Coconut oil has now become a store cupboard staple and with its numerous health benefits, it’s easy to see why. Of course, we’re talking about unrefined, raw, organic coconut oil here, which is extracted from fresh mature coconuts and as natural as it can be.
Long before coconut oil became a trendy ‘superfood’, homeopaths and and naturopaths alike have been using it as a remedy for all sorts of ailments with incredible results.
So what are the benefits?
Our body needs fat for fuel and it’s important to eat the right kind. Coconut oil is one of nature’s richest sources of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) which are immediately converted to energy and boost metabolism.
The result is that every cell and organ works more efficiently...you’ll be pleased to know that this also means eating this type of fat may help you to lose weight!
Aids Digestion and Nutrient Absorption
MCFAs (Medium Chain Fatty Acids) are digested and absorbed quickly meaning that the gall bladder and pancreas don’t need to release enzymes to break them down. This means less strain on your digestive system which is always good!
Athletes expend a lot of energy and it’s important that they fuel their body efficiently. As part of their balanced diet of nutrient dense foods, coconut oil is the perfect fuel to enhance athletic performance.Not only that, but it can further aid post workout muscle recovery because it replenishes the Intra Muscular Fatty Acid (IMFA) store, necessary for building and providing energy for muscles.
Fuel for the Brain
Health expert and nutritional consultant Owen Bain believes,“Coconut oil is one of the most potent natural sources that’s beneficial for the brain”.
This is because unrefined coconut oil contains caprylic acid, a direct source of energy that once absorbed is converted to a ketone called beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB) which is in other words a fuel for the brain.
Inflammation is the body’s immune system reacting to something. It is necessary for healing and to keep a good balance with the bacteria that live naturally in the body.
However, certain lifestyles today (unhealthy foods, lack of exercise etc) mean that sometimes our immune system isn’t working properly. One of the things it needs is the right kind of dietary fat and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to enhance the immune system – all of which can be found in coconut oil.
Lauric acid, which makes up approx. 50% of raw coconut oil, is converted to monolaurin. This has antibacterial properties and is the reason why many choose this for oil pulling and oral hygiene. However, these antibacterial properties don’t just benefit the body on the inside.
Healthy Skin and Hair
Our skin and hair are a reflection of what’s going on inside our body. Similarly, whatever we put onto our skin is absorbed into our body, so using organic coconut oil as a beauty product as well as in cooking, means our body benefits from the inside, out.
This totally natural, unrefined oil contains vitamin E which gently nourishes skin when used as a moisturizer and as a hair mask, penetrates the hair follicles, helping hair growth too.