Coconut oil phytochemical actions
is a healthy saturated fat that contains medium chain triglycerides which have amazing health giving benefits. Including coconut oil in your diet can boost your immune system because of its’ anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal qualities. Coconut oil is protective as it is largely made up of lauric acid, which produces monolaurin when processed by the body. Lauric acid and monolaurin have been shown to kill common infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi such as Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus. Coconut oil actually contains no cholesterol and when consumed regularly can help to lower your cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar levels, and improve the bodies’ ability to utilize omega three fatty acids. Studies have also shown that consumption of medium chain triglycerides may actually accelerate weight loss because of the affects coconut has on the body and on satiety. In one research study, researchers found that consuming 15-30 grams of medium chain fatty acids per day in ten gram increments three times per day increased energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 additional calories burned per day. Another study, in which six healthy men were fed medium chain triglycerides in varying amounts showed that then men eating the most, consumed on average 256 calories less per today than the rest of the group.
Coconut oil historical use
has been used since the dawn of history as both food and medicine. In Polynesia, it is used cosmetically to maintain soft and smooth skin, and also medically to relieve stiffness of the joints, and rheumatism and back pain by rubbing on a specific area. Polynesians also mixed coconut oil with turmeric to treat sick newborns and apparently also massaged coconut oil on the abdomen on pregnant women to move a baby from breach in to normal position. In India, coconut oil has been used in their healing system Ayurveda for thousands of years as well. In Ayurveda, when used as food, coconut oil is known to nourish the body tissues, improve sexual health, improve intelligence, support respiratory and urinary systems, and calm Vata and Pitta. It is also applied to the scalp to improve length, shine, texture, and overall length of hair. In India coconut oil is also applied topically on skin and wounds, and also heated with herbs which strengthens the healing properties and benefits of the herb. Because of its amazing health benefits, and its fabulous ability to moisturize dry skin, and add luster to hair, coconut has been used in a wide array of beauty products including lip balm, shampoos, conditioners, face creams, lotions, body scrubs, and more. But the best part about coconut oil is that it can be used alone as a multi-purpose beauty aid.
Coconut oil in cooking
In the kitchen, coconut oil is one of the best oils to cook with due to its’ high melting point. Unlike other oils that turn rancid at high temperatures, coconut oil does not, making it the healthiest option especially when frying foods, to reduce free radicals. In several parts of the world, studies have proven that populations that consume a high amount of calories from coconuts are in excellent health. The Tokelauans in the South Pacific who consume over 60% of their calories from coconuts, and the Kitavans, both have low rates of stroke and heart disease and higher overall health profiles.
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