Coconut Oil: The Versatile Oil of Tropical India

coconut oil

During our childhood, our mother used to run after us to apply coconut oil in our hair. Little did we know back then that the inane childhood ritual had deep implications on health. Coconut oil is widely used in cooking across India and it is also one of the world’s most nourishing oils. It provides a variety of benefits from glowing skin and healthy hair to improved gut health. Read on to know about the health benefits of coconut oil!

Coconut Oil: The Debate

Harvard Professor Dr Karin Michels’ claim that coconut oil is as bad for one’s health as “pure poison” sparked a huge controversy regarding the health benefits of coconut oil. But why did the controversy start in the first place? 

Coconut oil has about 90% of saturated fat content. For decades, coconut oil has had a bad reputation due to its saturated fat content. Saturated fats are responsible for increasing LDL cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease. But, modern research has shown that not all saturated fats are the same.

Coconut oil is unique in its chemical properties, due to the presence of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). It contains MCFAs like caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid which help in digestion, improve skin health, provide energy and kill harmful microbes in the body. MCFAs are more easily digested than fats found in other oils and are processed directly in the liver and converted into energy.

Dietitian Michelle Gan Pei Chee says the hype over the health benefits of coconut oil is due to its high content of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Lauric acid in coconut oil helps in increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It also aids in weight loss and slows down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Did You Know?
– In some cases, coconut oil can work as an antidote for poison
–  At room temperature, coconut oil solidifies and has a melting point at 24-25 degree Celsius
– Coconut oil is beneficial for the gut microbiota and thus improves digestive health
– Coconut oil kills harmful pathogens and even prevent future infections

Health Benefits of Coconut oil 

Let us take a deeper look at some of the major benefits of coconut oil and why you should definitely try to include it in your diet.

Aids thyroid function

Coconut oil does not interfere with the thyroid hormone production, unlike other vegetable oils. It has anti-inflammatory properties, due to the presence of medium chain fatty acids, which aid in reducing an inflamed thyroid gland and aid in normal secretion of thyroid hormones.

Promotes weight loss

Coconut oil stimulates the metabolism rate which leads to loss of excess weight in the body. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in shedding off excessive weight. It helps burn fat and calories and decrease appetite. There is also evidence from animal studies that medium chain fats are less likely to be stored than other fats.

Improves nerve function

Coconut oil helps to lower the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (slow decline in memory) by boosting the brain function. Certain parts of  Alzheimer patients’ brain develop insulin resistance and are therefore unable to process glucose and produce energy. Researchers have found that ketones can provide an alternative energy source and reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s. The digestion of MCFAs by the liver produces ketones. These are directly used by the brain for energy.

Improves oral health

You can use coconut oil for oil pulling (a method of using oil as a mouthwash). Oil pulling originated in India and is being used since ancient times in Ayurveda; it detoxifies the body via salivary glands. Coconut oil helps kill bacterial germs and fungus in the mouth due to the presence of MCFAs like capric acid and caprylic acid, which have anti-bacterial properties. Thus, it prevents all kinds of tooth decay, bad breath and gum bleeding.

Prevents UTI

Coconut oil aids in healing urinary tract infections (UTI) due to the presence of MCFAs. The MCFAs act as an antibiotic on the infection causing microorganisms by damaging the lipid coating on the microorganisms and eventually killing them. MCFAs work against bacteria, fungi, yeast, viruses and parasites.

To gain the maximum benefit from coconut oil, always go for the virgin coconut oil as the manufacturing process retains its high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols. The virgin variety contains up to seven times higher concentrations of polyphenols than the refined version.

Nowadays, in every grocery store, coconut oil is in great demand. Let us look at some of its popular uses.

How to use coconut oil?

Given all the traditionally known health benefits coconut oil has, it is not surprising that coconut oil finds widespread use in kitchens throughout India. It is widely used in South India in almost all dishes. The high smoke point of coconut oil makes it ideal for deep frying. Some coffee lovers use coconut oil instead of a dairy creamer, to enjoy the rich taste of coffee as well as maintain their body weight.

The cosmetic uses of coconut oil are as popular and widespread as its culinary uses. We use it for oiling our hair as it provides nourishment to the scalp. We also use it as a natural remedy in Indian households to get rid of dry skin during winter. You can apply coconut oil on skin rashes and infections as it has anti-microbial properties. Many Hollywood celebrities have revealed the use of coconut oil regularly in their routines for health and beauty. The wonders of coconut oil are truly endless!

