Coconut Oil: A Weight Management, Brain Nutrition & Heart Health Superfood

With technology having progressed tremendously in the past few years many scientists have started to examine everyday foods accessible to us in an attempt to determine if some of them have properties which we weren’t aware of before. This actually gave birth to the concept of superfoods (foods with incredibly high nutritional value) and paved the way for the scrupulous examination of countless food items.

Amongst them, some have shown to have true potential for weight loss, with one of the more promising ones being coconut oil. With coconut oil weight loss becomes something a bit easier to achieve, and here is why.

The Proof

The best way to illustrate the advantages of coconut oil for weight loss would be to look into a study which sought to determine the extent of the oil’s benefits on the human body. A clinical study was performed on overweight men and women who were separated into two different groups.

Everything they were subjected to was the same, from their diets to their exercising routines, with one little difference; one group was fed olive oil while the other one was fed coconut oil. At the end of the experiment it was observed that those who had consumed coconut oil lost 7 pounds, which is 4 more pounds than those who were fed olive oil lost.

What Makes Coconut Oil Effective

So how precisely does this oil act on the human body to make it lose more weight? According to Dr. Peter Jones, it has to do with the molecular structure of the oil extract. There are certain fatty acids found in this oil, and in comparison to other ones, they are much easier for the body to process, being “more water soluble”.

In turn, this means that these acids gain quicker access to the liver, where they are used in order to be turned into energy. In other words, coconut oil is simply much easier for the body to digest and process into energy.

To give you a better idea of the kind of effect it has on the human body, imagine that you have just eaten a regular meal of a thousand calories, consisting of, say chicken, rice and a salad. Typically, the human body would only use about ten percent of the calories it has ingested and turn them into energy, storing the other ones in the form of fat.

However, if you replace say 200 calories of chicken from that meal with 200 calories of coconut oil, your body is going to use between fifteen and twenty percent of the calories it has ingested, leaving less of them to be stored as fat.

While it is true that with coconut oil weight loss can be achieved faster than without out, you should keep in mind that just like every oil, it contains a lot of calories and saturated fat; you should only include it in your diet if you are ready to consume less of other foods to make way for a bit of oil.

Coconut oil has shown a lot of promise for combating brain disorders and degeneration of brain function. One other “mundane” application for coconut oil is in weight loss – but I guess you knew that already.

Coconut oil is reputed to have strong anti-inflammatory properties as well and it has been linked to helping prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.

A very recent study, in 2016, has shown how giving people with depression small doses of traditional anti-inflammatory drugs such as paracetamol (Panadol)and aspirin can help lift their depression – or prevent it.

It’s the anti-inflammatory property of these drugs (called NSAIDs or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) that is at work. Coconut oil, apparently, has done just that for centuries, for communities that use it as a staple in cooking…

Why coconut oil is so awesome

Coconut oil contains nutrients called medium-chain triglycerides. The body uses these for energy, thereby leaving available glucose for the brain. As we have already seen, coconut oil also has a beneficial effect on blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. And of course anything that benefits your heart and blood circulation also indirectly benefits your brain.

Coconut oil is a super food. If you know any African superfoods join the discussion and let us know at LifestyleAfrica’s african super foods forum.

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