The whole coconut, as well as extracted coconut oil has been a mainstay in the food supply in many countries in Asia throughout the centuries. Recently, though, there has been some replacement of coconut oil by other seed oils. This is unfortunate since the benefits gained from consuming an adequate amount of coconut oil are being lost.
One of the key components found in virgin coconut oil is lauric acid. Coconut oil has special fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) and almost 50% of those are 12-carbon lauric acid components. Coconut oil is one of few natural substances that contains lauric acid.
How Can We Benefit?
Lauric acid supports the “good kind” of cholesterol (HDL) in the body. Coconut oil maintain healthy levels of cholesterol by helping convert it to pregnenolone, a molecule that is needed as a precursor of most of the hormones we need in our bodies. These types of fats actually go straight to the liver instead of the pancreas and gall bladder to be metabolized, resulting to efficient burning of energy (and more fats) in the process.
A study done in 2009 had women consume around two tablespoons of coconut oil daily for twelve weeks and not only did they not gain more weight, they actually had lowered amounts of abdominal fat – a type of fat that contributes to more heart problems and is difficult to lose. Coconut oil can essentially help you to lose weight!
Because of this protective property, it aids in digestion, boosts your immune system and even helps you maintain good oral health through oil pulling.