We have already taken a good look at the benefits of coconut oil when applied externally to the body. Now we will briefly examine the benefits of taking coconut oil either as a food ingredient or as a supplement. I say we will only take a brief look because the number of different benefits that can be attributed to coconut is quite extensive and, if you are looking for a more exhaustive list you can visit the Coconut Research Center site.
Instead, what we will do is take an in-depth look at some of the more important benefits that have been documented. Many of these benefits can be put down to the existence of the saturated fatty acids that are present. Their level of importance is really only a nominal choice by me based on how widespread the problem is and how much of a difference it makes to the people affected.
It was originally considered that coconut oil was actually detrimental to the heart and not good for the body at all. This is because it is comprised of large quantities of saturated fats. But the truth is that coconut oil is beneficial to the heart thanks to the level of lauric acid (50%) and this is active in preventing heart problems and associated problems such as high cholesterol and blood pressure.
With such a widespread problem of obesity and overweight people in the world, the fact that coconut oil can help with weight loss is a significant fact. It contains medium-chain fatty acids and these are important in reducing weight. Taking coconut oil can increase the body’s metabolic rate which will help to burn energy so the process of losing weight is actually accelerated.
As already pointed out, a large portion of coconut oil is comprised of These Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) such as lauric acid. The big advantage of MCTs is the fact that it helps in digestion by activating the antimicrobial properties in the digestive tract and are converted into monoglycerides and free fatty acids. The result is an anti-viral and anti-fungal effect in the digestive tract and this means that potentially harmful bacteria are eliminated from the digestive tract.
Taking the facts from the section about digestion another step further we look more closely at the process of the MCTs in activating and breaking into monoglycerides and free fatty acids. This means that the lauric acid is converted into monolaurin and this works as an important fighter against infection. It also means that it will help in fighting viruses and bacteria that are the cause of diseases such as influenza, herpes, cytomegalovirus and the like.
The further you go with coconut oil, I think the more impressive it becomes. We have examined just some of the ways in which using it or consuming it can be a benefit to the body. There are many other ways it might be used such as for massage, as a carrier oil and, most obviously, for cooking.
Suggested Serving Sizes
If you are planning on taking coconut oil by the spoonful as a supplementary measure you should be careful that you don’t take too much too fast. The ideal dosage to start off with is a teaspoon of coconut oil per meal. Any more than this and you could risk experiencing indigestion, cramping or diarrhea. The amount you take at any time can increase slowly over a week or more while you monitor your body’s tolerance to the new regimen. You might like to build up the intake to around 4-6 tablespoons per day spread over 2-4 meals.
It is hygienic and clean and can be bought at only a small cost when compared with many of the alternatives that promise similar results.
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