London Personal Trainer Reveals The Health & Weight Loss Benefits Of Coconut

We are comfortable & familar with using Coconut in topical creams, it is useful in treating eczema, dry skin, psoriasis, & dermatitis. Indeed, Coconut oil has been found to heal cuts, scratches, burns and sunburn.

As a food, coconut is tasty, sweet, & highly nutritious. Coconuts are rich in fiber, vitamins & minerals. As a food it is multi-purpose, as you can use the meat, the juice, milk or oil.

Coconuts are anti-oxidants.

But populations such as the pacific islands, where coconuts grow in abundance & are a staple food have long recognised the medicinal benefits of the coconut.

Coconut has a high ratio of lauric acid (one of the only other potent sources of lauric acid, is human breast milk), which converts in the body into monolauric, which has been proven to destroy a huge variety of disease causing organisms.

Indeed, coconuts have been cited as having health benefits from conditions such as asthma, constipation and sore throats. They kill bacteria, viruses, funghi & yeasts in the body.

Coconuts are particularly effective in improving digestion, and treating digestive disorders. They also aid in the absorption of other key vitamins & minerals, particularly zinc & magnesium (nutrients that modern western societies are frequently deficient in). They also notably help prevent kidney & liver disorders & diseases
Furthermore, coconuts contain capric acid, which has been shown to have anti-viral effects against sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, herpes and, current research suggests, even HIV.

Coconuts have been proven to have other remarkable physiological effects, including as an anti-histamine, anti-septic, immune system booster and anti-cancer agent.

Coconut water is a natural isotonic beverage with immune boosting qualities and nutrients. It contains high levels of potassium, calcium & magnesium. Coconut water has less calories and sodium than most soft drinks, and other juices.

But it is the coconut oil itself that is most of interest. As a fat, coconut oil is significantly lower in calories than other fats. Yes, it’s a saturated fat, but that is not necessarily a bad thing as we have come to think. In fact, people who have a diet high in coconut have been shown to have a lower rate of heart diseases and cancer than unsaturated fat eaters.

Coconut oil is stable to cook with at high temperatures, partly due to that coconuts grow in temperatures up to one hundred degrees. It is completely non-toxic to humans, even after high temperature cooking methods, as it doesn’t form harmful by-products when heated like other vegetable oils do.

It is also easy to store, room temparature does not have any detrimental effects on the oil. Does not go rancid unlike commonly used oils, such as olive oil. It can be comforably kept for over a year without going rancid.
Also, other oils can deple deplete the body of antioxidants, but coconut oil is an antioxidant in itself.

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Coconut oil helps prevent the development of goiters (enlarged thyroid) because of its iodine content.
So what is it that’s so different about coconut oil? The difference is in the structure of the fat molecules. Coconut oil being composed mainly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) or medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s), as compared to long chain fatty acids (LCFA) which most fats are.

MCTs are smaller, and therefore, more easily digestible in the human body, MCTs are used by the body to produce fuel, boosting metabolism & stimulating thyroid function. Sluggish thyroid, or hypothyroidism, is a key cause of weight gain in western societies. MCTs also have a positive effect on cholesterol. MCTs also inhibit the liver’s formation of fat.

The metabolism boost from consuming coconut oil in place of more conventional cooking oils can last for up to 24 hours, so calories can burn at a higher rate throughout that period. It is for this reason, that more and more weight loss success stories are emerging from people using coconut oil as a key part of their weight loss programs.

So how do you start to introduce coconut into your diet? Most health food stores, and a multitude of online companies now stock Virgin Coconut Oil. It has a mild, slightly sweeter taste, which makes it ideal for asian cookery, indian recipes, and stir fries. It’s stable characteristic at high temperatures also make it an ideal fat to use for baking. Also, the slightly sweeter nature of coconut oil makes it an excellent choice when making tomato based sauces, without the need to add artificial sweetness.

Since embarking on this research it was certainly enough to persuade me to use coconut oil for a lot of my hot food preparation.

However, it is important to point out that coconut oil is not a replacement for essential fatty acids (EFAs) such as Omega 3, but has a positive role in a balanced & nutritious diet, with “good” fats a vital and integral part of our diet.

About the Author – Julie Winterton is a Level 2 Health Coach, a qualified Kinetic Chain Assessment Specialist & Yoga Teacher at the Dax Moy Personal Training Studios Islington, where she specialises in Stubborn Fat Loss, Injury Rehabilitation & Yoga Therapy.
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