The word superfood is banded around with ease as some companies look to use it as a marketing tool. However, there are a number of products and foods that do retain a ‘super’ quality to them, thanks to their far-reaching benefits and positive properties.

The coconut is one such food item that has long been known for holding a multitude of benefits. There have also been a number of studies into the tropical fruit, which have also backed up the claims about its properties. The fruit has long been connected to human survival thanks to it holding both liquid and pulp within it hard outer shell. It also has a history dating back tens of millions of years and its original origins have been widely debated.

With a unique flavor that sets its apart from all other foods, the coconut has been widely used in cooking for both savory and sweet dishes. However, a more recent usage of the coconut is in the form of coconut oil.

Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the coconut ‘meat’ and is now used for many different reasons. With a high saturated fat content it is slow to oxidize, which means that it can last a long time without becoming spoiled. Coconut oil is high in healthy saturated fats that have different effects than most other fats that you consume in your diet. The fats in coconut oil can increase fat burning, and give both your body and brain energy.

Below, we have listed 9 benefits of consuming Coconut Oil:

1. Coconut Oil Helps You Maintain A Healthy Weight

Coconut oil helps with long-term weight loss and this has also been proven by a number of studies. Coconut oil contains capric acid and it is this component that drives the weight loss. When capric acid is absorbed it helps with a gradual decrease in food consumption and this also results in a loss of body weight.

2. It’s A Natural Appetite Suppressant

For those of you that struggle with hunger then coconut oil might be able to help you. As noted with coconut oils ability to help with weight loss, it can help with people who eat too much food. The fatty acids in the coconut have been shown to reduce hunger and help people eat less. To utilize this best, get some coconut oil in your breakfast to help you stave off hunger for the rest of the day.

3. It Can Help You Burn Fat

With its ability to reduce your appetite and increase the burning of fat, coconut oil is a solid ally in the quest to lose weight. Not only does it help with weight loss, but also it specifically helps reduce stomach fat. It attacks the fat that is stored around the abdominal cavity and around the organs, which is the most dangerous of all the fats.

It should be noted that coconut oil is high in calories so huge quantities should not be added to your diet. Instead, replace some with other cooking fats and you will still be able to gain the benefits of weight loss.

4. It Supports Good Cholesterol Levels

Coconut oil contains natural saturated fats that increase the good HDL cholesterol in your system. In addition to this, it may also help turn the bad LDL cholesterol into a less harmful form.

Thanks to the increased levels of HDL cholesterol in your body, the health of your heart will be improved too.

5. It Helps To Protect Your Skin, Hair, and Mouth

The use of coconut oil is also not limited to the consumption of it. It has also become a popular product for a variety of cosmetic purposes.

It can be used to help with dry skin and the oil will help improve the moisture levels within the skin. It works well as a face cleanser and moisturizer, and can be used as a daily skincare agent. The fatty acids can reduce inflammation internally and externally, and can help with skin diseases like eczema.

As well as skin, coconut oil can be used to improve the health of your hair, and specifically its ability to work as a sunscreen. It can work as a low level sunscreen and will block around 20% of the suns ultraviolet rays. Sufferers of dandruff may also find that coconut oil can help with this too.

Amazingly, another use for it is to protect against harmful bacteria in the mouth. It can help to improve the health of your teeth and can also tackle bad breath. Coconut oil has been used to help heal gums and repair teeth too.

6. It May Help With Seizures

The benefits of coconut oil do not just lie in weight and hunger, it may also be helpful with much more serious disease and ailments.

We previously talked about the ketogenic diet and the various benefits that it can have on your health. The diet is based on eating large amounts of fat and very few carbohydrates. This then leads to an increased concentration of ketones in the blood. There is research that suggests that it’s the ketones that are essential to helping with seizures and reducing the risk of them occurring. 

7. It May Be Useful For Alzheimer’s Disease

The fats in coconut oil are known as medium train triglycerides (MCTs). This means that the fatty acids in coconut oil are shorter than those in most other fats. When you consume these types of fats they go straight to the liver, where they are used as a source of energy or turned into ketones. These ketones are great for the brain and are currently being researched into as a treatment for Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and other similar conditions.

8. It Helps Improve Brain Function

Studies have shown that coconut oil can help with brain functions and memory, essentially making it a natural nootropic. The fatty acids in it have been shown to help people improve with their ability to recall information. If you’ve got a test or exams coming up, it may be working getting some coconut oil into your diet ASAP!

9. It Boosts Your Energy Levels

Energy and endurance can also be increased by consuming coconut oil. It is easy to digest and produces a longer sustained energy, while also increasing metabolism. So much so, that some athletes know use coconut oil to help fuel their performance. If you’re a gym-goer or partake in physical activity, consuming some coconut oil prior to such events is a great way to ensure you’ve got the energy you need.

Coconut Oil Dangers?

Coconut oil does come with a certain degree of trepidation due to its high level of saturated fat. When compared with other common fats it’s off the scale. Butter has the second-highest levels of saturated at 50% where coconut oil is way ahead with 80% plus.

Some people might actually be allergic to coconut so they will already know to stay away from the product. However, it has also been known for coconut oil to cause an allergic reaction in some people, but this is quite rare.

Which Type of Coconut Oil Should You Buy & How Should You Use It?

There are many different coconut oils available to purchase on the market and also many different ways to utilize it. It can be used as a cooking fat much like you would use oil or butter. You can then cook products in it and it can be used with a range of different foods and you can also use it in baking.

Coconut oil is unrefined, natural, organic, and also doesn’t contain the harmful toxins that other hydrogenated cooking oils do, and as such you can add it to juices and smoothies.

Ensure that you purchase organic coconut oil because some coconut oils can be bleached to increases the shelf life of the product. This changes the chemical makeup of the product and transforms the fats, making them no longer good for you.

Conclusion

When you are told that a food is a ‘superfood’ you should probably at first take a laid-back approach to the moniker. Research is always key to finding out the truth behind any claims and we hope that we’ve been able to bring you some important information on coconut oil.

From looking at the properties and benefits of coconut oil it’s certainly evident that it can help you in many ways. From something as seemingly benign as bad breath, to much more serious issues like Alzheimer’s, coconut oil has proven its far-reaching positive qualities.

Beth Coats, RD LN
Beth Coats, RD LN
Staff Writer at DietProbe
Beth is a registered dietician with over 20 years experience in general nutrition.
Close Menu