10 Proven Reasons to Include Coconut Oil in Your Diet
Coconut oil isn’t just a passing health fad – this is one craze that has plenty of scientifically proven benefits that backup the reasons why it’s a must to include in any healthy diet.
There have been countless studies conducted over the years that prove coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods one can consume. In fact, the coconut is so abundant in healing properties that it’s sometimes called the “tree of life.” People living in island countries like the Philippines have considered it a cure-all for illness for centuries, consuming the meat, milk and oil of the coconut on a daily basis – and, even though it’s high in saturated fat, common Western diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease, were virtually unheard of.
Why would this be, when saturated fat has been considered something that we should avoid at all costs?
Research has uncovered the answer to that secret. Not only is coconut oil loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber – the essential nutritional building blocks for good health – it contains healthy fats known as medium-chain fatty acids, or MCFAs, which are unique fats that include capryilic acid, lauric acid and capric acid. These fatty acids have anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, are easier to digest, smaller in size to allow them to be used for immediate energy, and they’re processed by the liver which means that they’re almost instantly converted to energy rather than being stored as fat.
Science has shown that coconut oil can benefit the body and mind in multiple ways, offering multiple reasons to add it to your diet, including these.
Lowering Inflammation and Relieving Arthritis Pain
Research conducted in India in 2014, found that coconut oil’s high level of antioxidants was able to lower inflammation and heal arthritis even more effectively than popular pharmaceutical drugs. (1)
As inflammation has been found to be the root cause of multiple illnesses and disease, including arthritis as well as diabetes, heart disease, migraines, stroke, cancer, chronic pain, peripheral neuropathy and thyroid issues, consuming coconut oil can play an essential role in healing.
Osteoporosis is estimated to affect some 200 million women around the world – a serious disease that often results in fractured bones and even an increased risk of premature death. Free radical damage and oxidative stress are two of the biggest factors behind the condition, but thanks to coconut oil’s powerful antioxidants that are known to fight free radicals, it’s one of the most effective natural ways that may help prevent and treat osteoporosis.
Remarkably, coconut oil can also increase calcium absorption in the gut, another key factor in treating this devastating bone disease. A study out of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia found that it was able to increase bone volume and structure in participants as well as decrease bone loss that was caused by osteoporosis. (2)
Treating Alzheimer’s Disease
When the MCFAs in coconut oil are digested by the liver, this creates ketones that the brain is able to easily access for energy. Ketones supply energy to the brain, therefore, there is no need for insulin to process glucose into energy.
A recent study from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, found that the brain is able to create its own insulin in order to process glucose and provide energy to brain cells. This is important because in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the brain has lost the ability to create insulin, so coconut oil’s ketones could effectively be used as an alternate source, helping to repair brain functioning. (3)
Supporting Weight Loss
A 2009 Brazilian study looked at the weight loss link between women who consume coconut oil and found that it reduces abdominal obesity. But it hasn’t been the only research that has associated coconut oil consumption with weight loss. A 1985 study that was published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health discovered that just one single injection of capric acid resulted in “initially rapid, then gradual decrease in food consumption and a parallel loss of body weight” in male rats. (4,5)
The reason behind its ability help control one’s weight was also uncovered. Capric acid was found to offer significant improvement for thyroid functioning, lower resting heart rate and aid the body in burning fat for energy.
Preventing Heart Disease and Hypertension
While most people are under the impression that consuming saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease and conditions like hypertension, the healthy fats in coconut oil actually help to raise “good”, or HDL, cholesterol, and can even convert “bad,” or LDL cholesterol into good cholesterol. This in turn promotes improved heart health while lowering the risk of heart disease.
One recent study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that while unsaturated palm oil raised blood pressure, the saturated fat of coconut oil was able to lower it. (6)
Improving Memory and Brain Function
A 2004 study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging determined that coconut oil MCFAs were able to improve cognitive function among older subjects with memory problems. Across all participants, significant improvement were noted in recall ability among those who took coconut oil compared to a placebo. Researchers noted that as MCFAs are absorbed easily in the body, the brain can access them without the use of insulin, allowing brain cells to be fueled more efficiently. (10)
Treating Urinary Tract and Kidney Infections
As most urinary tract and kidney infections are caused by bacteria, and coconut oil naturally contains antibacterial activity with its MCFAs working as a natural antibiotic to kill bacteria, it has the ability to heal these painful conditions. Also, a recent study shows that virgin coconut oil protects against liver damage. (7)
Fighting Candida and Yeast Infections
The lauric acid and capric acid in coconut oil are known to help reduce candida. An imbalance of candida can result in excessive inflammation and the development of a number of illnesses and disease. A study published in the journal of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy showed that these compounds in coconut oil were able to effectively treat both yeast infections and candida albicans. (8)
Supporting the Immune System
The lauric acid in coconut oil, which as mentioned, can fight bacteria and reduce candida for the body, it’s known to create a hostile environment for viruses, which helps to support the immune system. Coconut is actually comprised of 50% lauric acid, which the body converts to monolaurin, an antiviral agent that can fight off all sorts of viruses and pathogens, including HIV, herpes, influenza and harmful protozoa like giardia lamblia.(9)
Slowing the Aging Process
As coconut oil contains such a high level of antioxidants that can help prevent free radical damage, it can also help to slow the aging process, as shown in multiple studies, including research out of India published in the medical journal Food and Function. (11)
How to Reap the Benefits of Coconut Oil
Now that you know how incredible the benefits of coconut oil really are, you’ll want to start including it in your diet on a daily basis, but it’s important to keep in mind that not just any coconut oil will do. For the maximum benefits, choose only high grade, organic extra-virgin coconut oil.
About Schwartz Bioresearch Coconut Oil:
Schwartz Bioresearch Organic Coconut Oil is guaranteed to be pure, natural & organic, extra-virgin, cold pressed and unrefined, meaning it comes from the first pressing of fresh, raw coconut without the addition of any chemicals. Our Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is manufactured in a FDA-Registered and GMP Compliant Facility in USA, and is third-party tested to ensure the highest quality and purity.