Living in this day and age of technology and viral social media, we have witnessed defaming of practically anything and everything. It could have been a person, a brand, a diet or an ingredient. A short time ago one such spice had a very bad reputation. It was thought to be artery clogging and cholesterol laden which contributed to heart disease.
Not only its health benefits, its appearance was equally confusing. Sometimes it appeared green shelled with sweet water inside, sometimes it was sold as hard brown shelled with less water and more white meat, and sometimes in shredded or powder form.
After lot of research and many studies proving the benefits and nutrition of coconut, it’s exoticness still manages to torment and threaten many of us. Its appearance, its health benefits and now number of products derived from coconut, it still continues to be super-confusing…
Today let’s know everything about coconut right from its products, health benefits to its quick and easy uses…
Coconut spice is the fruit of the royal palm tree that grows in subtropical and tropical regions around the world. Coconuts are super nutritious, loaded with dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.
If you have thought coconut as very fatty and avoided it then you are correct about first half and you will change your mind about avoiding it after reading this blog.
Coconut contains about 80% fat out of which 76% is saturated fat. We are well aware that saturated fats clogs the arteries hence we’re told to minimize foods containing saturated fats including animal products. But coconut, natures boon is bestowed with the saturated fat that makes it a miracle-spice! Because the saturated fat in coconut is very special, we will explore more about it in weight loss health benefits.
1. Coconut supports healthy immune system
Coconut has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasite properties. Coconut contains the MCT lauric acid, which is broken down to monolaurin by our body. Researchers believe that monolaurin is capable of killing several types of disease-causing bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus, Enterobacter, and Enterococcus. A team of researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center, who also studied the Monolaurin added that it might be useful in preventing and treating even those bacterial infections, that are difficult to treat and are antibacterial resistant.
Not only bacterial infections but researchers in Iceland found that lauric acid and capric acid together (another MCT in coconut) can kill Candida albicans, the fungus causing yeast infection.
2. Coconut can help maintain or lose weight
We have already confirmed that coconut is very fatty and the majority of the fat from coconut is the saturated fat. What’s so special about coconut’s saturated fat? Let’s understand
Coconut is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) fatty acid but almost all of the other fats like those in meat and milk are long-chain fatty acids (LCT).
Our body processes LCT and MCT differently. LCT are sent to fat cells while MCT are metabolized instantly in the liver. Due to their shorter chain length, MCTs are broken down rapidly and absorbed into the body. This makes them a fast energy source and less likely to be stored as fat. This super-rapid metabolic action burns lot of calories.
According to studies, people who get lots of dietary MCT burn an average of 100 extra calories a day, compared to those who don’t eat an MCT-rich diet. Coconut contains more MCT than any other food.
Clearly, the fat in coconut is believed to help you burn calories to maintain or lose weight.
3. Coconut helps increase good cholesterol
According to researchers’ coconut oil can help raise levels of HDL cholesterol i.e. good cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Coconut consists of lauric acid and myristic acid. Lauric acid helps not to increase LDL while myristic acid may actually boost HDL levels. Thus, the researchers found that the coconut oil didn’t increase “bad” LDL cholesterol and increased only “good” HDL cholesterol.
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