Coconut oil is in fact a by-product made of coconut meat. Once the meat of the coconut seed is dried, which is known as copra, it is processed in order to produce the coconut oil.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
It is mostly used for cooking, in particular for frying, because it is heat stable, thus suitable for cooking in high temperatures. Coconut oil oxidizes slowly, and has a shelf life of approximately two years or more. Aside from that, coconut oil is widely used in cosmetic industry.
In spite of the fact that coconut oil is high in saturated fat, thus claimed to be unhealthy, this oil is one of the healthiest oils in the world.
Coconut oil is popular due to its antioxidant properties. The oil protects the body from harmful free radicals and when applied topically, it helps form the chemical barrier on the skin, thus protects it from infections. Because of the antibacterial agents, coconut oil is a perfect anti-aging moisturizer. Due to the vitamin E, the oil also protects the skin. It has been proven that oil help treat psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. Due to the medium-chain triglycerides, coconut oil provides the protection from the sun.
Coconut oil showed great result in the researches regarding blood sugar control. This oil improves insulin use and boosts thyroid function, thus increase the metabolism and energy.
As for the cholesterol, it has been proven that coconut oil increase the good HDL cholesterol in the blood.
Fatty acids in coconut oil are responsible for hair care. They have small molecular structure, thus pass into the hair’s cell membrane easily and freely, and that way, they allow oil to penetrate the hair’s shaft. When used regularly for scalp massage, coconut oil helps kill fungus and eliminate dandruff. In order to protect the hair, one can apply a teaspoon or two of coconut oil on damp hair. The oil should remain on the hair as long as possible for an ultra shine.
Another research showed that due to the type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), coconut oil is essential in diets for healthy weight loss. Due to these healthy fats, metabolism can speed up, and the energy can burn faster.
Although there are no known side effects of coconut oil, some can suffer from diarrhoea if they are used to low-fat diet. An adult should consume around 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil on a daily bases.