I have been reading and hearing about the benefits of consuming coconut oil from all sides. Therefore, I finally got myself some at home. I have to admit that I totally love the smell while I am cooking. However, it made me even more curious and I found out some interesting facts from its history too. Read on about the benefits and history of coconut oil…
Coconut tree official name is Coconut nucifera, aka The Tree of Life
The word ´coco´ originally means ´monkey face´. The coconut used to be associated with monkey face because of the three little dents it has.
You can take coconut in the form of juice, oil, fruit, sprinkles over the food, butter and milk. The white part of the coconut is also refered to as coconut meat.
Coconut has been a basis for the diet of many nations. Actually, 1/3 of the world population depends on coconut in their diets as well as economically.
Coconut Oil is also classified as a Super Food, just as the goji berries, bulgur and chia, we talked about earlier.
Not that it is just healthy, but coconut oil has also been used as a medicine for thousands of years. It has beneficial influence on deseases such as Alzheimer, Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2, improves numerous skin infections (eczema, fungal infections, acne and more). This is due to the unique combination of fatty acids coconut contains.
Because of its high content of saturated fats (around 80% but Don´t get scared!), coconut oil was mistakingly believed to be bad for the health. The fatty acids in the coconut oils are middle-chain fatty acids, which are very different from the short- or long- chain fatty acids that other oils have.
1. Increases Energy Expenditure
The energy that you get from different foods also differs. You cannot say that one calorie from a banana equals one calorie from pork meat. It has been claimed that the middle-chain fatty acids from the coconut oil increase energy expenditure when compared to other long-chain fatty acids contained in other oils. Therefore, regular intake of small amounts of coconut oil (15 – 30 gr) can increase the daily calorie burn, and, thus, lead to losing weight in the long term.
2. Increased Metabolic Rate
Some studies showed that meals containing middle-chain fatty acids increase the metabolic rate when compared to meals full in long-chain fatty acids (such as Omega-3). This factor also leades to eventual weight loss.
3. Cuts Down Hunger
Because of the high content of saturated fat, it just makes you feel full so you might naturally decrease the food intake or the distance between the meals. This is also a weight loss effect.
4. Healing Power
Coconut oil contains an abundance of lauric acid. The only natural substance that has more of this lauric acid is breast milk, according to a study. Lauric oils are said to have healing power and breast milk and coconut oil are the only two natural ways to have them in your diet.
5. Cosmetic benefits
Coconut oil has amazing benefits for your skin and hair. It nourishes deeply and strenghtens your hair. It can be applied directly on the skin, but the intake of coconut oil also has a strong effect on the skin and hair.
Warning: However, do not believe that just adding high amounts of coconut oil to your diet will help you in reducing weight like a magic stick. The coconut oil needs to be combined with lower carbs intake and, for some, exercising. Each metabolism is different, so you might want to try it starting with smaller quantities and observing the effects on your body.
When you are choosing coconut oil, ALWAYS CHOOSE VIRGIN / PURE. The refined version means that it has been processed with some not very biological things which make it less effective. Moreover, the temperature during the process might break down the fatty acids so they do not have the same benefits at all.
Coconut Oil Nutrition Facts Per 100gr
- Calories 862
- Total fat 100%
- Saturated fat 86.5 g
- Polyunsaturated fat 1.8 g
- Monounsaturated fat 5.8 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 0 mg
- Potassium 0 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 0 g
- Dietary fiber 0 g
- Sugar 0 g
- Protein 0 g