Coconut oil is a product of the kernel of mature coconuts obtained from the coconut palm. It has a myriad of applications in the food and medicine industries. Coconut oil can last for more than two years without spoiling, this is because of its high level of saturated fat. Coconut oil has several health benefits to its users, these benefits are attributed to the lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid present in it. Human beings are able to synthesize monolaurin from lauric acid, monolaurin helps in fighting viruses and harmful bacteria. The following are medically proven health benefits of coconut oil;
1. Weight loss Coconut oil has short chain and medium chain amino acids which help in shedding excess weight. It can be effortlessly digested, a quality that makes it aid in the normal functioning of the endocrine and thyroid systems. It lowers stress on the pancreas, thereby raising the body’s metabolic rate, thus burning more energy and helping obese people in cutting down their weight. Research has shown that inhabitants of tropical areas who use coconut oil on a daily basis rarely get obese or overweight.
2. Digestion Coconut oil improves digestion, thus preventing the occurrence of digestion and stomach related issues such as irritable bowel syndrome. It also has antimicrobial properties which help in dealing with harmful microorganisms which can cause problems in the digestive system. In addition to these, coconut oil aids in the absorption of nutrients such as amino acids, minerals and vitamins.
3. Immunological properties Coconut oil reinforces the immune system as it has antimicrobial lipids, caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid. These substances possess antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial characteristics. The human body synthesizes monolaurin from coconut oil which is a very effective antimicrobial agent. This assists the body in dealing with pathogenic microorganisms like listeria, helicobacter and protozoa.
4. Rapid healing aid When topically applied on injured or infected areas, coconut oil sets a protective layer on the affected part which protects it from dust and harmful microorganisms. This attribute helps in speeding up the healing process in injured or damaged tissue. Coconut oil is also very effective against yeast and fungi which cause athlete’s foot, diaper rash and ringworm.
5. Skin and hair care Coconut oil aids in hair growth and gives hair a shiny sheen when applied. It also combats protein loss which can cause unattractive or unhealthy looking hair. It prevents the formation of dandruff in the hair when massaged into the scalp daily. Coconut oil also works as an effective moisturizer for all skin types. It has no side effects and prevents drying and flaking of the skin. It can also treat a variety of skin conditions and has been known to prevent premature ageing.