The key word is natural. Unlike the ‘A pill for all problems‘ mentality of modern medicine, coconut oil is a natural health remedy. Used in cooking or taken directly, after the subtle coconut flavour hits your tongue your body utilises the oil’s unique properties to increase weight loss, protect against illness and revitalise skin.
The struggle to lose weight, type 2 diabetes and split ends are some of the many health issues addressed in this article. If either you or a loved one has experienced any of these issues, I ask you to read on.
Weight loss by increasing metabolism
Different food affects our hormones in different ways. Obesity isn’t only a disease of eating too many calories, but a disease consuming of the wrong type of calories.
Unhealthy calories come from a specific group of fats – Long Chain Fatty Acids (LCFA). They are found in animal fats and even olive oil. The LCFA are too large to enter the part of a your cells that burns energy, the mitochondria, and are subsequently stored as body fat.
In contrast, coconut oil consists of a different type of fat – Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA). Since they’re small enough to enter the mitochondria directly, their energy is burned immediately instead of being stored as body fat.
When the University of Geneva conducted a double-blind randomised study they concluded that taking coconut oil daily can increase your bodies metabolism by 5%. This means your body can burn at least an extra 120 calories per day!
Coconuts oil’s MCFA are like giving your body a high octane fuel, they improve performance by using more energy. This explains coconut oil’s popularity among elite athletes, including Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno.
As mentioned above, animal meat is an unhealthy source of fat, yet the body needs foods high in protein. The best solution is vegan proteins, which include coconut.
Weight loss by inhibiting appetite
Eating simple carbohydrates causes a sharp rise in blood sugar. Your body reacts by releasing insulin, which stabilises your blood sugar levels.
Have you experienced that drowsy, lazy feeling? Well it’s caused by that increase and subsequent decrease in blood sugar. Along with the lacking energy, the drop in blood sugar leaves us hungry and craving further carbohydrates. It is a vicious cycle.
However, if you eat coconut oil instead the MCFA’s will keep your blood sugar levels much more stable. This maintains that feeling of fullness, and will stop you going back to the kitchen.
Remember this is one weight loss method and should be used in conjunction with other strategies.
Fight type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is caused when your body is no longer sensitive to the hormone insulin, which controls blood sugar levels. As MCFA are more easily oxidised, less insulin is needed to control blood sugar so the body can maintain sensitivity.
A study at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research has shown that coconut oil protects against insulin resistance, helping to prevent type 2 diabetes.
As obesity is another risk factor for type 2 diabetes, coconut’s ability in aiding weight loss further reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Avoid neuro disorders and cancers
Due to the MCFA in coconut oil, it has a higher smoking temperature than other oils, including olive and vegetable oil. When an oil begins to smoke, it is being burnt and releases harmful free radicals – a factor that causes brain disorders and cancers.
By having a higher smoking temperature, coconut oil prevents these free radicals being created during the cooking process, reducing the likelihood of those illnesses.
Treat IBS and digestive disorders
The fatty acids in coconut oil contain anti-bacterial properties which aid in digestion. They help reduce incidence of irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders, much like a probiotic.
Strengthens the immune system
Coconut oil is made up of lauric acid and caprylic acid. Both these acids consist of antibacterial properties that boost health.
Specifically, the body converts lauric acid into monolaurin – which fights off viruses including influenza and helicobacter. Taking coconut oil in flu season is highly recommended.
Lowers unhealthy cholesterol
Coconut oil raises HDL (the healthy) cholesterol levels, whilst lowering LDL (the unhealthy) cholesterol levels. These improvements to cholesterol levels will reduce the risk of heart disease later in life.
Coconut oil has such strong health properties that it is added to baby formula and IV drips in hospitals.
Moisturise skin and hair
Coconut oil also has cosmetic benefits of glowing skin and shiny hair due to its essential nutrients. Supermodel Miranda Kerr has been eating coconut oil since beginning in the industry.
People who suffer from dry skin, dry hair or split ends will benefit from the natural moisturising effects of applying coconut oil directly to the problem area. Many beauty therapists and celebrities are turning to coconut oil as it is an all natural, therapeutic solution. Kourtney Kardashian applies a formula including coconut oil to her hair monthly.
Whether it is weight loss, illness or disorders or beauty, coconut oil improves the health of people in many ways. While it is due to many factors, the Medium Chain Fatty Acids are a key benefit.
The energetic and fit people of Tokelau living well on a coconut oil diet.
If the science hasn’t convinced you yet, look to the Tokelau tribe that lives in the south pacific who use coconut oil as a major part of their diet. Not only do they live free from obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease throughout their life, you can see how healthy they look in the picture above.
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