Coconut oil is a healthy and natural oil, created by breaking open and processing the coconut fruit. Many cultures throughout the world and throughout history have used coconut oil to promote health, beautify themselves and cook traditional dishes. For many years, Western society’s fear of fats kept coconut oil off the table, but new medical research has shed light onto its advantages and, as a result, coconut oil has hit the mainstream. The oil also has a reputation with helping in weight loss. Due to its natural form, its complementary health benefits and its antimicrobial properties, it forms the basis for many health programs and diets.
What Is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is the oil derived from a coconut fruit. In its natural form, coconut oil has a soft and waxy consistency, is malleable, and can be used in a variety of products, ranging from health and beauty products to cooking oils. The healthy properties of its components (lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid, antimicrobial lipids and saturated fat) have been widely tested and demonstrated in recent years. In some circles, it’s considered to be the go-to oil for all types of health and beauty needs.
What Is Coconut Oil Used For?
Many cultures throughout history have benefited from the use of coconut oil in their cooking, medicines and traditional customs. Western society has only recently begun to recognize the great healing and health properties that coconut oil offers. Coconut oil has become an increasingly popular ingredient in all-natural and vegan beauty products like lotions, lip balms, makeup remover and shaving creams. The use of coconut oil in these products helps reduce the exposure that consumers have to damaging preservatives and chemicals like parabens, which have been suspected of promoting the growth of tumors and the emergence of diseases like cancer. Using natural products that contain coconut oil also allows consumers to benefit from its inherent healing properties. In addition, coconut oil can be used for cooking, as a healthier alternative to vegetable, corn and other fat-laden cooking oils.
The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Cooking with coconut oil can be advantageous, because this type of oil responds well to high heat. While other forms of cooking oil may become damaged when exposed to high temperatures, and create unhealthy trans fats, coconut oil retains its natural and beneficial properties. It’s even a source of a healthy amount of saturated fat, which can help your levels of good cholesterol (or HDL) rise.
Coconut oil has properties in it that can act as important co-factors in the absorption of nutrients. For example, if you consume coconut oil, you may be able to better absorb the magnesium and calcium-rich foods that you eat. This can result in stronger bones and teeth, among other things. This same benefit may be experienced, if you supplement with vitamins and minerals.
People with blood sugar problems, like diabetes, may be able to benefit from incorporating coconut oil into their diets. The oil encourages the body’s insulin reserves to act as they naturally do, and to respond well to glucose that’s present in the blood. There is some research that claims that type 2 diabetes can even be reversed with the consumption of coconut oil.
Coconut oil also boasts an ability to combat viruses, fungi, and bacteria, making it an intense natural antibiotic and immune system booster. With its complementary antioxidant properties, it may also be able to protect against free radicals and chronic illnesses, and can have some anti-aging properties. With so many health benefits, coconut oil remains one of the best and all-natural ways to guard your health against the bodily and environmental stresses that threaten it.
Of course, coconut oil can also aid with weight loss. This is due to the metabolization process of coconut oil’s medium-chain triglycerides. The fats in coconut oil are treated differently than fats found in other foods. When you consume coconut oil, you’re also investing in your body’s fitness.