Is Coconut Oil a Healthy choice or not?

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Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) is a tall palm tree which is widely referred as “kalpavriksha” in Sanskrit which means tree that provides all necessities for life. The coconut tree is one of the most valuable and important tree where it’s various parts like tender coconut water, oil, and kernel, leaves, shell and coir pith. This is also used to make coconut cake and toddy hence because of its multiple utilities is cultivated by man worldwide from ages for mainly its nutritional properties. But remember this fruit nut also possess huge medicinal and therapeutic properties such as antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-parasitic and anti-oxidant and therefore was mainly used by coastal people in treatment of various ailments.

As mentioned, among the wide coconut parts such as coconut fruit and its flesh which are rich source of micro-nutrients, coconut oil is also consumed and used for topical applications from ancient times. There was always controversies regarding this oil as some believed it result in increasing cholesterol level of body and resulting in heart related problems. But researches on other hand actually has proved that coconut oil consumption is found to reduce the risk of heart problems, lower body fat deposition, prevent blot clot formation, and has strong anti-oxidant ability in combating free radicals present in body. Thus indicating its various health benefits and recommended its use in diet.

Why Coconut oil is considered Healthy?

Fats and oil molecules are made up of what we call as fatty acid molecules. In a molecule, three fatty acids are joined together to form a “triglyceride”. Some fatty acid are smaller and some are medium chain fatty acids where some possess long chain molecules.

Thus oils are mainly categorised based on their fatty acid molecule length because their metabolism in body depends on their length. Coconut oil contains containing this medium chain fatty acid molecules (MCFA) are easily digested and metabolised by body which make them different and healthier as compared to other oils and fats. These fats are so easily digested by body that they don’t even require pancreatic digestive enzymes. Whereas the process for digestion for long chain fatty acid is quite different and considered unhealthy for body.

This is because when long chain fatty triglyceride molecules are first broken down in into free fatty acids where they are absorbed by intestinal walls. Later they are packed into lipoproteins and then released into circulatory blood stream, where these fat molecules usually gets collected into fat cells and in artery walls (clot in arteries) and therefore considered unhealthy for heart and overall body.

Whereas this is not same for coconut oil medium fatty acid metabolism because when these fatty acid molecules are broken down into simple fatty acids they are immediately absorbed in vein and sent directly to liver where they are broken down to produce energy. And therefore this process of formation of lipoproteins and accumulation in bloodstream is bypass in case of coconut fatty acid molecules present in its oil.

That’s why coconut oil is considered healthy as compared to other oil and possess this secret power of healing properties. And this excellent properties makes it an ideal home remedy in treatment of number of disorders and a good nutritional substitute in diet as compared to other animal oils and is considered as a “Healthy oil” for cooking.

 

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