You can use coconut oil in a variety of ways:

  • You can use it for regular cooking and deep-frying, as MCFAs remain stable under heat.
  • Mix coconut oil with other vegetable oil for cooking to get more energy during the summer season.
  • Add one tablespoon of coconut oil to your favourite smoothie recipe and increase your energy with the oil’s MCTs.
  • Do you worry about chapped lips? Then apply coconut oil daily on your lips before going to sleep. You will get soft, pink lips for the entire next day!
  • Heat coconut oil and slowly massage your scalp with it. It provides nourishment to the scalp and aids in hair growth. It also gives a shiny, smooth texture to your hair and effectively removes dandruff from the scalp.
  • Combine coconut oil with crystal salt and apply on the face, to get rid of dead skin cells.
  • Apply coconut oil topically to treat any fungal, yeast or bacterial infections.
  • You can use it to make deodorants due to its anti-bacterial properties.
  • Add coconut oil to your bathing water and release your stress after a hectic day.

Adding coconut oil to your diet and in your daily health routine, can be one of the easiest ways to get the desired results. Comment below to share your opinions with us!

Disclaimer: Coconut oil has important saturated fatty acids, which help in curing various health problems but, we need to consume it in moderation as recent research shows that excess consumption may be bad for people with pre-existing heart conditions.

Nutritional Information
100g of Coconut oil provides 862 calories
Fat – 100g (Saturated fat-87g, PUFA – 1.8g, MUFA – 6g)

 

Recommended Posts

  • Anitha Narayanamurthy
  • 247 read
7 Reasons Why Coconut ...

Coconut oil has been a part of our culture since ages. We...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 151 read
Health Benefits of Parsley ...

Parsley is a popular herb, used often as a decorative adornment in...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 142 read
Health Benefits of Pomegranates ...

Antioxidants prevent or repair the effects of free radicals. Free radical damage...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 141 read
Health Benefits of Zucchini ...

You would have heard it a million times – it’s critical to...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 130 read
Health Benefits of Turmeric ...

Turmeric is probably the most important spice in Indian dishes and possibly,...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 130 read
Benefits of Eating Salmon ...

Salmon are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It’s...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 149 read
Health Benefits of Pumpkin ...

Pumpkin seeds are seeds obtained from the middle portion of a pumpkin....

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 94 read
Health Benefits of Sesame ...

Sesame seeds not only offer culinary benefits but is also good for...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 101 read
What is the Role ...

Obesity is a global epidemic with a majority of the world’s population...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 765 read
Benefits of Drinking Whey ...

Whey protein is one of the most widely used protein supplements available...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 719 read
10 Impressive Health Benefits ...

Aloe vera plant is being used since centuries for health and beauty....

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 51 read
Health Benefits of Honey ...

For centuries, honey has been traditionally used for its medicinal and nutritional...

Read Article
  • James Corden-Lloyd
  • 67 read
All About Anti-Aging, Redox ...

Aging is an irreversible part of our lives. We all age. However,...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 87 read
The Different Types of ...

High in protein and used as a vegetarian and lactose alternative for...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 834 read
Health Benefits of Corn: ...

Corn, also known as maize, is a cereal grain used extensively for...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 53 read
Health Benefits of Fenugreek ...

Ancient cultures of India and China were aware of wide ranging health...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 489 read
Health Benefits of Bell ...

Bell pepper is sweeter in taste compared to other varieties of pepper...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 46 read
Non-Dairy Milk: The Plant-Powerful ...

Since our early childhood we have been told to drink our daily...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 52 read
Everything You Need to ...

Nutritional supplements are any dietary supplement that provides nutrients that may otherwise...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 762 read
5 Health Benefits of ...

Crunchier than potatoes and starchier than radishes, turnips are one of the...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 451 read
6 Surprising Health Benefits ...

Cayenne pepper or lal mirch is an integral part of many recipes...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 504 read
6 Reasons To Include ...

Every time you order a pizza, the one thing you most likely...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 599 read
Black Pepper – The ...

Black pepper is native to the Southern Indian state of Kerala and...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 487 read
Health Benefits of Jaggery: ...

Jaggery is an ancient South Asian food which has a reference in...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 630 read
Health Benefits of Eating ...

Sweet and delicious in taste, low in calories and fat, an excellent...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 815 read
Health Benefits of Basil: ...

The word "Tulsi" in Sanskrit literally means "the incomparable one". The Charaka...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 448 read
9 Health Benefits of ...

Asafoetida is a resinous gum extract that was used to cure health...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 500 read
Health Benefits of Olive: ...

