What are the health benefits of coconut oil?
Coconut oil is classified as a saturated fat. Fat is a major cause of high blood cholesterol (dyslipidemia). Cholesterol increases the risk of cardiovascular or heart diseases. However, there are many other types of saturated fats. Researchers have classified saturated fats into two subgroups: long chain fatty acids and medium chain fatty acids.
Coconut oil consists of medium chain fatty acids; mainly lauric acid (63%), long chain fatty acids (30%) and long chain unsaturated fatty acid (7%). It is the medium chain fatty acids that give coconut oil myraids of health benefits, unlike the long chain fatty acids found in dairy products and animal fats that pose as danger to health. Since coconut oil contain both good and bad fats, let’s find out how to make the best use of it.
Benefits of coconut oil
- Natural antiseptic
Lauric acid in coconut oil is a natural antiseptic that possesses anti-bacterial property. Oil pulling or the act of swishing oil in the mouth has been shown to help prevent bacterial accumulation and infection in the oral cavity. However, swallowing coconut oil is not recommended.
- Skin moisturizer
Coconut oil contains high amount of Vitamin E. Therefore, it equals any good skin moisturizer you find in a cosmetic shop. Coconut oil can also help solve other skin problems such as dry skin, chapped lips and striae.
A little caution about coconut oil
Since coconut oil contains both good and bad fats an effort has been made by experts to extract only the good fat or the medium chain fatty acids for use. Unfortunately, not all coconut oil in the market are extracted via this method so consumption is not recommended. The safest way to use coconut oil is via oil pulling and as skin moisturizers.
Credit: Health Brings Wealth Magazine Issue: 15, Bangkok Association of Regenerative Health and The Study of Obesity
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