Virgin Oil is one of the best conditioners for hair. The health benefits of oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, high blood pressure and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which possess properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial. It is considered one of the healthiest oil with both benefits for internal and external use.
What is coconut oil cold pressed?
Cold pressed coconut oil is one of the two main methods of producing coconut oil, whether from organic coconuts or otherwise. It is generally considered to produce higher quality product than the other method of extraction, which uses a heat source to boil fresh coconut milk from young coconuts. This is because the heat in the second case breaks down some of the compounds in the material, resulting in a less fragrant and flavorful oil, and with fewer antioxidants.
Cold pressed is derived from copra, which is dried coconut meat from mature coconuts. To procure the copra, mature coconuts are harvested by hand 4 times a year and then broken open with an axe or spike. The meat on the interior is scooped out and then dried. The drying is often accomplished simply by laying the copra out in the sun. There are more advanced drying methods, such as solar dryers, but they are not as widespread in many coconut producing regions.
Benefits of Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
Pure coconut oil should have a distinctive fragrance and taste and does not require any bleaching, refining or deodorising. Many oils in the market are produced from Copra, and this process strips away the natural benefits found in this oil. So oil produced from Copra and Virgin Coconut oil produced from the coconut flesh are two very different products.
- Weight Loss – Coconut oil is mainly in the form of medium-chain triglycerides, while most vegetable oils, such as olive oil are in the form of long-chain triglycerides. MCTs are utilized more effectively by the body as an energy source than are LCTs and have less chance of being stored in fatty tissues. In addition, MCTs increase the body’s metabolic rate and promote fat loss. In a study published in the March 2008 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” 31 overweight men and women, aged 19 to 50 years, were given 18 to 24 grams per day of either MCT oil or olive oil for 16 weeks. The MCT consumption resulted in about 1.7 kilograms more fat loss than olive oil. A study published in the July 2009 issue of “Lipids” found that 12 weeks of coconut oil consumption in women promoted significantly more fat loss in the abdominal area, compared to soybean oil.
- Cardiovascular Disease – A study published in the January 2012 issue of the “Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition” looked at whether coconut oil would have a beneficial effect on lipid levels in 1,839 Filipino women, aged 35 to 69 years. The results indicated that coconut oil intake significantly increased the levels of HDL, the beneficial cholesterol, while it had little effect on the levels of LDL, the harmful cholesterol. Another study that appeared in the November 2003 issue of “The Journal of Nutrition” found that coconut oil rich diet lowered the levels of blood fibrinogen and lipoprotein(a), the markers of heart attack risk.
- Antimicrobial Properties – About 50 percent of the MCTs in coconut oil is lauric acid. The body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, a compound with potent antimicrobial properties. Monolaurin is effective against herpes, influenza, measles, AIDS and several other viruses. It also kills a number of bacteria, such as Helicobacter pylori, the causative factor in stomach ulcers. Moreover, monolaurin destroys a variety of fungi, yeast and protozoa, such as some types of ringworm, Candida albicans and Giardia lamblia. Research has shown that lauric acid’s strong antimicrobial activity is due to its ability to destroy the protective fatty membranes surrounding these microorganisms.
- Safety – A study published in the March 2011 issue of “ISRN Phamacology” found coconut oil consumption to be safe for healthy humans. Individuals with diabetes and liver disease should be cautious when using MCTs, however, and talk to their physicians before using it, since its use can lead to a buildup of harmful acids in the body, resulting in nausea, vomiting and even coma.
- Hair care – Coconut oil helps in healthy growth of hair and gives your hair a shiny quality. It is also highly effective in reducing protein loss, which can lead to various unattractive or unhealthy qualities in your hair. It is used as hair care oil and is used in manufacturing various conditioners and dandruff relief creams. It is normally applied topically for hair care. Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. It is an excellent conditioner and helps the re-growth process of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair. Research studies indicate that coconut oil provides better protection to hair from damage caused by hygral fatigue. By regularly massaging your head with coconut oil, you can ensure that your scalp is free of dandruff, even if your scalp is chronically dry. It also helps in keeping your hair and scalp free from lice and lice eggs.
- Heart diseases – There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for heart health. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. In reality, it is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, and it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis. Study suggests that intake of coconut oil may help to maintain healthy lipid profiles in pre-menopausal women.
- Immunity – It strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which research has supported as an effective way to deal with viruses and bacteria that cause diseases like herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. Coconut oil helps in fighting harmful bacteria like listeria monocytogenes and helicobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
- Digestion – Internal functions of coconut oil occur primarily due to it being used as cooking oil. It helps to improve the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. It also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
- Candida – Candida, also known as Systemic Candidiasis, is a tragic disease caused from excessive and uncontrolled growth of yeast called Candida Albicans in the stomach. Coconut provides relief from the inflammation caused by candida, both externally and internally. Its high moisture retaining capacity keeps the skin from cracking or peeling off. Capric acid, Caprylic acid, caproic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid found in coconut oil help in eliminating Candida albicans.