Benefits of coconut Nutrients
The main benefits of coconut nutrients are
- Weight loss
- Good for heart
- Keeps skin healthy
- Prevents hair fall
Coconut is composed of three main compounds namely Medium-chain fatty acids, Lauric acids, and Monolaurin. Description and their health benefits are as follows
1. Medium-chain fatty acids (MFAs)
Medium-chain fatty acids are glycerol molecules attracted to three fatty acid chains from 6 to 12 carbons. MCFA present in coconut is unique. The liver easily absorbs and metabolizes the MCFA and converts it into ketones. Ketones are alternative sources of energy (1).
a. Prevents Alzheimer’s
Eating coconut boosts brain health hence called food for the brain. The MFAs present in coconut easily absorbed and metabolized by the liver, and can be converted to ketones. This ketone helps in nourishing the brain and prevents neurodegenerative diseases (2).
Ketones help to treat refractory childhood epilepsy. Diet therefore rich in coconut can dramatically reduce the rate of seizures in epileptic children (3).
2. Lauric acid a medium-chain fatty acid
It is a type of medium-chain saturated fatty acid. Lauric acid composed of almost half of the oil (65%) of coconut. Therefore coconut is also known as medium-chain vegetable oil. Medium-chain fatty acids are healthy for the body.
a. Increase HDL
Increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL)cholesterol in the body. Therefore good for the heart (4).
b. Weight loss
Helps in the treatment of colon and breast cancer (7). Therefore, the consumption of coconut improves the quality of life of breast cancer patients and reduced the symptoms related to the side effects of chemotherapy (8).
d. Prevents hair fall
Lauric acids in coconut oil penetrate deep into hair scalp and prevent protein loss. Therefore is good for hair (9).
e. Improves vision
Coconut oil helps in reducing the inflammation of the eyes. Hence prevents dry eye problems (10).
Medium-chain fatty acids form monolaurin a type of monoester. These are active components derived from the lauric acid of coconut oil that is found to be antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal in nature (11).
a. Kills bacteria
Effective against staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria. It also inhibits the growth of listeria bacteria. Unlike other antibacterial compounds, monolaurin does not affect gut probiotics (12).
b. Kills fungus
Kills many fungi, specifically ringworm. Therefore is good for the skin.
c. Stops virus growth
Monolaurin is also effective against many deadly viruses like HIV, herpes simplex-1, and measles.