Coconut oil is extracted from peeled and dried coconuts. Out of many existing oils, coconut oil is the richest one in fatty acids. This is a sentence where you may stop and ponder. You have probably been warned all your life to avoid fatty acids. We have to agree with that attitude, but like it is with everything else, there are differences between fatty acids too. Some of them are actually good for the human organism. We will explain which coconut oil ingredients have beneficial effect on our overall health and we will try to keep it short and informative.
What is it made of and what kind of effect does it have?
Lauric acid is an exceptionally important component of coconut oil. The same acid can also be found in mother’s milk and it serves the function of protecting infants from infections. You don’t have to be a medical expert to, from there, draw the conclusion that it has beneficial effects on the human body. Just as mother’s milk protects the child from infections and helps build its immune system, this acid has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties and therefore destroys protozoa and other harmful single cell organisms in our bodies.
Some studies imply it may also have anticancer properties. When implemented in one’s diet, natural coconut oil protects the liver, heart and blood vessels, strengthens the immune system and helps with losing excess weight.
In addition to lauric acid, coconut oil also contains caprylic acid which bolsters the growth of beneficial bacteria, especially those which are also commonly found in milk acid. The reason why coconut oil isn’t harmful to us like many other saturated fatty acids are is that it contains healthy mid-chain fatty acids. Those are the exact kind of acids our bodies easily process. In addition, coconut oil doesn’t overburden our digestive tract like other oils do, so it is easily converted into energy, and that is exceptionally good for athletes.
What should you know when choosing?
Let’s say we understood the basics of how coconut oil works and decided to implement it into our regular diet. Which things should we pay attention to? To start off, make sure your coconut oil isn’t hydrogenised. It’s better if it’s cold and unrefined. These coconut oils are the ones who have better beneficial properties than other herbal oils.
High quality coconut oil is easily recognizable by the fact that it starts to solidify on temperatures below 24 degrees on Celsius scale. While it’s in liquid form, it’s transparent. When it shifts to solid form, it gets a white shade. The higher the quality, the more mellow its aroma is, and as such it should not affect the taste of the meal its putted in.
Unrefined coconut oil can be used in everyday diet. It’s exceptionally stable and can withstand high temperatures, so all of you who like to eat fried food can use coconut oil.
Considering it is a natural preservative agent, meals you cook using coconut oil will last longer. If you do not find the idea of frying or cooking with coconut oil appealing, you can use it to spice a salad up or add it to your favorite smoothie.
We recommend to everyone with a sweet tooth to add it to every cookie mixture which originally uses wheat dough. This will give your cookies softer texture and richer flavor. If you’re not a good chef, but still want to do something good for your health, you can even drink coconut oil on its own, from one to three tablespoons a day.
Other possibilities of using coconut oil
Coconut oil has strong antioxidant effect which made it a common ingredient in many cosmetic products aimed at skin nurturing. It can often be found in natural anti-agind crèmes. And as it also has great anti-inflammatory properties, it is also commonly used for massages. There are many possibilities. It’s up to you to experiment with them and see what you like best.