1. All Fats Are Not Created Equal
Coconut oil contains short-term, medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a "healthy" form of saturated fat compared to trans fat. Trans fatty acid consumption is linked to heart problems, depression and increased cholesterol levels. What does consuming MCFA fats in coconut oil mean for your body? Our body metabolizes these fats in the liver, immediately converting this into energy (fuel for the brain and muscle function) rather than it being stored as fat.
2. Helps Controls Weight
One 2009 study looked at the weight loss link between women's consumption of coconut oil and found that it reduces abdominal obesity. Researchers discovered coconut oil is easy to digest and also protects the body from insulin resistance. To try coconut oil for weight loss start by adding one teaspoon to your diet and gradually work your way up to four teaspoons per day.
3. Eases Digestion
If you suffer from poor digestion or tummy bloating, try adding coconut oil to your diet. Coconut oil has been found to benefit digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome and microbial related tummy bugs. Fatty acids in coconut oil contain antimicrobial properties, which have a soothing effect on bacteria, Candida, or parasites that cause poor digestion.
4. Manages type 2 Diabetes
A recent study by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research found that coconut oil protects against insulin resistance, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. MCFA fats are small enough to be absorbed into the cells where they're quickly converted to energy. It is this process that not only reduces the amount of fat we pack into storage, but improves insulin sensitivity.
5. Supports Immunity
Coconut oil is made up of the healthy fats lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid, which contain antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral prosperities to boost the immune system. Lauric acid contains the highest concentration of MCFA fatty acids, approximately 75 percent. The body turn this fat into monolaurin which is claimed to help heal viruses such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, Helicobacter pylori and Candida.
6. Boosts Metabolism
A study reported in the Journal of Nutrition found that coconut oil boosts metabolism. Researchers found that participants who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil per day burned more kilojoules than those who consumed less. A speedy metabolism helps boost the body's immune system and keeps weight off.
7. Slows Fine Lines
Coconut is not just for your cooking – it's a wonderfully hydrating treat for skin too. It keeps the skin's connective tissues strong, which prevents sagging and wrinkles. Apply coconut oil directly to your skin to soften the appearance of fine lines or use it daily on your face and body for a healthy glow. Be sure you use virgin coconut oil with no additives.
8. Cooks In High Temperatures
Because coconut oil is a medium-chain saturated fatty acid, it gives it a higher smoking temperature than most polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils. If you're preparing recipes that require high temperatures, you should consider coconut oil for this type of cooking, unlike olive oil which will oxidize at high temperatures, creating free radicals.
9. Stops Sugar Cravings
Instead of reaching for the lolly jar for an afternoon sweet hit, try eating a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil to beat sugar cravings. This is because good-quality fat is more satiating than carbs, so if you cut down on sugar, you will feel less 'ravenous'.
Most of us do not realize it, but constant hunger is a major clue that your body is not being fed correctly. With the proper amounts of fats and protein, you can fuel your energy reserves properly and come off the sugar roller coaster that many of us are on.
10. Coconut Oil Makes Delicious Desserts
Try this recipe for a nutritious, high-protein, gluten and dairy-free coconut treat.
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup of almonds or walnuts (soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight)
5 organic dates soaked in hot water to soften (or raw honey to taste)
3 tbsp raw cocoa powder or Food Matters Superfood Chocolate
Shredded coconut (check that it contains no preservatives)
Place all ingredients in a food processor. Roll into small bite-sized balls and roll in shredded coconut. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set.
Need to stock up your pantry with coconut oil? Discover our favorite coconut oil.