Going Crazy for Coconut: Why Coconut Oil Is Good for You
As we learn more about the health benefits of coconut, it’s not surprising that a good deal of health-minded people are falling in love with coconut oil. Besides being a superfood, coconut oil is so versatile! People love using it to moisturize their skin naturally, improve hair health and so much more. Here’s a look at the many health benefits of eating coconut oil.
1. Build Muscle and Burn Fat
Coconut really is the other white meat! It’s loaded with protein and amino acids making it a fantastic option when you want to build lean muscle. In particular, coconut contains threonine, an amino acid that helps your body build strong connective tissues, an essential part of recovering from an intense workout.
As you explore the health benefits of coconut oil, you’ll also hear about people using it as a weight loss aid. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that naturally boost your metabolism, helping you to process food more efficiently. Using coconut oil also makes it easier to replace the unhealthy long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) found in soybean, canola and other common oils.
Studies also suggest that MCTs typically go right to the liver, which increases your body’s energy expenditure. In other words, you can actually burn extra calories without even changing your exercise habits. If your liver doesn’t turn MCTs into a quick energy source, they’re converted into ketones, which are chemicals that offer a wide range of physical and mental health benefits.
2. Fight Harmful Pathogens
One of the major health benefits of coconut oil is that lauric acid makes up approximately half of its fatty acids, which turns into a chemical called monolaurin when digested. Both lauric acid and monolaurin help kill pathogens that can make you sick, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. So, one of the benefits of eating coconut oil may be that it can help your body fight infections.
Eating coconut oil isn’t a guaranteed way to prevent infections entirely, nor is it a viable treatment on its own. However, it never hurts to fortify your body with substances that help in the fight against the nasty stuff! Coconut oil can be a great way to give your immune system a little extra boost, especially if you’re prone to getting sick.
3. Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
One of the most commonly-cited health benefits of coconut oil is that it can improve heart health. The natural saturated fats in coconut oil boost your body’s HDL cholesterol levels. In order to understand why that’s a good thing, it’s important to note the difference between HDL (good) cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol is what clogs arteries and other blood vessels with a buildup called plaque. As this buildup grows, the blood vessels become narrower and blood flow decreases. If the blood vessels become too clogged, the buildup can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, absorbs the LDL cholesterol and transports it to the liver. From there, the liver processes the LDL cholesterol and flushes it out.
The heart health benefits of coconut oil are worth exploring, but make sure you speak with your physician for advice if you have an existing heart condition. Coconut oil can be a great choice as one of the tools in your health kit, but it’s important to follow your doctor’s guidelines for a heart-healthy meal plan.
4. Strengthen Bones and Teeth
One of the often overlooked benefits of eating coconut oil is that it can strengthen your bones and teeth. Coconut oil helps your gut absorb essential vitamins and nutrients, including calcium and magnesium. Studies have shown that incorporating coconut oil into your diet may help prevent bone loss associated with osteoporosis.
Beyond providing much-needed vitamins and minerals, another benefit of coconut oil related to osteoporosis is that it contains significant amounts of antioxidants that help combat the free radicals and oxidative stress that can exacerbate the condition. While coconut oil may be a valuable addition to your diet, it’s still crucial you speak with your doctor for guidance on how to treat and manage osteoporosis.
5. Enhance Mental Health
As mentioned earlier, the MCTs in coconut oil can be converted into ketones. Among other benefits, your brain can use ketones as a fuel. Most of the time, your brain relies on glucose as its primary energy source. However, if you’re running low on glucose, your body converts MCTs to ketones and transports them to your brain. So, one of the health benefits of coconut oil is that it actually acts as a backup supply of brain food!
Beyond fueling your brain, eating healthy foods just helps you feel your best. It’s no secret that the foods you eat can directly affect your mental wellbeing, and eating clean, wholesome ingredients is the logical solution. When you eat well, your body functions at its peak capacity, including your mind. Never underestimate the power of a healthy lifestyle.
Enjoy Within/Without Granola
Recognizing the benefits of eating coconut oil and its delicious taste, we started with coconut oil in our grain-free granola and we’ve never looked back! We only use clean, natural and simple ingredients so you can feel good about having another handful. Besides providing the health benefits of coconut oil, our wholesome granola fits most lifestyles including keto, paleo and vegan eating plans.
Our granola is nourishment for your body and mind, but that’s not all. Soft-baked to perfection, Within/Without granola boasts a uniquely chewy texture you won’t find anywhere else. Once you try it, there’s no going back! Contact us if you have questions about any of our products, or place your order online today to reap the many health benefits of coconut oil!