It’s time to make the switch to coconut oil. Laura Agar Wilson, author of Coconut Oil, tells us why…
The secret to coconut oil’s remarkable health benefits lies in its unique fat profile. Unlike most other saturated fats, which have long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids, which behave differently in the body: they are quickly absorbed and easy to digest, making them an excellent source of energy. Plus, they aren’t automatically stored as fat in the same way as other fatty acids. So coconut oil is the ideal way to consume ‘good’ fats but it has many other reputed health benefits, too.
12 health benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil is a thermogenic food, which means it increases the rate that your body burns energy in comparison to other fats.
Decreases appetite to support weight loss
The high fat content can help to decrease appetite and balance blood sugar levels.
Can support heart health
The antioxidant value of coconut oil has also been linked with lowered blood pressure via decreased oxidative stress.
Source of energy
The fatty acids in coconut oil are taken directly to the liver, where they are quickly metabolised into energy and sent to the muscles to be used.
As coconut oil provides energy in the form of fat that is more slowly digested than carbohydrate sources, it can support endurance.
Antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal
These properties are a result of the lauric acid content. Lauric acid is converted to monolaurin, a substance with antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Coconut oil can have an anti-inflammatory effect within the body, supporting the symptoms of arthritis and other inflammation.
Coconut oil can improve digestion by supporting gut health through the reduction of bad bacteria – such as candida – that can lead to bloating, inflammation and pain.
Supports the immune system
Due to coconut oil’s antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, it reduces the stress on the body’s immune system, supporting it to be more effective in fighting diseases.
Coconut oil contains compounds that act as antioxidants within the body.
Supports vitamin and mineral absorption
Vitamins such as A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, which means that they need to be ingested with a source of fat: coconut oil is an excellent choice.
Helps fight gum disease
The antibacterial benefits of coconut oil can help to remove bacteria from the mouth (which can cause gum disease), as well as support the healing of gums.
Extract taken from Coconut Oil by Laura Agar Wilson; Published by Apple Press, RRP £9.99.
Cover photo credit: Lucy Parissi & Emma Gutteridge