Not many foods are classified as “superfoods”, but coconut is sure one of these, thanks to its health properties. Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a superfood. Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health. This includes fat loss, better brain function, and various other amazing benefits.
Here is a list of the top 5 health benefits of coconut confirmed by a wide range of studies.
Coconut oil contains a unique combination of fatty acids with powerful medicinal properties
It has been demonized in the past because that it contains saturated fat. In fact, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known to man, with almost 90 percent of the fatty acids in it being saturated.
However, new data is showing that saturated fats are harmless. Many massive studies that include hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole artery-clogging idea was a myth.
Additionally, coconut oil doesn’t contain your average run-of-the-mill saturated fats like you would find in cheese or steak. No, they contain so-called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – which are fatty acids of a medium length.
Most of the fatty acids in the diet are so-called long-chain fatty acids, but the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently. They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
Coconut oil can increase your energy expenditure, helping you burn more fat
Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world. While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are critical too.
It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is not a calorie. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s) in this oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats.
One study found that 15 to 30 grams of MCT’s per day increased 24-hour energy expenditure by 5 percent, totaling about 120 calories per day.
The lauric acid in coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi, helping to stave off infections
Around 50 percent of fatty acids in coconut oil are the 12-carbon lauric acid. Also, when coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it forms a monoglyceride known as monolaurin.
Lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. As an example, coconut oil has been shown to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus and the yeast Candida albicans.
Coconut oil can kill your hunger, making you eat less without even trying
One interesting thing about coconut oil is it can reduce your hunger. This could be related to the way the fatty acids are metabolized in the body because ketone bodies can have an appetite reducing properties.
Coconut oil can improve blood cholesterol levels and may lower your risk of heart disease
This oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought. Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype.
In one study in 40 women, coconut oil reduced Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL compared to soybean oil. There are also rat studies showing that coconut oil reduces triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, increases HDL and improves blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status.
This improvement in cardiovascular risk factors should theoretically lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over the long term.