What are some benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is widely marketed as a superfood.
The unique combination of fatty acids in coconut oil have positive effects on your health, such as boosting fat loss, heart health, and brain function.
- The fatty acids in coconut oil can encourage your body to burn fat, and they provide quick energy to your body and brain. They also raise HDL (good) cholesterol in your blood, which may help reduce heart disease risk. Several populations around the world have thrived for generations eating a substantial amount of coconut, and studies show they have good heart health.
- Obesity is one of the biggest health conditions affecting the Western world today, and New Zealand has the third highest adult obesity rate in the OECD, and our rates continue to increase. The MCTs in coconut oil can increase the number of calories your body burns compared with longer-chain fatty acids.
- MCTs can significantly reduce appetite, which may lead to reduced body weight over the long term.
- The MCTs in coconut oil can increase blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in children with epilepsy.
- Studies have shown that coconut oil can raise blood levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, which is linked to improved metabolic health.
Coconut oil has many other uses that have nothing to do with eating it.
Many people use it for cosmetic purposes to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.
- Studies show that coconut oil can improve the moisture content of dry skin and reduce the symptoms of eczema
- Coconut oil can also protect against hair damage. One study shows that it may work as a weak sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- Oil pulling, which involves swishing coconut oil in your mouth like mouthwash, may kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth. This may improve dental health and reduce bad breath.
As some of the fatty acids in coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it may also help you lose weight, especially effective at reducing belly fat. Abdominal fat, the most harmful type, is linked to many chronic diseases. Waist circumference is an easy, accurate marker for the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity. In a 12-week study in 40 women with abdominal obesity, those who took 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of coconut oil per day had a significant reduction in both Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference. Meanwhile, a 4-week study in 20 men with obesity noted a reduction in waist circumference of 1.1 inches (2.86 cm) after they took 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of coconut oil per day.