VCO or Virgin Coconut Oil these days is seen as a trendy “health” product–called a “superfood,” but really has been around for ages. It’s one of Nature’s amazing gifts that keep on giving. Not only is it good for you on the outside, it also has impressive health benefits that help you live a longer, healthier, and happier life.
Coconuts contain healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) that include Caprylic acid, Lauric acid, and Capric acid, which comprise about 60% of the oils in coconuts, and about 91% of the fat in coconut oil is healthy saturated fat. Typically, the fats we consume through our diet take longer to digest and break down. However, the MCFAs in coconut oil are easily assimilated and turned into the perfect source of energy.
“Well, how about Olive Oil? That’s healthy too, right?”
Well plant-based oils have long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) whereas coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids (or MCFAs). These MCFAs are much better for you because they are:
- Easier to digest
- Not readily stored as fat
- Are anti-microbial and anti-fungal
- Smaller in size, allowing easier cell penetration for immediate energy
- Processed by the liver, which means that they are immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat
There are thousands of studies out there that prove just how beneficial coconut oil is to our health. Thanks to Authority Nutrition, we can easily go down a quick list below:
It’s A Proven Natural Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease
When your body digests MCFAs, it prompts the liver to create ketones which is an easily resourced energy for the brain. These ketones provide energy to the brain without needing insulin in order to process glucose into energy. The brain of an Alzheimer’s patient loses the ability to create its own insulin, (something our brains were originally designed to do) and so the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to help repair brain function.
Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure and Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis
Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats, and saturated fats increases the HDL (good cholesterol) in your body while also converting the bad cholesterols into good cholesterols. This promotes a healthier heart and lowers your risk of heart disease.
Virgin coconut oil contains high levels of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and help eliminate arthritis .
Gives Your Immune System A Boost
Coconut oil has lauric acid which has been shown to fight bacteria and make it difficult for viruses to thrive. A lot of what ails us is caused by bacteria overgrowth, funguses, parasites, and viruses. One can easily look at grains and sugar as the culprit, so replacing those with coconut oil as a natural source of energy for days you’re feeling under the weather would be a really good move. Many have said how sugar feeds cancer just as sugar feeds and fuels the growth of bad bacteria. Look at including a tablespoon of coconut oil into your diet 3 times a day and start being good to your body. I normally put a tablespoon of VCO in my protein oats every morning, as well as take a shot of it first thing when I wake up.
Burn More Fat
Coconut oil contains MCT or medium-chain triglycerides (another term for the MCFAs) which can help increase the amount of calories you burn. About two years ago, there was a huge trend among coffee drinkers everywhere and suddenly “Bulletproof” coffee was the latest thing on a cafe menu. They would put MCT oil in their brew and this helped increase their energy throughout the day. A study found that MCT increased energy expenditure by 5% which led to significant weight loss in the long term.
Fight Tooth Decay and Gum Disease, Get Rid of Bad Breath
For centuries, oil pulling has been an effective way to cleanse the mouth of bacteria and help fight gum disease. Some folks use olive oil or other kinds of oil, which is fine, but coconut oil is the most effective kind due to its high levels of MCFAs which are antibacterial. All you have to do is swish about a tablespoon or two of the oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes. The oil pulls the bacteria away from your gums, teeth, and the insides of your mouth which helps heal your gums, prevent bad breath, and repair your teeth. The best time to do it would be first thing in the morning before you brush your teeth or eat. A good practice of oil pulling would be to do it 2 to 3 times a week.
Coconuts aren’t called a “superfood” for nothing. They have countless health benefits for just a fraction of the cost of what trendy wellness and fitness shops may offer with their products. With coconuts and coconut oil, you know exactly what you’re getting and what you’re putting into your body. It’s all about making smart choices that help you on your health and fitness journey.