Do you ever wish your hair was shinier and healthier? Or that your skin was smooth and soft? Perhaps you've been looking for a better alternative to unhealthy oils and butter in your cooking, or a way to help manage your weight and boost your metabolism.
It might surprise you to learn that there is one simple, natural product that has been shown to be effective in all of these situations, and that’s coconut oil.
Coconut oil is nature’s original multi-tasker. Its health-boosting medicinal effects have been widely recognised for years in Asia, Africa, South America and the Pacific, and now the greater Western world is catching onto its star properties as well.
A tub of coconut oil in your home can really go a long way, so if you want to discover the secret to this wonder-product, have a read of these essential facts and handy tips.
What’s so great about coconut oil?
In all the hoopla about staying fat-free and oil-free, it may be difficult to believe that a natural oil could have so many benefits.
While it’s true that trans-fats and other types of synthetically created saturated fats should be avoided where possible, the type of fat found in coconut oil may help to improve metabolism and promote weight loss, support the immune system and boost the health of your heart.
Lauric acid content
The reason coconut oil is able to do all of these amazing things is because almost 50 per cent of the fat found within it consists of lauric acid.
Lauric acid is actually rarely found elsewhere in nature, but it has a wide variety of health benefits for humans. This saturated fatty acid contains no cholesterol and when it is absorbed into the body, it’s converted into monolaurin.
Monolaurin is a type of monoglyceride compound that has been shown to have antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties, which is why lauric acid is commonly used to treat viral infections such as influenza.
As lauric acid is the substance behind many of coconut oil’s health-boosting properties, it’s important to look for high lauric acid content in the oil that you purchase.
In addition to this, coconut oil contains a blend of short and medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), while other vegetable oils are made up of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs).
As LCFAS are larger molecules, they require special enzymes to be digested and are more difficult for the body to break down. As a result, these types of acids are generally stored as fat.
However, MCFAs are smaller and able to be absorbed more quickly, which means they get sent straight to the liver where they are burned for energy rather than stored. This aspect of coconut oil makes it particularly helpful for boosting metabolism and supporting weight loss or management.
Are all oils created equal?
When it comes to healthy oils, extra virgin olive oil is definitely one of the major players. This type of oil is a good source of monounsaturated fat, the ‘good’ fat that is recommended as a substitute for trans fats and bad saturated fats.
The saturated fat found in coconut oil is the type that nutritionists recommend taking in moderation, but as it contains no trans fat or cholesterol, its saturated fat content won’t cancel out all the great benefits of a healthy coconut oil intake.
Coconut oil extraction
Coconut oil has naturally high levels of lauric acid and other beneficial fatty acids, but the extraction process needs to be carried out carefully in order to preserve the natural properties of the coconut as much as possible.
In the wet extraction method, coconut oil is extracted directly from the raw coconut milk without the use of chemical solvents or treatments that can break down the naturally occurring fatty acids and antioxidants.
On the other hand, dry extraction processes that involve refining, bleaching, hydrogenating or deodorising the coconut destroy much of the natural health-boosting components within the oil. As a result, these types of refined oils don’t have the same benefits as virgin coconut oil.
BioBalance Certified Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. It has a very high lauric acid content of 50.1% and is available for secure order from our online shop.
Check out our Coconut Oil – What are your favourite ways to use it? article for heaps of ideas on how to use this amazing product.
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