Through much research, it’s been found that not only is the coconut a nutritious source of meat, juice, and milk for millions of people around the world, but also that it provides numerous health benefits.
According to research done at Oxford University, coconut oil may have a positive effect on Alzheimer’s patients by helping them to regain their memories temporarily. It is believed that ketones are increased by the short-chain fatty acids within coconut fat which temporarily improves lucidity.
A study of South Pacific islanders in the 1930s found them to be healthy, trim, and without heart disease, even though their diets were high in saturated fat from coconut oil. The same findings were discovered in 1981 after two Polynesian communities were studies for whom coconut was a staple in their diets.
The reason why coconut oil is called “the healthiest oil on earth” is because it contains lauric acid, which the body converts into monolaurin. Monolaurin has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-protozoal properties.
The benefits of coconut oil include:
- It improves heart health.
- It boosts the thyroid.
- It increases metabolism.
- It supports the immune system.
Additional benefits of coconut oil:
- Superb hair conditioner; offers dandruff relief
- Excellent skin conditioner; protects the skin from the sun; anti-ageing moisturizer
- Lowers risk of diabetes and heart disease; improves cholesterol level
- Promotes bone health; prevents osteoporosis; reduces muscle and joint inflammation
- Kills bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites
- Protects against cancer, HIV and other infections
- Aids with upper and lower GI tract problems; strengthens the liver
- Reduces incidence of epileptic seizures; eases neuropathies and itching from diabetes
- Reduces incidence of epileptic seizures; soothes earaches; relieve chronic fatigue
- Deals with symptoms connected with prostate enlargement
Coconut oil and Alzheimer’s disease
In the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is the seventh leading cause of death and it affects approximately 5.2 million people. While being a mysterious, progressive, and fatal condition, it seems that there may be hope for a cure, which comes in the form of coconut oil.
The reason for this lies in the saturated fat of coconut oil, which can provide the brain with an alternate source of energy in ketones. Ketones are high energy fuels that nourish the brain. After coconut oil is consumed, the liver then converts the medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs) into ketones. Coconut is said to be “nature’s richest source of MCTs.” After consuming coconut oil, patients have shown a slowing down of the effects of Alzheimer’s, and some patients were even improved.
Coconut oil weight loss and the dieting debate
Regarding weight loss and dieting, there are two schools of thought. When asked whether coconut is an aid to dieting, Robert Eckel, M.D., from the American Heart Association, stated: “I would be very pessimistic about this. This is going to be a cholesterol-raising diet.” He also does not believe that coconut oil can boost metabolism, saying: “People have looked in the past as to whether MCTs have thermogenic properties, and I think the answer is pretty well negative. Generally, saturated fats tend not to be as well metabolized, so if it does have any ability to promote heat generation, it’s going to be minimal.”
On the opposing side, Glenn S. Rothfield, M.D., clinical assistant professor of family medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and medical director of Whole Health New England in Arlington, Mass., believes that MCTs may boost the thyroid hormone levels, which are essential to metabolism. He also stated that even though coconut oil is high in calories, these calories are quickly converted to energy, so dieters need not worry.
The truth about coconut water
Coconut water has become a popular drink with the general population, from celebrities to athletes. It’s been touted as a healthy alternative to sports drinks, but is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Here are the facts:
- If you want a drink that’s healthier than fruit juice with half the calories, then coconut water is a perfect choice.
- Coconut water has more potassium when compared to most fruit juices.
- It is true that coconut water has enough potassium to aid in the correction of the blood pressure-boosting effects of sodium.
- Coconut water does not have any anti-ageing properties.
- Coconut water cannot help prevent heart attacks and strokes.
- Coconut water does not help to speed up your metabolism.
Pros and cons of coconut milk
Pros: Coconut milk is a good alternative for those who are lactose-intolerant. If it is cell-natural, it is free from cholesterol, soy, gluten and nuts. The body can easily metabolize it, and its fat is considered to be “good fat.” Instead of storing it as fat, the body quickly turns it into energy. It is also high in potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, and is rich in lauric acid.
Cons: Coconut milk is high in saturated fat at 5 grams per serving. When refrigerated, it can solidify and separate. It can have a strong flavour, and it can be expensive.
Fruit of life
The coconut is said to have many health benefits; however, some of those are still in question, and so the debate continues. But only through more research and with the tincture of time will we discover the real story of this “Fruit of Life” – the coconut.