Coconut oil can improve the look and overall health of your skin and hair, including helping treat hair loss! Most hair creams and conditioners contain coconut oil as one of their ingredients. Coconut oil is an excellent source of nutrition and has many health benefits used both internally and externally. In tropical countries, coconut oil has been consumed daily for hundreds of years. It can be used in anything from cooking to baking to frying to drinks, both hot and cold.
Coconut oil even is recommended in treating malnutrition because it provides a quick and easy nutrition source without depleting the body’s enzyme systems.
Organic Raw Unprocessed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut oil generally is available in health food stores as extra virgin oil or refined oil. Virgin or extra virgin coconut oil is what you need to look for when buying coconut oil. Unlike virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil has no coconut taste or aroma.
Coconut oil is a natural oil, created by breaking open and processing the coconut fruit. Unrefined organic coconut oil is considered by many to be the healthiest and most versatile dietary oil in the world.
When selecting a coconut oil, stay away from hydrogenated oil or oil treated with heat, solvents or bleach. Some refined coconut oil manufacturers either hydrogenate or partially hydrogenate the coconut oil to keep the product from melting in temperatures above 76 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this process turns coconut oil, which is a very healthy saturated fat, into a “trans fat.”
“Virgin” and “extra virgin” coconut oils are produced by quick-drying the coconut meat and then pressing out the oil with a machine or else wet-milling the coconut milk.
Its Unique Medium Chain Fatty Acids
Coconut oil and human breast milk contain the highest amounts of lauric acid of any natural foods. Lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid, makes up approximately 50 percent of coconut oil’s total composition, which provides many health benefits.
Coconut oil consists of healthy fats and contains an unusual blend of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, specifically lauric, capric and myristic acids. They are linked to health benefits such as reduced cholesterol and also contain antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties that boost the immune system.
The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil assist in weight loss, since the body uses medium-chain fats for energy as opposed to fat storage. Scientists now are attributing coconut oil’s health benefits to its unique medium-chain fatty acids.
Unlike most plant oils, which primarily are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, more than ninety percent of the fat contained in coconut oil is saturated fat.
Saturated fats are the most stable amongst monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. As fats in coconut oil are almost all saturated, the oil remains very stable and does not get oxidized or rancid easily.
Studies on Coconut Oil
The Journal of Nutrition published a study where researchers investigated all studies related to medium-chain fatty acids — found in abundance in coconut oil fat.
The studies showed diets rich in fats, such as those found in coconut oil, boosted metabolism, increased energy, decreased food consumption, reduced body weight and reduced body fat mass.
Oils containing MCFAs, such as coconut oil, also were found to help reduce excess abdominal fat, maintain a healthy weight, and even treat obesity!