How is Coconut Oil Good For You? The Unbelievable Health Benefits

Coconuts have been used as a major food source for thousands of years by millions of people in Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and Central America. Before these people were introduced to western and modern day foods from across the world, they relied heavily on the coconut plant to sustain life. What is amazing to think about is that they didn’t suffer from heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes and other modern degenerative diseases. However, when they started incorporating modern western foods into their diet and abandoned their traditional, coconut based diets, these diseases started to show up. This transition was noted by many researches that the more ‘westernized’ the people came in regards to their diet, the more their health deteriorated. Their diet did include other nutrient-rich foods that did contribute to their overall health but they were not the ‘secret’ to their underlying absence of disease and illness. What researches had found was that the most common and staple food used in all of these countries was the coconut plant.

Biome Eco Stores - Zero Waste, Toxin Free, Ethical Choices

The ‘Fat’ in Coconut Oil

We are constantly being told in our society to avoid fat, and it makes sense, its called fat for a reason right? This is where the misconceptions arise. There are ‘good’ fats and ‘bad’ fats that we need to be aware of, which you can learn more about here. To be healthy and free of disease we need essential fatty acids which come in the form of Omega 3 and Omega 6. Medium-chain fatty acids like those found in the Coconut plant, are also important and are considered conditionally essential.  This means that under certain circumstances, they are just as important as other essential fatty acids. 

Coconut oil was thought of as a food to avoid due to its high saturated fat content among other food groups as well such as meat, margarines and fried foods. However with the Coconut plant, the saturated fat it contains is made up of small and medium chain triglycerides as oppose to other saturated fats like animal fats which are long chain triglycerides.

We are told that if we reduce our fat intake by 30% of our total calorie intake, then it will help reduce our risk of heart disease. This may be true for some fats but coconut oil is another story. Look at the Polynesian people for example, they consume coconut oil daily and in large quantities, in fact, their fat intake can contribute to 60% of their total calorie intake which is twice the recommended amount.  

Additionally, Coconut oil is better for our health because it is burned in the body easily whereas long chain triglycerides goes to the circulatory system before it is finally used as energy.

What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

The difference between Commercial coconut oil and Virgin coconut oil is dependent on the way it is processed. Commercial coconut oil is produced from dried coconut ‘meat’ and then undergoes refining processes to make the oil edible. Once it has been refined, it is called Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized Coconut oil. This is the most commonly used coconut oil when cooking.

Virgin oil, on the other hand, does not undergo the refining process because the oil produced is already edible.

The chemical properties are the same in both Commercial and Virgin so the health benefits remain the same because they have the same medium chain fatty acid composition, it is just the process they undergo that the name changes.

In regards to health, Virgin Coconut oil is better for you due to the biologically active substances which are normally lost in the refining process remain intact in the oil.

Disease Prevention

Coconut oil is highly respected in many cultures of the world and not only as a valuable and diverse food source but for medicinial purposes as well. For example, in Central America of Panama, people are known to drink coconut oil by the cup, which they found to help overcome sickness faster. Additionally in Nigeria, palm kernal oil (which is similar to coconut) is their most trusted remedy for all types of illnesses, and because it has been used there for so long, it is their most commonly administered traditional remedy.

Coconuts are disease fighters due to their antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic and antioxidant properties. It is even used in baby formula because it provides many of the same nutrients as human breast milk! Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed the consumption of coconut oil as not only safe, but can be used to treat a number of common illnesses.

People use to think that coconut was something that contributed to diseases such as heart disease or other cardiovascualr diseases but what studies are showing is that coconut actually helps prevent these diseases.

Coconut oil has also been mentioned in cancer prevention studies. This is because Coconut oil does not affect blood lipids and will not cause an increase in cholesterol or cause cardiovascular disease.  It even increased the High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or the so-called “good cholesterol”, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.

Additionally, Blackburn et al (1988) stated that Coconut oil is, at worst, neutral in regards to an atherogenicity of fats and oils and can be beneficial to prevent and treat some heart diseases.

At the start of this article I said the Coconut plant is a Nutraceutical substance. That is a substance that offers nutritional value as well as pharmacological effects. It is a nutraceutical due to its biologically active substances.  There are studies that are still trying to understand the effects of these substances on human health and the interest is going big worldwide!

How do I use coconut oil? 

Regular usage of coconut oil can really improve your overall health and help prevent diseases. If you are overweight, it can help you to loose weight; if you have digestive problems it can help with that as well.

