With the whole world reporting health benefits from Olive oil, one other healthy oil is often neglected – Coconut oil. And while oil in foods is shunned in most modern kitchens, fats by themselves are an important source of energy and are intrinsic to healthy living. Cutting them out is a bad idea, although not all fats are created equal. While some fats are highly processed and unhealthy, certain others like the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are healthy and essential. Since our body can’t produce these fats, it’s important to include them in your dietary intake. Here’s looking at health benefits from Coconut oil and why including it in your daily diet in moderation is a good idea.
Coconut oil and the world of coconut products have got a nasty reputation these days due to faddish research. It gets a bad reputation primarily due to the fact that it contains saturated fats, despite these being the healthy saturated fats. There is a clear demarcation between saturated fats that are bad for you and those that are not.
Builds immunity: Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which is abundant in coconut oil (about 50% in composition) and is considered responsible for many of its health benefits. The only other abundant source of Lauric acid found in nature is in human breast milk and provides protection against infections to babies, whose immune systems are very delicate and still developing. This fatty acid is also easily absorbed by the human body and used instantly as energy.
Stable for cooking: Coconut oil is very stable for cooking, no need for refining, no need for hydrogenation, improves metabolism and is rich in fatty acids which supports the immune system. It remains stable at high heats retaining all of its benefits, while adding a delicious flavour to the cooked food.
Weight loss and boosting metabolism: Coconut oil and coconut products can boost thyroid function by 20%. Having an efficient thyroid is essential for our bodies to carry out several functions including boosting our metabolism and energy production.
Antibacterial: Coconut oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and will help your body fight off infection, which makes it a great ingredient for home cooked food if you’re unwell or feel something coming on. This is thanks to it being converted to Monolaurin by the body which fights off infections (viral or bacterial).
Still not amazed? Here’s another fascinating factoid: In the 1940′s, farmers tried to use coconut oil to fatten up their cattle, only to have their plan backfire. They ended up with lean, active cattle with increased appetites!
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