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33 Healing Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

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Coconut oil is one of the most well known and widely used oils in the world today. However, it was not so well known to the northern regions in the recent past. A spurt in medicinal research and an increase in awareness about the extremely beneficial properties of this oil have lead to its growing popularity the world over. But, it is also the most debated oil among health communities.

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil’s remarkable health benefits are a testimony to the fact that even saturated fats provide incredible benefits if taken in reasonable amounts. Coconut oil contains a very high percentage of saturated fatty acids, which is strikingly different from the fatty acid profile of any other oil.

However, it is these special compounds in high concentrations that lend special healing capabilities to coconut oil. Here, we shall discuss the complete nutritional profile of coconut oil including the micro-nutrients ( like phenols ) and the benefits that they yield.

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All coconut oil is essentially derived from the copra of the coconut. Copra is the dried meat of coconut. Hence. copra oil is another name for coconut oil. However, it is important to note that the way copra is processed to extract oil differs. That is why there are many varieties of coconut oil. Before one buys coconut oil, one should be sure what that product is.

1. Virgin Coconut Oil :

This coconut oil is derived without the use of any substances or methods which alter the composition of natural coconut oil. That means, virgin coconut oil is extracted from mechanical methods, as is done in Kerala, India. There, coconut oil has been produced naturally in villages since ancient times.

An example of the most ancient method is an ox-powered mill. VCO ( Virgin coconut oil ) has a sharp coconutty aroma and tastes like coconut. Extra virgin coconut oil is actually a misnomer, as it is the same as virgin coconut oil.

2. Solvent Based Extraction:

In this method, hexane is used to extract coconut oil from the slurry. It yields more oil and is thus popular. This oil should not be used for edible purposes, and even for the skin.

3. RBD Coconut Oil:

It stands for “Refined, Bleached and Deodorized”. This is the most widely used coconut oil. It is not as good as virgin coconut oil, but it is ideal for cooking and cosmetic purposes. This oil has very little of the characteristic coconut aroma.

4. Hydrogenated Coconut Oil:

In this oil, the small amount of unsaturated fats too are hydrogenated and thus making it unhealthy. It might contain some trans fats as well.

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