Tropical Wonder Of Coconut: 8 Healthy And Effective Uses For Coconut Oil
Coconut oil or copra oil, as it is also known, is an edible type of oil extracted from coconuts that grow on coconut palms (Cocos Nucifera).
Coconuts have been an essential part of the diet in many subtropic and tropic areas of our planet for thousands of years. Coconut is, in fact, a misnomer since this fruit is a drupe, not a nut. Regardless of the naming mistake, coconut is still used for drinking and as food; it is even revered as sacred by the Hindu people of India. During the recent years, coconut has found its way into the Western countries where people are starting to realize its many health properties.
The other definition, "copra oil," gives away the way coconut oil is made as copra is a term for dried coconut meat. By pressing the coconut meat, it is possible to extract this healthy oil even with the most basic of equipment.
The potential uses of coconut oil are incredibly versatile and range from preparing food to skin and hair beauty products. The reason behind this versatility and popularity lies in the coconut's many health benefits which have been recognized even by the scientific community.
1. Reduces the risk of heart disease.
Even though coconut oil has a high amount of saturated fats, around 84%, it is, however, excellent for your heart. Saturated fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, which boosts the HDL or "good cholesterol." In turn, HDL reduces the chances of artery damage, thus keeping your heart safe. Listen to your heart and learn to notice when it's having problems such as tachycardia.
2. Helps with Alzheimer's disease.
Again, the medium-chained fatty acids play a crucial role in helping your body. Because they are easily absorbed and metabolized by your body, these acids are then dissolved into ketones. Ketones are one of the brain's primary sources of energy and can help with memory loss issues.
3. Weight losing.
By increasing your metabolism and energy expenditure, coconut oil can prove to be a real ally for anyone trying to lose weight. Namely, coconut oil improves calorie burning more than any other longer chain fats.
You can find an abundance of proof for the coconut's hair benefits by merely looking at long, luscious hair of women that live in tropical areas. Oil gives the hair its beautiful shine, as well as keeps the protein levels in check, thus providing strength to the hair. Furthermore, coconut oil is proven to have anti-dandruff properties by increasing scalp hydration and raising lipid levels. There are, of course, other ways to have natural, long hair.
5. Skin moisturizing.
Excellent for massages, coconut oil is perfect for any skin but especially for dry skin, since it is a powerful moisturizer. It can help with various skin ailments, such as psoriasis and removing skin tags. It is the richness in antioxidants that nurtures the skin and the reason why coconut oil is used in many soaps and lotions.
With the increasing danger of sun's UV rays, wearing sunscreen has become crucial, especially for people with pale skin. Scientists are turning their focus on finding natural sunscreens and have found that coconut oil has the second SPF value of all oils. It can effectively block 20% of the sun's ultraviolet rays while keeping your skin healthy.
7. Dental health.
Coconut oil stimulates calcium absorption which is a critical component in teeth. If your body has plenty of calcium, it will develop strong teeth and reduce tooth decay. Also, studies have been made which prove that coconut oil reduces overall plaque formation.
8. Strengthens the immune system.
Due to its central components, such as antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, and the capric acid having antibacterial and antiviral properties, coconut oil improves the overall immunity of the body.
Note that there are differences in coconut oils and that you should always try and find virgin oil. What Virgin stands for is the oil is made from fresh coconuts and, therefore, hasn't had as many chemical refinements.
This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.