The history of the olive tree involves a beautiful myth from ancient...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 344 read
6 Health Benefits of ...

Costing at around $5000 per pound, Saffron is perhaps the costliest spice...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 383 read
6 Health Benefits of ...

You may be familiar with the phrase “cool as a cucumber”, which...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 396 read
Health Benefits of Oyster ...

Mushrooms are now widely used in many Indian dishes as it is...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 176 read
How to Switch to ...

The benefits of a low glycemic index diet are many, which include...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 395 read
6 Health Benefits of ...

Whether it's soup, salad or any other dish, celery can be added...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 486 read
6 Health Benefits of ...

Tasty food is generally not healthy. So, finding a food item that...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 414 read
5 Health Benefits of ...

Mustard is an irreplaceable ingredient in most Indian kitchens, thanks to its...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 825 read
Health Benefits of Avocado ...

Pictures of avocado preparations (such as an avocado toast) are a quintessential...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 94 read
Miraculous Health Benefits of ...

Cloves have been used for centuries as a food preservative as well...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 93 read
Chia Seeds Health Benefits: ...

We have been eating chia seeds since ancient times as a powerful...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 83 read
6 Health Benefits of ...

Copper was used by the early Roman Civilization to improve hygiene. It...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 558 read
6 Amazing Health Benefits ...

When I think of bay leaf, I immediately recall the aroma of...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 595 read
How To Overcome Iron ...

Unless one suffers from serious implications of iron deficiency, chances are that...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 83 read
Health Benefits of Moringa ...

Drumsticks or moringa is beginning to gain more popularity as a new...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 88 read
Health Benefits of Garlic: ...

Garlic has been an integral part of human consumption and use for...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 99 read
Health Benefits of Ginger ...

Ginger is widely used as a traditional Ayurvedic medicine in Indian culture....

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 93 read
Jowar (sorghum) – A ...

Our obsession with all-purpose flour or Maida is a cause for concern...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 87 read
Benefits of Drinking Milk ...

For thousands of years, milk has been an integral part of all...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 74 read
Health Benefits of Coconut: ...

While the coconut is a staple in Indian diet, it's considered exotic...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 100 read
6 Health Benefits of ...

Most of us enjoy drinking lemon water. It’s not just refreshing but...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 78 read
Coriander seeds: The Spice ...

My earliest memories related to good food is my mom's cooking. She...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 743 read
Broccoli: The Healthiest Super-Green ...

Broccoli is the tasty super-green that packs the most nutritional punch of...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 563 read
Health Benefits of Apple ...

We all know of the old Welsh proverb, “An apple a day...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 348 read
7 Health Benefits of ...

When Christopher Columbus brought pineapples to Europe after an expedition to South...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 866 read
Amla: The Ayurvedic Superfood ...

Amla derives its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Amlaki’ meaning “nectar of...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 561 read
Health Benefits of Banana ...

Bananas grow all year-round in India, and Indians consume a whopping 30...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 512 read
The Aromatic Traditional Coriander ...

Coriander has a very soothing and powerful aroma. As a matter of...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 661 read
Health Benefits of Guava: ...

Guavas are a favourite for many due to its combination of sweet...

Read Article
  • Niharika Sachdev
  • 363 read
12 Foods You Should ...

Achieving and then maintaining a healthy and glowing skin can be a...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 1531 read
Pregnancy Diet Plan 101: ...

Pregnancy is one of the most emotional and deeply personal journeys a...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 1181 read
Drinks and Beverages To ...

Does your day halt to a standstill without your quintessential cup of...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 314 read
Nutrient Absorption: The Science ...

“Eat this or else you won’t get big and healthy” is something...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 108 read
Mineral salt or Table ...

Did you know that in ancient Rome, salt was so valuable that...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 621 read
Are Millets the next ...

The health food industry is a highly competitive world, with new titles...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 313 read
Magnesium – The Miracle ...

Magnesium plays a central role in almost every biological process, from the...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 92 read
6 Iodine Benefits You ...

Remember the TV advertisements where they market salt as iodized? Ever wondered...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 95 read
Good Carbohydrate vs Bad ...

Carbohydrates are a key ingredient in the diet; comprising sugars, starchy carbs...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 129 read
Athletes and Carbohydrates: The ...

Carbohydrates are extremely important for the normal functioning of our body. It...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 110 read
5 Reasons Why Low-Fat ...

It’s an age-old belief that low-fat diets are good for you, especially...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 703 read
Miracles Of Microgreens – ...

When you go to a fine dining restaurant, have you noticed tiny...

Read Article
  • Rohit Singh Panwar
  • 292 read
Understanding The Role Of ...

Tune in to Integrative Nutrition Coach Rohit Singh Panwar clearing the misconceptions around Cholesterol...

Read Article
  • Rohit Singh Panwar
  • 377 read
Understanding the Role of ...

Tune in to Integrative Nutrition Coach Rohit Singh Panwar clearing the misconceptions around Cholesterol...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 307 read
6 Health Benefits of ...

This bright red food is mistaken as a vegetable, as it most...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 426 read
5 Reasons To Eat ...

Liquorice also known as Yashti Madhu or Mithi Lakdi is a common...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 408 read
6 Reasons To Include ...

Pepper is one of the most popular spices in the world. The outer...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 1328 read
Essential Amino Acids: Biology’s ...

Proteins are important for a healthy and balanced diet. Proteins are also...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 962 read
Chromium: The Lesser Known ...

Chromium micronutrient is a trace mineral that helps the body utilize the...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 890 read
Calcium – The Structural ...

The human body needs calcium during all its life stages. Right from...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 776 read
Cumin Seeds – The ...

Cumin seeds look rather unassuming but their nutty peppery flavour provides a...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 876 read
Iron: Body’s Oxygen Ferry

Iron is an essential nutrient that supports several critical life functions. Every...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 524 read
Benefits of Manganese: The ...

Manganese is a naturally occurring mineral which is required by our bodies...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 1150 read
Why is dietary fiber ...

Dietary Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods that travel through...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 625 read
All You Need To ...

Carbohydrates are our body’s primary source of energy. An adequate intake of...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 552 read
Non-Essential Amino Acids: Biology’s ...

Proteins are important for a healthy and balanced diet. Proteins are also...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 714 read
All You Need to ...

Did you know that vitamin A can restore your youth and vitality?...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 755 read
What Is Vitamin E ...

Vitamin E is a wonder nutrient. Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 657 read
8 Trace Elements That ...

Trace elements refer to elements that our body requires in very minute...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 817 read
4 Vitamins Pregnant Women ...

Pregnancy is one of the most emotional and deeply personal journeys a...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 908 read
Proteins: What are they ...

What is the similarity between your favourite chicken wings, the stuff holding...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 924 read
The Unexpected Connection between ...

Our brain is the most important organ in our body. Our memories,...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 824 read
Saturated Fats: Probably not ...

Saturated fats are a rather interesting type of fat present in the...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 601 read
7 Essential Minerals For ...

Minerals are essential nutrients needed by our body in small amounts to...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 630 read
Eating Out While Pregnant: ...

Pregnancy is a mentally and physically demanding journey and sometimes you just...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 501 read
Dietary Fats: All you ...

Also known as MUFA and PUFA, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 1168 read
Common Discomforts of Pregnancy ...

Pregnancy is one of the most emotionally and physically demanding times of...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 778 read
Vitamins That Boost Your ...

Vitamins are an important part of a healthy diet. They support several...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 927 read
Unsaturated Fats: Are they ...

Unsaturated fats are one of the most important classes of fat in...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 539 read
What Are Fatty Acids ...

What are fatty acids? How are they different from fats? The importance...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 686 read
4 Detox Diet Essentials ...

Do you feel that detox diets can benefit your body but the...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 745 read
All you need to ...

Have you ever wondered why all the blood in your body doesn’t...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 691 read
Vitamin D: How important ...

Did you know that vitamin D is not an essential nutrient? You...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 778 read
Vitamin C – The ...

Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidant vitamins. Whether you...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 465 read
Nutrition and the Immune ...

Toxic substances fill our environment. Be it the water we sip, the...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 802 read
Vitamin B Complex: Its ...

Vitamin B complex refers to a class of water-soluble vitamins that play...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 691 read
Gestational Diabetes: What Should ...

In parallel with the increase in diabetes prevalence, there is an increasing...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 422 read
8 Health Benefits of ...

Peppermint is much more than just a flavouring for your gums and...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 916 read
How Antioxidants Help In ...

Aging is an irreversible process where the body’s replacement of dead or...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 640 read
5 Tips About Food ...

Pregnancy is undoubtedly one of the most physiologically and emotionally demanding periods...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 813 read
Health Benefits of Oranges: ...

Many of us enjoy drinking a fresh glass of orange juice during...

Read Article

Post your Comments

NAME *
EMAIL *