What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil has been circling the net for some time, and more people are getting curious about it. While others are going crazy over it, some are still hesitant as to how effective it is towards its claimed therapeutic benefits. So, what is coconut oil? Why has it gotten more attention lately? Where’s it from? In this article, we’ll dive into the truths about nature’s treasure and what’s in it that makes it do wonders.
Coconut oil or what is referred to by some as ‘copra oil’ is an oil extracted from the coconut’s dry meat. Ages ago, it has often been rejected since it contains a lot of saturated fat which is said to be harmful to our health. But thankfully, science has disproved that claim. Through research, it has been proven that an ample amount of saturated fat is harmless and this study has opened a wider door for coconut oil consumers.
Types of Coconut OilCoconut oil may come in different types:
- Refined Coconut Oil – this kind of coconut oil goes through a process that might strip off its nutrients. It solely comes from dried coconut meat and is treated to eliminate the possible contaminants obtained from the drying process. After drying, it goes through a high heat process that extracts the smell and taste of coconut oil. Some refined oil is hydrogenated and may contain trans-fat.
- Unrefined Coconut Oil – this type of coconut oil comes from fresh and dry coconut meat. It’s often referred as ‘pure’ or ‘virgin’ coconut oil. To extract oil, it goes through a quick-dry process. It passes through a wet milling wherein the coconut meat is drained of its milk and then boiled, strained or fermented to separate the milk from the oil. More antioxidants and flavor is present on this type.
What’s inside the coconut oil?
- Saturated Fat Coconut oil consists of saturated fat that’s made up of seven fatty acids. These medium-chain fatty acids include capric, caprylic, caproic, palmitic, myristic, and lauric acid. The lauric acid is dominant in all these acids. There’s about 6g of lauric acid in coconut oils.
- Lauric Acid Once the lauric acid enters our body, it turns into monolaurin which has antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiprotozoal properties. It works by destroying the fatty membranes of the pathogens. Lauric acid also helps regulate the blood pressure and levels of cholesterol.
- Capric Acid The capric acid contains antibacterial and antiviral properties. This acid immediately breaks down and is processed in the liver turning it into a source of energy.
- Caprylic Acid The caprylic acid contains antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It can aid in treating skin conditions, infections, digestive disorders and others.
- Monounsaturated Fat Coconut oil’s monosaturated fat is mainly made up of oleic acid. A 2005 study conducted by the Assumption University of Bangkok, Thailand reported that oleic acid contains anti-cancer properties. That’s why some believe that coconut oil can be a great supplement for cancer prevention.
- Polyunsaturated Fat The linoleic acid is what composes the polyunsaturated fat found in coconut oil. It’s an omega-6 fatty acid that may benefit the skin, hair growth, brain function, bone health and others.
Benefits of Coconut OilIt seems like the wide array of benefits of coconut oil keep on growing and growing. Here’s to name a few:
- Hair care Way back in tropical countries like the Philippines, it has been long believed that coconut can nourish hair. Coconut oil can help enhance hair growth and making it shiny and black. It can even treat head lice and eliminate dandruff problems. Damaged hair? Just apply coconut oil regularly, and your hair will retain its natural health and moisture. It can benefit for all hair types.
- Skin care Aside from it being a good oil for massage, coconut oil can be good for your skin for several reasons. It can keep your skin moisturized. You don’t need to apply lotion anymore. It can prevent dryness and flaking of the skin. The antioxidants present in coconut oil prevent premature skin aging. It can also be a great sunscreen and treatment for varicose veins and stretch marks. You can even use this as a substitute for shaving creams.
- Face care Coconut oil can keep your skin moisturized and healthy. It can be a great makeup remover as well. The antioxidants help the skin prevent premature aging symptoms such as wrinkles. It’s a great treatment for acne, too. Rub it on your lips, and you have yourself an organic lip balm.
- Dental care Many people are using coconut oil to whiten teeth and prevent tooth decay. They make homemade coconut oil toothpaste or practice oil pulling. Coconut oil is believed to whiten teeth and prevent tooth decay. It has calcium that can give you a stronger and whiter teeth.
- Bone care Coconut oil has calcium which can help strengthen bones. It’s also a natural lubricant that keeps your bones free from friction and bone/joint pain. Its calcium content also aids in preventing osteoporosis.Coconut oil can be great massage oil for joint pains like arthritis not because of its greasy consistency but also because of other health benefits. It can penetrate well through the joints and eliminates the pain by lessening the inflammation.
- Digestion and Weight Loss Coconut oil may increase one’s metabolism and may lead to weight loss. The fat content of coconut oil is turned into energy, so it doesn’t stay in your body for a long time.
- Infections Coconut oil contains antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiprotozoal properties that can help treat infections caused by pathogens.
- Boosts immune system Coconut oil helps enhance the immune system through its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
- Boosts memory Coconut oil may help improve the memory for those who have memory issues.
- Diabetes Coconut oil helps control blood sugar levels. It also helps improve the secretion of insulin in our bodies.
- Pet care You can apply coconut oil to your beloved pets. It helps whiten and strengthen their teeth, treat their skin infections and dog fleas. You can also apply it in their coat to keep their fur healthy and shiny.
- Cooking By switching to coconut oil for cooking your favorite food, you’ll easily acquire its health benefits. It’s a stable oil that doesn’t easily break down at high temperatures compared to other oils. You can find several recipes with coconut oil in it.
- Home care Coconut oil can do several things in your home. You can turn it into a home deodorant to eliminate bad odor, a stain remover, to polish furniture or even a laundry detergent. It can also be a good insect repellent.There are more uses of coconut oil. Why do people opt for them? Solely because it’s organic! No chemicals are added that might create adverse effects that could worsen their situation. Try coconut oil and find out more of its wonders that can also help you.