You can incorporate coconut oil in your daily life by:

(1) Using it for cooking and replace it with your other oils,

(2) Eat coconut or coconut products (coconut yoghurt, coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut water) or,

(3) Apply coconut oil directly to your skin and hair in order to recieve its health and healing properties into your body.

(4) Coconut oil can also be used in a toothpaste, which inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium that is a major cause of tooth decay and they are usually natural toothpastes that will be free of harmful ingredients like fluoride, triclosan, and sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). 

==>You can purchase your own Coconut-based toothpaste here <== 

Thank You!

Thanks for having a read and trying to better your health through healthy and safe alternatives to medicines. I hope you learnt a thing or two and are ready to replace your vegetable oils with coconut oil! I know I am!

What are your thoughts about coconut oil and its health benefits? Please feel free to share your thoughts below, I am excited to chat about this amazing plant!

 

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

References:

Fife, B., 2013. The coconut oil miracle. Penguin.

Enig, M.G., 1996. A new look at coconut oil. The Weston A. Price Foundation. http://www. westonaprice. org/health.

Carandang, E.V., 2008. Health benefits of virgin coconut oil. INDIAN COCONUT JOURNAL-COCHIN-, 38(9), p.8.

Chow, C.K., 2007. Fatty acids in foods and their health implications. CRC press.

 

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “How is Coconut Oil Good For You? The Unbelievable Health Benefits

  1. Hello Danielle, This a great article. I happened to have a conversation with my family about coconut oil during thanksgiving. I wish I had this article at the time to discuss with them but I also heard that coconut oil can be used for gum repair in your mouth. There are so many benefits for it.

  2. Hi Danielle. I have to agree with you that coconut oil has so many benefits that it is almost unbelievable. Coconuts truly are medicine disguised as food. The added benefit is that fresh coconuts and coconut milk taste so good! I found it interesting that the people’s in Panama and Nigeria drink large quantities of coconut oil to overcome illness. I sometimes buy bottles so I can take a tablespoon, or mouthful each day as a health supplement. Maybe I should increase the dosage when feeling under the weather? I read somewhere that coconut juice is one of the purest products on the planet because of the processing that it goes through on its journey through the coconut palm to become the milk. I’m not sure if this is true or not, but it does sound logical.
    Great article. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Hey, Andrew! I love how much you are aware of coconuts health benefits, they are truely diverse! I definitely think it woulddn’t hurt if you increased your dosage of coconut oil but of course, check with your doctor or health professional too.

  3. I found your article informative. Thanks for taking the time to share this information. I think I will add coconut to my diet. It seems pretty easy to do. I think I will start by buying some coconut milk or coconut water. I really never knew much about it before, especially the long history and cultural facts that you shared. Thanks again!
    Angela

    1. Hey, Angela! I am so glad you found the article informative 🙂 Coconut comes in so many different ways, I love coconut milk especially, give it a try for sure 😉

  4. Great article about coconut oil which I enjoyed reading. I didn’t previously know the difference between virgin and commercial coconut oil so thanks for explaining that. I also didn’t realise it has so many health benefits so I will start including it in my diet from now on. Thank you.

    1. Hey, Helen 🙂 Yes, now we know which coconut oil to pick from! Yes, including coconut oil in your diet can only bring you many health improvements.

  5. Hi Danielle
    I thank you for sharing this valuable information. In south India coconut is used in almost every dish due its tremedous properties. Coconut is supposed to reduce Cholestol, Kills virus and bacterias and also helps brain functions. Coconut cream is best moisturizer and coconut water is Source of Several Nutrients.
    You have taken a right step in educating people about coconut’s properties and to busting the myths.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Arun! Wow, you are so informed about the benefits of coconut! It really is such an amazing plant :O I may have learnt a thing or two from you just now as well! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  6. Hello Danielle –

    Wow – what a fabulous article on the benefits of coconut oil. I found it interesting in the beginning of your post where it was mentioned that when people from the cultures of Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and Central America were introduced to western culture and diets, that’s when some of those diseases started to show up. It’s amazing that most of the eastern cultures really have the secrets to a long life full of health and well being. We definitely need to learn more from them.

    I am a big fan of coconut (mainly on my sweets!), but have been learning as of recent of the health benefits discussed here from coconut. Can you get the same benefit from coconut oil if you only drink coconut water? Just curious.

    Thanks so much for this informative post – learned a lot for sure. 🙂

    1. Hey, LT Turner! Thanks for your comment! I agree, it is crazy how muhc our western diets have brought on so much disease. The Eastern countries knew better! Yes, coconut is so versatile, and great for desserts too, I agree. So glad you learnt a thing or two 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *