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Coconut Oil Is a Super Food

Coconut oil is quite unique because unlike other types of cooking oil (palm oil, sunflower oil), its benefits extend to more than cooking. Let us see what these benefits are.

It is rich in medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)

This been receiving a bad press because it is rich in saturated fats but that is not entirely true. The major saturated fats in coconut are caprylic acid, palmitic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid. These saturated fatty acids actually belong to a category called medium chain triglycerides or MCTs. These not only metabolize faster than long chain triglycerides, they are also healthier.

It has a high smoking point

It has a high smoking point (177 degrees). Most seed, nut and vegetable oils have a low smoking point. Smoking point is the heating point beyond which the oil will begin to burn. Foods that are cooked in oils with a low smoking oil usually have a burnt flavour. Another advantage of a high smoking point is that beyond that point, the fatty acids in the oil oxidize and produce free radicals which are dangerous to health.

It has antimicrobial properties

It has two important ingredients that give it antimicrobial properties- caprylic acid and lauric acid. Once ingested, the lauric acid gets converted into monolaurin which is effective against many viruses, bacteria and protozoa. It also keeps a check on the yeast (candida) population in your intestine, restoring balance to the digestive tract. If the yeast population increases, it can lead to persistent bloating, burping, flatulence, diarrhea and constipation.

It is an excellent hair oil

Suffering from split ends, itchy scalp, dandruff or lackluster hair? Try applying it to your hair and scalp. It is rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. A study published in 2005 in the Journal of Cosmetic Science also said that it penetrates hair follicles better than mineral oil, the major constituent in hair conditioners. Most people aren’t aware that dandruff is caused by bacteria and fungi. The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil kills these microorganisms, keeping dandruff under control.

It aids digestion

The medium chain triglycerides in it, especially lauric acid transform into antimicrobial agents in the digestive system. They kill bad bacteria like helicobacter pylori while leaving the beneficial bacteria intact. So it reestablishes balance in the digestive system and promotes colon health. It is also effective against digestive problems like colitis, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and gastritis. Many people even recommend coconut oil for colon cleanses.