(Natural News) Coconut oil originally had a bad rap among health experts and health buffs alike, being branded with terms like “deadly” or “unhealthy.” This is mostly due to its significant saturated fat content, which experts claim to increase cholesterol levels and increase your risk of a heart attack. However, coconut oil eventually dragged itself out of the muck of this misrepresentation and has grown to be a healthy superfood that acts as a fantastic healing agent and provides a wide variety of health benefits.
The wonders of coconut oil
The benefits of coconut oil vary from promoting weight loss to even boosting heart health. Below you can find a list of positive health effects that make coconut oil deserving of its “superfood” title. (Related: Coconut oil – Here’s what you need to know about this amazing rejuvenation healing oil.)
Contains fatty acids that offer many medicinal properties
While coconut oil consists of mostly saturated fat, unlike other fats in the diet, these fats are known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) — meaning that these fatty acids are significantly shorter than most other fats. When you eat food that contains MCTs, they go straight to the liver and are used as a source of energy or even turned into ketones. Ketones are organic compounds that have powerful benefits in the brain and are used to induce ketosis in a ketogenic diet.
Increases levels of HDL cholesterol
Too much saturated fat can be bad news for the heart as it could increase LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels in the body, which contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. However, despite having a 90 percent saturated fat content, coconut oil can be quite beneficial to heart health. According to a report from Harvard Health Letter, coconut oil can nudge “good” or HDL cholesterol levels up a notch, which could significantly reduce your risk of developing chronic heart diseases.
Promotes weight loss through fat burning
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that obesity affects about 93.3 million American adults, making it one of the most prevalent health problems around. While coconut oil is considered a fat, it ironically helps reduce weight by boosting your body’s ability to burn fats. According to a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that MCTs in coconut oil can increase the amount of fat the body burns compared to longer-chain fats.
Works as an all-purpose skincare aid
Coconut oil can work wonders on your skin. A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Science found that coconut oil harbors antibacterial, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, coconut oil can help treat various skin problems, including skin wounds, burns and dermatitis. This oil can also be a natural sunscreen because of its ability to protect the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Boosts brain health
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases in the world. However, research suggests that taking coconut oil can help relieve its symptoms. A study published in the journal Nutricion Hospitalaria found that coconut oil can improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients, particularly in orientation and language-construction areas.
Harbors anti-microbial properties
Coconut oil is also made up of 12-carbon lauric acid, which forms a substance called monolaurin when digested. According to experts, these substances have potent anti-microbial properties — being able to kill harmful pathogens like various bacteria, viruses and even fungi. They can even help kill bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and the yeast Candida albicans, of which the latter is a common source of yeast infections.
The fatty acids in coconut oil are found to increase satiety or reduce your hunger. This particular effect could be associated with how the fatty acids are metabolized because the resulting ketones can have appetite-reducing effects. This reduction in appetite can eventually lead to bodyweight loss in the long term.
You can enjoy all these fantastic health benefits by simply incorporating coconut oil into your everyday diets. Learn more about coconut oil and other foods of similar prowess at Superfoods.news.