Coconut oil (coconut oil) is a particularly highly heatable vegetable oil that is extracted from the nutritive tissue of coconut (copra). At room temperature, coconut oil has a solid state of aggregation and a whitish color - in this form it is called coconut fat. Coconut oil is mainly used in the kitchen for frying and baking, but it is also used in cosmetics. Here, coconut oil is especially popular for hair care.
Coconut oil - healthy or unhealthy?
Since coconut oil and coconut oil have a particularly high content of saturated fatty acids - this is about 90 percent - they were considered unhealthy for years. Because allegedly the many saturated fatty acids lead to an increase in the cholesterol level. Today it is known that high-quality coconut oil only increases the level of HDL cholesterol - this is the 'good' cholesterol that protects us against, for example, cardiovascular diseases.
Coconut oil is becoming increasingly popular because of its health-promoting properties. Today, coconut oil accounts for around eight percent of the world's vegetable oil needs. In addition to its effect on the cholesterol level, coconut oil is also often used, as it is well digestible and easily digestible. This is probably due to the fact that coconut oil - in contrast to, for example, butter - mainly contains medium-chain fatty acids.
Oil quality especially crucial
For coconut oil and coconut oil, it is particularly important to pay attention to the quality of the product, because many commercially available coconut fats are industrially hardened. In this process, the natural fatty acids give rise to trans fatty acids, which can damage your health.
Although the trans fatty acids in coconut oil have the same composition, but a different structure than the natural fatty acids. Because when hardening the coconut fat, the curvature of the natural fatty acids is lost and these are thus no longer after bending in curved, but in a straight form.
The straight trans fatty acids can be processed by our body, however, only poorly. In addition, they increase the body's 'bad' LDL cholesterol while lowering the level of 'good' HDL cholesterol. This can significantly increase the risk of heart attack or other cardiovascular diseases. Likewise, the risk of diabetes and overweight should be increased significantly by eating foods containing trans fatty acids.
If you want to benefit from the health benefits of coconut oil, you should definitely resort to a high quality oil or an unhardened fat. Such products are available for example in health food stores.
Health promoting effect
The saturated fatty acids of coconut oil include lauric acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid. In addition, coconut oil contains unsaturated oil acids as well as small amounts of minerals such as calcium, iron, copper and potassium.
Above all, the lauric acid, which is found in coconut oil and coconut oil in particularly large quantities, are said to have health-promoting effects. So it should act antimicrobial and thus support the body in the fight against bacteria, yeasts, fungi and certain viruses. In the case of viruses, the mechanism of lauric acid is particularly effective - it simply dissolves the fat components of the sheath and thereby inactivates the virus.
Due to its antimicrobial effect, coconut oil should also be able to help with colds and sore throats. To alleviate the symptoms, simply add a little coconut oil to a warm tea. Creams containing coconut oil should also promote the wound healing process and protect the skin from infection.
Positive effect in Alzheimer's
Whether or not coconut oil has a positive effect on Alzheimer's is still controversial. Proponents cite the case of an American whose Alzheimer's disease was not cured by daily intake of coconut oil but reportedly improved significantly. However, scientific studies on the efficacy of coconut oil in Alzheimer's disease are still lacking.
Allegedly, the beneficial effect of coconut oil is attributed to the many medium chain fatty acids contained in the oil. They are converted into ketones in the liver and then transported to the brain via the bloodstream. There they can be used as an alternative source of energy to glucose. Since certain areas of the brain are no longer able to absorb glucose in Alzheimer's, the ketones are supposed to improve the brain's energy supply.
Use of coconut oil and coconut oil
For the extraction of the coconut oil, first of all the pulp of the coconut - the so-called copra - must be crushed and dried. As a result of drying, the coconut's water content drops to around five percent, while the fat content increases to 60 to 70 percent. After drying, the pulp is squeezed out and thus the fat is extracted.
Since coconut oil has many saturated fatty acids, it is highly heatable and therefore ideal for cooking, baking and frying. Coconut oil is usually available in the form of a solid block because coconut oil has a solid state of aggregation at room temperature. At 22 to 25 degrees, however, the fat begins to melt and turns into oil.
When melted, coconut oil can absorb a great deal of melt, thereby ensuring a cooling effect. This effect of coconut fat makes use of the confectionery industry, for example in the production of ice cream confectionery. In addition to ice confectionery, coconut oil is also used for the production of other sweets such as ice cream and waffle fillings. It also plays a central role in margarine production.
Coconut oil: Good for skin and hair
In addition to the kitchen, coconut oil is also used in cosmetics and is used there, among other things, in hair shampoos, sunscreen cream, massage oil and various creams and soaps. Coconut oil has a cooling effect and has a moisturizing effect, but the oil hardly penetrates the skin.
Coconut oil is said to have a positive effect on the hair because it provides dry and stressed hair with moisture. Simply massage a little coconut oil into damp hair and leave for at least one hour. Alternatively, the oil can also act overnight. Wash out coconut oil thoroughly after soaking.
Due to its moisturizing effect, coconut oil is not only used for the hair, but also in the skin care - especially for the care of dry skin. In addition, a drop of the oil, which is massaged in the evening under the eyes, to prevent dark circles the next morning.