In most tropical countries, where coconut tree is in abundance, coconut has been a staple in every household. It is often regarded as the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to food because it is a source of meat, juice, milk and oil that has fed millions of people around the globe for generations.
Others, especially those in the Pacific Islands would refer to this tree as “The Tree of Life” because it doesn’t just give us food, but it is also known for its medicinal properties.
Coconut is classified as a “functional food” because it is highly nutritious and provides the body with many health benefits beyond its nutritional content.
Coconut oil is extracted from the dried nut of the coconut palm tree; it primarily consists of medium-chain-fatty-acids which can speed up metabolism because they are easily absorbed by the body and converted into energy. This is the reason why coconut oil is linked to weight loss, despite the fact that it is high in calorie and fat content it would still remain a great food to take when you are aiming to lose weight.
Yes, coconut oil helps prevent obesity and overweight problems because it does not only boost your metabolism and give you energy, but it also gives you a feeling of satiety for longer hours and that would prevent you from taking in too much food.
And this is supported by a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, where researchers concluded that medium-chain-fatty-acids were effective for weight loss than long-chain-fatty-acids.
Many people notice that once they have included coconut oil in their diet they are less prone to snacking and craving for sweets which are of great help when trying to limit your calorie intake.
1. Heart Health – the MCFA (medium-chain-fatty-acids) have no negative effect on serum cholesterol, thus, lowers the risk of atherosclerosis and helps prevent heart disease.
2. Thyroid Function – it promotes thyroid function and relieves symptoms of chronic fatigue.
3. Diabetes - it has a low Glycemic Index which helps reduce risk of diabetes and prevents blood sugar spikes
4. Digestive Health – it improves digestion by supporting the absorption of nutrients
5. Bone Health – it aids in the absorption of calcium and magnesium for stronger bones
6. Immune System – it helps strengthen the immune system by protecting the body from free radicals that can cause cell damage.
7. Kidney Function – it prevents kidney disease, bladder infections and stone formation.
8. Skin and Hair Care- it nourishes the skin, speeds up wound healing and prevents skin infections
9. Oral Health – it helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
10. Antibacterial, Antiviral, Antifungal and Antiparasitic – it provides an effective defense against bacterial, viral and fungal infection.
It was once believed to be unhealthy, but now coconut oil is gaining popularity and recognized worldwide as one of the “healthiest oils on earth”.
There are so many ways to include coconut oil in our daily diet, your options are endless. Use it in making vegetable stir-fries and salad dressings; coconut milk based dishes and grated coconut over fruits and salads are also another option in serving healthy meals for your family. Just be careful to use in moderation thought as it is still high in fat. And to see our delicious coconut and raspberry smoothie recipe click here
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