If you look up coconut oil nutrients you will find, that it seems to be rather boring and simple. However that is not the case at all.
Firstly here is why it’s boring; 87g Saturated Fat and some other fat in total almost 100% fat. Anything else? well almost not but here is what I found: Vitamin E 2,1 mg (17% rdi) and Vitamin K 10 μg (14% rdi). Okay so it’s fat and fat is full of calories right; 878 Cal.
Look at the picture above. Weird oil, it’s not even a fluid. This is coconut oil/fat at room temperature, if you touch it becomes fluid. The amount shown is 13 g and that equals 114 Cal.
Now the interesting – or also boring part, if you are boring – is what it can do:
- It’s edible! How? Can replace butter, be used for cooking and..
- ..be smeared on your face. It’s good for your skin.
- Also smear it in your hair if you want.
- Makes you lose weight! (not by smearing it onto you but by eating it).
- Use it as a mouthwash, since it is antibacterial and prevents caries.
- Mites don’t like it, neither do mosquitoes, ticks, fungi and lice
Its greatest selling point is the large amount of Lauric acid. This acid is antiviral and antibacterial it is capable of fighting numerous conditions and diseases.. It can linder Herpes, Measles and HIV and is also what for example ticks don’t like at all. You can use coconut oil to deter ticks from biting you, if they bite none the less they will let go again very quickly. It generally helps your immune system since it’s effective against a large variety of virus and bacteria. This is because it dissolves the viral envelope and thereby deactivates the virus. Interestingly it does not attack and destroy helpful bacteria and harms the body in no way.Research has shown that herpes and cytomegalo play a role in the formation of arteriosclerosis, so by fighting those viruses it automatically helps your heart too.
The oil can fight inflammation and absorb UV-B radiation. This means that it works as a slightly effective sunscreen and can fight acne and numerous other skin conditions. Virus and bacteria are the main cause for inflammations so this explains its effectively. It also soaks deep into the skin and moisturizes it. Thereby making it effective against cellulite and wrinkles. Applied onto the scalp and hair, it also unfolds those positive effects. Dry hair is not good and coconut oil is able to counter that, it also fights those fungi and bacterial and viral inflammations that might irritate your skin and hair roots.
Although coconut oil and coconuts contain a lot of fat, they are both very healthy. A study done by observing Tokelau islanders living secluded and covering 60% of their calorie intake from coconuts, clearly revealed its positive effects. The population was in good health, not overweight, good cholesterol level, had a healthy digestive tract and also very little problems with their teeth. After discovery by the westerners, many islanders lived in New Zealand and started a more westernized lifestyle. This further proved that the coconut diet was responsible for their good health, the problems increased and specially the teeth got a lot worse.
The scientific reason behind why it doesn’t make people fat are the medium chain triglycerides. That type of saturated fat goes straight into the body in the form of energy. This is because the body turns it straight into ketones. Ketones are constantly being produced by the liver. During long intense exercise or during a diet the ketone levels are higher since the body breaks down fats in order to supply the cells with energy. Coconut fat passes the digestive tract and then right away is turned into energy in the liver. Due to the ketones, coconut oil can be used to linder the effects of Alzheimer’s, this is believed to be because energy from carbs isn’t absorbed as well by Alzheimer’s patients. Some metabolic conditions can be treated by a Ketogenic diet as well, which of course would include coconut.
Studies indicate that 15-30g of coconut oil daily, increases the calories burned by the body by 5%. It has also been found that coconut oil might reduce hunger. However this is not scientifically proven, but to me it makes sense. Since ketones are normally only present in the body in high concentration during hunger periods and exercise, I believe it really wouldn’t help your body to feel too hungry. It would only make it harder for you to focus in the search of more food. I have experienced, that when skipping eating for several days, the strong feeling of hunger disappears, it becomes bearable. Knowing that the body’s glycogen reservoir lasts for around 24 hours, I think that the body will make you feel very hungry while it is being drained but later when the ketones supply you with energy, this feeling becomes less daunting.
My own experience so far showed, that it is good for my skin and actually does decrease acne a bit, it makes the skin a lot softer too. I’ve used it on my whole grain buns every morning and noticed how perfectly it goes with honey. Because it is healthy i use it to replace butter in general, that means I also eat it combined with cheese, ham, tomatoes and cucumber. Yes that’s not a perfect culinary combination but it isn’t totally unusable either. Putting a small amount mixed with warm water into my hair before sleep seems to have helped my hair, but I can’t say much about that at this time.
I prefer using organic cold pressed unrefined virgin coconut oil. Refined oil is heated up and the process in which it’s extracted can lead to the existence of trans fats, which are considered very unhealthy. This is due to chemicals that are used to extract more oil more easily. On top of that the polyphenols, antioxidants, are damaged during the refining process too.
The price difference is small so go for the good stuff!
A little update:
I have been using wheat germ oil to treat my skin combined with coconut oil. After letting the wheat germ oil soak into my skin i use the coconut oil to moisturize it, since wheat germ oil dries out the skin. The improvement was initially very great, of course over time there is less and less to improve but it still effectively keeps my skin cleaner and healthier. The reason behind this is wheat germ oils high Vitamin E (174 mg on 100g), coconut oil has Vitamin E too but not even near those levels. 12mg Vitamin E is the Rdi dosis.
Tl;dr Version: Coconut Oil contains mostly medium chain fat, with a lot of lauric acid. This makes it antibacterial and antiviral. It is absorbed more directly in the body, so consuming it does not lead to weight gains. Its capabilities makes it good as a skin and hair care product, good against acne, cellulite, wrinkles and moisturizes. Eating it will help your immune system, heart and will help you lose weight. It can linder many diseases and conditions such as HIV, herpes and measles. It is also good for your teeth.
Sources: (sorry some are in german)
- http://www.kokosoel.info/ (this page seemed to be less trust worthy so i used it mainly as a inspirational source)
- Plus probably a few other links that I forgot to save.