The Benefits of Coconut Oil

Did you know that coconut oil is good for the skin?

Well, it’s true but coconut also has many other health benefits too.  

Why is Coconut Oil Healthy?

The main characteristic of coconut oil that establishes its health benefits is that it is rife with medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs).  These are unique [saturated] fats that make up 62 percent of the fruit.  The three fats that make up 91 percent of coconut oil are:

    • capric acid
    • caprylic acid
    • lauric acidImage result for The Benefits of Coconut Oil

Now, most of the fats we consume take a very long time to digest (because they are long-chain fatty acids, or LCFAs) but MCFAs can be broken down more quickly.  MCFAs also have other benefits:

    • anti-microbial properties
    • anti-fungal properties
    • easier to digest
    • not easily stored as fats
    • higher cell permeability (metabolizing more easily into energy)
    • processed by the liver (hence the near immediate energy conversion)

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Obviously, coconut oil is good for energy but it can also be good for the skin. In fact, it is commonly used as a face cleanser, sun screen, moisturizer, and as a treatment for various skin conditions. Since it is heavy in fatty acids (particularly Caprylic acid and Lauric acid) it can reduce inflammation both internally and externally. It is also rich in antioxidants which, of course, helps to protect the skin from free radicals.  

Digesting MCFA’s in the liver results in the creation of ketones. This is a source of energy used by the brain without the necessity to process insulin into glucose (to use for energy). This means that coconut oil helps to prevent neurodegeneration (and associated diseases like Alzheimer’s). Obviously, then, consuming oil can improve brain function and memory overall.

Because coconut oil is mostly saturated fat, consuming it increases the presence of healthy cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) in the body. In addition, though, it converts unhealthy cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) into the healthy stuff.  And by doing these two things, coconut oil contributes to a reduced risk for heart disease and hypertension.

Perhaps the biggest benefit to consuming coconut oil is that its MCFA content helps to balance insulin interaction with cells and serves to encourage healthy digestion. This means that coconut oil could help stave off Type II diabetes through better glucose regulation.

Stanley Kessinger