There aren’t many plant-based oils that have so many wonderful and diverse properties as that of pure coconut oil. Coconut oil appears to possess health and healing benefits, way beyond that of most other natural oils. Such benefits have long been extolled in many healing traditions and are now well recognised in modern-day.
Not just for cooking!
Aside from its use as a very healthy, and stable cooking oil, coconut oil has properties that lends itself superbly well for use as a body and facial oil, as well as “eaten” cold as a fuel for energy during sports performance. It’s even suitable, in small amounts, for those who struggle with fat digestion. Coconut oil is therefore, unsurprisingly, fast-becoming a favourite amongst health-conscious individuals, and is certainly gaining rapid momentum in the world of veganism and plant-based devotees. In fact it’s one of the healthiest oils you can use and consume.
So what is so special about coconut oil?
Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fats, known as MCTs – the “T” standing for “triglyceride” as opposed to “fat”. MCTs are saturated fats, but recognised as “healthy” saturated fats, due to the fact that they’re metabolised and used quite differently in the body, when compared to other long, or short-chain saturated fats.
Unlike all other fats, which have quite a lengthy digestion and absorption process, MCTs are absorbed intact across the intestinal lining, and travel straight to the liver via the portal vein. MCTs are then immediately transported to the cells, ready to be used as an energy source. In fact only a tiny percentage of the MCTs ingested is actually stored as body fat. So for those concerned about having too much in the diet, as long you are keeping your total calorie intake within your body’s energy needs, MCTs can be a very useful and healthy part of the diet – even for those wanting to lose excess fat weight.
Coconuts and MCT for the win
The humble coconut happens to be nature’s most abundant source of MCTs! Coconut flesh (as well as dessicated coconut) and of course it’s extracted oil is jam-packed with MCTs, which therefore makes it the perfect fat to use in your everyday diet and lifestyle.
Coconut oil has widespread uses that can benefit everyone - both on the inside, and on the outside. Stay tuned for part 2 where we take a closer look at just what it can do....