What is Coconut Oil?
Virgin coconut oil is simply the oil which results from a totally natural process of pulping fresh coconut and soaking it in water. The oil rises to the top, is scooped off and cold filtered many times leaving pure, unaltered coconut oil.
The important “Virgin” tagline means that the oil has not been bleached, refined or de-odorised which is very common amongst the coconut oils found in supermarkets and health food shops.
Virgin coconut oil has many health properties – the key ones are detailed below.
Coconut oil is made of medium chain triglycerides, commonly referred to as MCTs. MCTs are processed through the liver and are used for immediate energy, not stored with other fats in the body. MCT oil is used in the body almost like a carbohydrate but without the spike in insulin. You will not get fat from consuming coconut oil because of this.
Boosts the immune system
The predominant type of MCT found in coconut oil is lauric acid (almost 50% of the oil) which is also the main fat found in breast milk. Along with its lauric acid content, the presence of capric acid and caprylic acid in coconut oil makes it a great antioxident. It is also antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and fights both parasites and other types of infection.
Protects Cardiovascular Health
Populations that consume 30-60 percent of their daily calorie intake from coconuts have been found to be virtually free from cardiovascular disease. This provides some compelling evidence for the argument that eating a diet high in naturally occurring saturated fats is not dangerous for your health but is, in fact, healthy. Coconut oil improves cholesterol ratios.
Increases metabolic rate
The populations described above were also very lean. It is said that when some farmers in the 1940s tried to fatten their cattle by feeding them coconut oil, it backfired. The cattle instead became more active and lean.
Defends against Diabetes and Insulin Resistance
Oils such as corn oil and vegetable oil that consist mainly of long chain fatty acids may actually decrease the ability of body cells’ ability to absorb blood sugar, which could cause or exacerbate insulin resistance and diabetes, the medium chain fats of coconut oil do not have this effect. The healthy fat in coconut oil plays an essential role in regulating blood sugar; it slows the digestive process to ensure a steady, even stream of energy from your food by lowering the overall glycemic index of your meal. When you include coconut oil in a meal with carbohydates, the carbs are broken down into glucose more slowly, so blood sugar levels remain steady even after you eat.
Promotes Satiety, reduces appetite and cravings
Eating a diet richer in high quality fats such as coconut oil has been shown to reduce sugar cravings and also appetite in general. Coconut oil has been shown to promote a feeling of fulness for long periods after consumption.
Stimulates the Thyroid
Unsaturated vegetable oils (like soybean oil and corn oil) block the secretion of the hormone thyroid. The saturated fat in coconut oil does not.
Easy to Digest
Coconut oil is very easily digested and absorbed compared to vegetable or other oils. Coconut oil can help to relieve and heal intestinal problems while aiding in proper bowel function.
Coconut Oil is great as a moisturiser, if you also mix with a little Epsom salts a good exfoliater and detoxifyer not to mention its great to improve the health of your hair.