We love coconut oil. Whether eating it direct from the jar, blending into smoothies and ice-creams, using for cooking, dabbing onto lips or smoothing into skin and hair. It smells lovely, absorbs well and from beating sugar cravings to aiding weight loss there are more benefits of coconut oil than most of us may realise.
There are many different types and brands, so be sure you to use virgin coconut oil with no additives, certified organic and cold pressed (without heat).
- Fushi Organic Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil (9.95)
- Viridian’s 100% raw organic virgin coconut oil (£15.99)
1 All fats are not equal
Coconut oil contains short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a ‘healthy’ form saturated fat compared to trans fat. Trans fatty acid consumption is linked with health conditions including heart problems, increased cholesterol levels and depression. What does consuming MCFA fats in coconut oil mean for your body? Our body metabolises 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 Supports immunity
Coconut oil is made up of 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 per cent. The body turn this fat into monolaurin which is claimed to help heal viruses such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, helicobacter pylori and candida.
3 Great for skin
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.
4 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 oxidise at high temperatures, creating free radicals.
5 Weight and digestion aid
Researchers report that coconut oil can aid weight loss, reducing abdominal obesity. It is easy to digest and also protects the body from insulin resistance.
Coconut oil has been found to benefit digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and microbial related tummy bugs. Fatty acids in coconut oil contain anti microbial properties, which have a soothing affect on bacteria, candida, or parasites that cause poor digestion.
6 Manage 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.
7 Metabolism booster
A study reported in the Journal of Nutrition found that coconut oil boosts metabolism. Researchers found that adults that 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 keep weight off.
8 Stops sugar cravings
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 interpret our body’s cues correctly, feelings of constant hunger is a major clue that your body is not being fed correctly. With the right amounts of fats and protein,s in your family’s diet energy reserves will be properly fuelled helping to reduce or eliminate refined sugar cravings.
9 Coconut oil is simple to cook with
Try our recipes at this link: leafie