Surprising Uses of Coconut Oil You Must Know
Many cultures rely on the vast array of benefits the simple coconut provides to their daily lives.
It is apparent that Americans have learned that the benefits of coconuts reach beyond merely flavoring their Piña Colada, contributing the sprinkles atop their Hostess Sno Balls, or being an integral component of the bikini tops for hula dancers. In 2014, the consumption of coconut oil, in just the United States, amounted to 528 metric tons. That’s a lot of coconuts.
With so many tons being consumed, it is clear that the word is out on the common benefits for your health, but here are four that you probably did not know, and will likely have you adding it to your daily regimen.
1. Coconut Oil Fights Alzheimer’s and Epilepsy
One of the most important components in coconut oil are the Medium Chain Triglycerides, also known as Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCTs, aka MCFA, respectively). Studies have shown that MCTs can be beneficial for those with epilepsy or Alzheimer’s.
In a study on Alzheimer’s, a single dose produced such a significant improvement in cognitive function, it far surpassed any other study ever conducted. As a result, the FDA has since approved a new drug made from just MCTs.
Coconut oil consists of approximately two-thirds (2/3rds) MCTs. As such, you might be wondering why someone would spend all the extra money for yet another drug when instead, they can just consume a natural substance like coconut oil.
That would be a logical question for everyone but the drug companies and the FDA.
2. Coconut Oil Increases Exercise Performance and The Rate of Burning Fat
Those same Medium Chain Triglycerides that are beneficial for the brain also benefit athletes and those on a weight loss regimen. MCTs are metabolized differently, going directly to the liver to be converted into an efficient fuel for the body.
As a source of energy for prolonged exercise, MCTs have developed a reputation as an alternative, or supplement, to the traditional quick-hit carbohydrate ‘fix’ typically relied on by endurance athletes.
One aspect of coconut oil that is gaining interest is its ability to increase the body’s temperature at rest. Basically, coconut oil helps you burn the energy already stored as fat in the body, resulting in an increase in the response of a weight loss effort.
3. Coconut Oil Boosts Your Immune System
Lauric acid is one of the types of fatty acids that make up the fat content of coconut oil.
In fact, coconut oil has the highest concentration of lauric acid of any natural substance known, making up 50% of the total fat content (about 75% of total MTCs). When consumed, lauric acid is converted to monolaurin, a compound that displays antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties.
Another known source of significant amounts of lauric acid is breast milk. This is believed to be a major contributing factor to why babies who are breastfed enjoy a substantially lower rate of illness.
4. Coconut Oil as an Appetite Suppressant
So, you try to do all the right things… you get plenty of exercise, have a sensible eating plan, take all your vitamins, but wish you could curb the cravings that plague you during the day.
Then coconut oil might just be your greatest weapon to control your appetite and those cravings, so you can stay committed to your health goals.
Studies have shown that, when compared to foods with Long Chain Triglycerides, people who eat more Medium Chain Triglycerides (such as, in the form of coconut oil), their appetite is suppressed for longer periods, resulting in fewer cravings and a reduced total caloric intake throughout the day.
In summary, when you are planning your diet and nutrition needs, you will want to consider adding the Swiss Army Knife of healthy oils to your tool belt… the do-it-all Coconut Oil.