Is Coconut Oil Healthy or Hazardous?
A recent lecture by Professor Karien Michels at the Harvard TN Chan School of Public Health describing coconut oil as ‘pure poison’ ruffled many feathers across the world from farmers, nutritionists, doctors, Government of India and now even economists.
With the video still being watched and watched over a few million times, the controversy is refusing to die down. And now the Coconut Development Board, statutory body established under the Ministry of Agriculture is fearing a worst backlash in the field of coconut exports that would affect the livelihood of 12 million farmers.
Economists describe that the lecture could impact exports worth Rs 6,448 crore, shrinking the market globally.
Just like celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar puts it, “Making a food into a hero and then a villain is a tried and tested strategy of the food and weight loss industry. The latest controversy is on coconut. The golden rule though is - if it has been consumed in your region for ages and has multiple and varied uses, it’s a superfood.”
Exactly and putting it scientifically, the saturated fat in coconut oil is made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which get metabolized differently in the body than long chain triglycerides (LCTs). The good think about MCTs is that it gets metabolized in the liver and burn as fuel and not stored as fat in the body. It also increases the metabolic rate slightly. It also remains liquid at room temperature, stable and has a longer shelf life.
It is even proved to combat gingivitis, the presence of lauric acids showed strong anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects that slowed the plaque formation.
Why Coconut Oil Is A Must-Have In Indian Kitchens
While Malayalis swear by using coconut oil in their daily cooking, this mild, aromatic viscous liquid has always found a special place in our homes across the country for a variety of reasons.
If your mother or grandmother stand by its enormous healing properties, go by their advice. Here is how coconut oil can be incorporated in to our daily lives for those amazing health and beauty benefits.
The broad spectrum of research proves that coconut oil helps to keep the skin healthy and aids in maintaining the radiance. Coconut oil works as a natural emollient.
1. Skin Moisturizer- Several studies prove beyond doubt that coconut oil functions as a natural skin moisturizer, hydrates the skin and reduces skin dryness.
2. Natural Cleanser- Coconut oil works as a natural make up remover, apply a bit of coconut oil on your face to remove the darken mascara even while it hydrates the skin.
3. Healing Properties – A dab of coconut oil heals minor cuts and wounds. Apply it as a thin layer on the injured area for an instant relief from pain. Various studies claim that extra virgin coconut oil is helpful in treating skin infections.
4. Safe For Babies- Coconut oil is a number 1 natural choice to a soothe baby’s dry skin and to clear the rashes. It works as a natural moisturizer that softens the baby’s gentle skin.
To condition, your hair locks, apply a few tablespoons of coconut oil to your hair and cover it with a shower cap. Let it stay for few hours and shampoo to get that silky lustrous hair. Further on, coconut oil is best to ward off dandruff.
Treats Fungal Infections
Latest evidence proves that coconut oil exhibits anti-fungal properties that are potent in fighting against candid fungal infection.
Coconut oil pulling is an effective remedy that aids in clearing streptococcus bacteria in the mouth. Coconut oil possesses antibacterial properties that help in lowering the plague and to lessen the tooth sensitivity and aids in providing fresh breath.