed that participants using coconut oil showed more effects in reducing abdominal waist rather than participants using soybean oil.
Consumption coconut oil makes you feel fuller for a longer time thereby overall reducing your calorie intake. Higher food intake is caused with consumption of long chain fatty acids. With similar diet using medium chain fatty acids it is associated with lower food intake.
These results are allocated to several hormones then linked to complacent effects and MCFA. Hence, whenever we consume MCFA foods a hormone will be released. But there is no single hormone associated yet. It is anyway still related to the MCFA foods.
Lower the risk of heart disease
As per numerous studies and epidemiological data increased plasma cholesterol due to high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) are related to coronary heart disease.
On the contrary virgin coconut oil (VCO) was compared to copra oil (CO). It can affect lipid parameters. Studies show that the concentration of cholesterol is lower in the VCO group compared to CO group. This study leads researchers to positively believe that coconut oil and HDL are correlated to each other. This allows it to prevent coronary heart disease.
All fatty acids are not the same and the difference between them affects our metabolism. LCFA lingers in our organs while MCFA’s are directly sent from digestive tract to the liver.
Researchers fed MCFA or LCFA fats to rats for six days at a stretch. The results showed that MCFA rats gained 20% less weight and 23% less body fat. This proves that MCFA’s increase metabolism and burn fats.
Protects from hair damage
Coconut oil is proven to be most effective for hair damage. Coconut oil is used in Indian Ayurveda since the ancient times. Study discovers that coconut oil prevents from combing damage. Coconut oil substantially helps reducing protein loss.
The natural dandruff remedy is coconut oil. Critical conditions like xerosis characterized by the rough and itchy skin, dandruff is similar to dry scalp. Coconut oil having hydrating properties will help in curing this disease. This oil will mainly moisturize your scalp.
Moisturises skin and acts as a sunscreen
Coconut oil has highly hydrating properties. Patients suffering from atopic dermatitis a condition can use the oil for dehydrated skin. Researchers found that the use of virgin coconut oil in Staphylococcus aureus colonies condition works positively. In research of 20 people, only one person was left with positive SA after following the treatment.
Coconut oil is a natural sunscreen. A study published by Pharmacognosy says that coconut oil along with peanut oil, cottonseed oil and olive oil block 20% of UV rays.
Though the number one ranking goes to olive oil, the second place goes to coconut oil. It is highly imperative that people protect their skin from UV rays or it may cause skin cancer, diseases and early wrinkles. Check out the DIY for coconut oil sunscreen.
Coconut oil is highly Insulinotropic, that means it stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin. Insulin helps in controlling blood sugar levels in your body and pumps nutrients into your muscles. Increased secretion of this hormone is highly essential for bodybuilders to increase muscle mass. Maintaining steady hormones like insulin has long-term health benefits.
Help fight infections
Coconut oil consists of abundant fatty acid, mainly 50% of coconut oils fats content consists of lauric acid. Lauric acid is highly effective in eliminating a large variety of bacteria.
This acid kills bacteria leading to food poisoning, stomach ulcers and dental cavity. Lauric acid is highly available in breast milk. Lauric acids protect the newborn from dangerous bacteria.
Prevents gum disease and toothache
As stated in the ancient Ayurveda “oil pulling” is an old technique to avoid gum diseases. It also prevents from a toothache. Additionally, you can even cure sinuses with this ancient method. Research proves that coconut oil can help cure plaque. The studies showed the plaque formation reduced within seven days. Coconut oil can be an alternative to mouthwash.
Helps prevent Candida/Yeast infection
Coconut oil is a natural “non-drug” anti-fungal oil. Therefore coconut oil plays the key role in fighting off yeast infections. Its MCFA’s have anti-fungal effects. Research shows different species were harmed by the oil proving it to protect us, especially women from harmful pathogens.
Protects your kidney, liver, and kidney & bladder stones
As we all know doctors always suggest to protect kidney and liver as they are one of the essential organs in our body. Scientists confirmed its protecting components from induced toxins damaging the liver.
The digestion of MCFA in coconut oil produces monoglyceride. This substance is also a cholesterol solvent. So when a patient is not operatable by doctors, i.e carry any surgery they use coconut oil to remove kidney and bladder stone. Daily ingestion of coconut oil can prevent the formation of gallstones.
Reduces arthritis and inflammation
Coconut oil has a high quantity of antioxidants. Antioxidants have the power to reduce inflammation and arthritis. Coconut oil showed better results as compared to leading medicines as well as decreased inflammatory genes like COX-2, iNOS and IL-6.
Virgin coconut oil has beneficial effects on arthritis due to its antioxidant properties.
Cancer prevention and treatment
As I have mentioned earlier, coconut oil has ketones. Ketones help in preventing cancer. Tumor cells need glucose to live and grow, due to ketones, it cannot access the energy to grow. Hence, ketones act’s a barrier to tumor cells.
To inhibit the tumor growth, the scientist suggests adding natural oils like coconut oil to human colon.
Coconut oil is now chemotherapeutic treatment. But you should not entirely depend on this and consult your doctor.
Coconut oil reduces seizure because of the enormous quantity of ketones in it. When epileptic children do not consume ketone in their diet, the children in this group have a lower percentage of seizures. This shows consuming coconut oil is not enough to prevent seizure. But their constituents are essential to reduce seizure for children who have epilepsy.
Coconut oil helps absorbing nutrients in our body. One of the essential nutrients that promote explicitly nutrients is calcium. Osteoporosis decreases bone volume and increases bone loss. Coconut oil helps in absorption of more calcium in the body which helps to diminish the effects of osteoporosis.
As coconut oil has lauric acid in it, this liquid has a significant role in balancing hormonal imbalance. Woman face hormonal imbalance during pre-menopause and post-menopause period. The hormone estrogen is affected the most during this period. However, high levels of lipoproteins have a protective effect on estrogen.
Your skin cells contain fatty acids just like other cells in your body. The fatty acids in coconut oil naturally balance unsaturated fatty acids levels in our skin. Skin can heal and prevent itself better from sun damage and wrinkles. Coconut oil stimulates collagen production in your skin.
Supports Thyroid functioning
The thyroid gland regulates breathing, heart rate and production of different hormones. The thyroid gland produces hormones that control the speed of your metabolism. Coconut contains capric acid which improves the functionality of the gland.
Helps improve type 1 diabetes
In an experiment, rats were induced with type1 diabetes increasing their blood sugar levels. In this procedure, rats are given coconut oil treatment and this showed a significant increase in their blood sugar levels. This proves that coconut oil helps in balancing blood sugar levels.
There are two types of oil –
Unrefined coconut oil – This oil is used for cooking or for consumption as it is not processed, bleached or refined.
Refined oil – This oil is recommended to be used for external purposes only.
Store at minimum 10-degree Celsius. Coconut oil has high-fat content so before consuming the oil, please consult your physician and consume in very moderate quantity. Excessive ingestion may increase the cholestrol level.
So now that we all know coconut oil is highly beneficial for us, we shall start utilizing the product. Due to its versatile nature, anyone can enjoy its benefits. If you are not convinced about the consumption, you can first start from the external use. As we all know health is wealth, so start working on your health today.