coconut oil

Benefits of coconut oil

coconut oilThe use of coconut oil has become more and more popular over the years. It has a multitude of health benefits. Some of its health benefits include hair care, skin care and improved digestion. Also, people keep discovering the new wonders this oil can create and it is for this reason that it continues to gain popularity all over the world. This article will address the benefits of the popular coconut oil.

Production

Coconut oil can be extracted through two different ways of processing. It can either be extracted through ‘dry’ processing or it can be processed through ‘wet’ processing. Dry processing implies that the coconut meat is extracted from its shell and is dried using sunlight or fire to create copra. Copra is the dried meat of the coconut which is used to extract coconut oil. In order to make coconut oil, the copra is dissolved or pressed together to produce high quality oil and a fiber mash. While the coconut oil is of high quality, the fiber mash is of poor quality and is therefore not sold for human consumption. Also, there is no process to extract proteins from the mash and it is therefore fed to animals. A bit of the coconut oil is also lost during the process of extraction. This is a common phenomenon during extraction processes. The other extraction process is the wet process. During this process raw coconut is used instead of dried copra. The nutrients of the coconut create an emulsion of water and oil. A tricky process is to divide the emulsion and the oil. In order to break up this emulsion different techniques have been used to divide the two. Although different techniques are used to divide the emulsion, wet processing is still considered to be less viable compared to dry processing. Moreover, wet processing is also more expensive compared to dry processing. Wet processing requires energy and equipment, as well as high capital.

Use in food

While coconut oil has been used for centuries in some cuisines, coconut oil has only recently become popular due to its health benefits. It is mostly used as a common flavor in various South Asian curries and coconut oil is the type of oil which is most commonly used. It is not only cheaper in South Asia to use coconut oil instead of a different type of oil, but it also provides more health benefits. Despite its high saturated fat content its popularity continues to increase. In the New York Times, coconut oil was described as having a nutty flavor with a touch of sweetness. Since it has a slight sweetness to it, it works well in baked pastries, sautés and baked goods. However, due to its highly saturated fat content and its high number of calories, the overuse of coconut oil could lead to weight gain and increase the energy balance. In Australia, for example, coconut oil is sold as Copha. Copha is a pure form of coconut oil which is the main ingredient in Australian snacks. It is used in almost all snacks such as chocolate crackles and white Christmas. Moreover, the smoking point of coconut oil is 177 degrees. This is considerably higher compared to sunflower oil which has a smoking point around 120 degrees.

Fatty healthy acids

Coconut oil has been criticized in the past for containing high amounts of saturated fat. This is true since coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat known. Coconut oil contains high amounts of fatty acids and over 90 per cent of these acids are saturated. While people used to think that saturated fats cause harm to the human body. However, recent studies have shown that saturated fats are harmless and do not cause harm to the human body. It was said that saturated fats would cause artery clogging. Nevertheless, different studies including thousands of people have shown that this was just a myth and that saturated fats do not cause the arteries to clog. Moreover, saturated fats are also found in cheese and steak. These saturated fats are usually long chains of fatty acids which are not easily digested. The fatty acids found in coconut oil are medium length acids, also referred to ad medium chain triglycerides. These medium length acids are metabolized differently are more easily digested compared to the long chains of fatty acids. These medium length acids go straight to the liver from the digestive tract. In the liver they turn into ketone bodies. These ketone bodies have therapeutic effects on Alzheimer’s disease or epilepsy.


Hair care

Coconut oil has also  become increasingly popular as a product for hair care. Besides the use of coconut oil for skin, more and more products are including coconut oil. Different studies show that coconut oil can have a positive effect on hair which is damaged. Moreover, there is also a study which shows that it can protect the hair from the sun. Exposing hair to the sun for too long can cause the hair to become very dry and to be damaged on the long term. Thus, in order to protect your hair from sunlight, it is recommended to buy hair products which contain coconut extracts or coconut oil for optimal protection and result. Also, coconut oil also helps in healthy growth of hair and provides hair with a shiny quality. Besides the fact that it gives hair more shine, is it also highly effective in reducing protein loss. By losing proteins in hair it can lead to unhealthy qualities in your hair or make cause hair to look very unattractive and dry. It is for this reason that coconut oil is added to manufacturing products such as shampoo, conditioners and relief creams.

Skin care

Besides the benefits it provides to hair, it also provides benefits to the skin. It is proven that coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin. It is considered to be an effective moisturizer for all types of skin. This also includes dry skin. Many people with dry skin think that there are not many products which can help their skin look more healthy. This is, however, not true. In contrast to mineral oil, for example, coconut oil provides no adverse side effects on the skin after it had been applied. Coconut oil is therefore considered to be a safe solution when having dry skin or in order to prevent the skin from flaking. Also, it is said that by massaging your skin with coconut oil, wrinkles and sagging of the skin are prevented. These are normally signs which appear once someone becomes older. Coconut oil also prevents the creation of wrinkles and prevents sagging of the skin due to the antioxidant properties it contains. These properties prevent degenerative diseased which lead to premature aging of the skin. Coconut oil has also been proven to treat different skin problems such as eczema, dermatitis and various other skin infections. It is again for this reason that this natural product is often the base ingredient for body products such as creams, lotions and soaps.

Improved digestion

As mentioned earlier, coconut oil is also becoming more popular as being a substitute for sunflower oil or other common types of oil used for cooking. In order for coconut oil to provide health benefits for the internal system, it is important that coconut oil is used during the cooking process. Coconut oil does not only help to improve the digestive system, but also prevents different types of digestion-related diseased. For example, various studies show that coconut oil has a positive effect on preventing stomach diseases such as the irritable bowel syndrome. This is because coconut oil contains antimicrobial properties which help the body to deal with parasites, fungi and bacteria. These bodily intruders do not only cause indigestion but could also lead to stomach related diseases on the long term. Coconut oil also help the body to absorb various nutrients. For example, it help with the absorption of vitamins, amino acids and minerals. Thus in order for coconut oil to have a positive effect on the internal system it is important to replace cooking oils, such as sunflower oil, with a more healthy substitute such as coconut oil. Coconut oil has become so popular it can be found in almost every supermarket next to the other types of oil.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1687x
Added: 02-08-2016 02:01
Last modified: 15-08-2016 20:02

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