Recently, many people sing the praises of coconut oil for its health benefits including weight loss potentials, oral health, improved skin and hair among others.
Here are the overview, constituents, nutrition facts, health benefits and uses of coconut oil.
Coconut oil is an edible oil gotten from the solid albumen (flesh) of coconut fruit. It is a white solid, unsaturated fat that melts at room temperatures of about 25-26°C. But in warmer climates (like the tropical) it appears as a thin, clear liquid oil. Unprocessed coconut oil have obvious coconut aroma
Constituents of coconut oil
About 52% to 85% of coconut oil contains some medium chain fatty acids, such as caprylic acid C -8:0 (8%), capric acid, C-10:0,(7%), lauric acid C-12:0, (49%), myristic acid C-14:0(8%), palmitic acid C-16:0 (8%), stearic acid C-18:0 (2%), oleic acid C-18:1 (6%) and 2% of C-18:2 linoleic acid
According to the information provided by the USDA, for 1 teaspoon (4.5 grams) of coconut oil the following nutrients are available
- Calories 104.
- Protein 0 grams (g)
- Fat 11.5 g.
- Saturated fat 9.6 g.
- Carbohydrates 0 g.
- Fiber 0 g.
- Sugar 0 g
Health benefits and uses of coconut oil for hair and skin
- Good for the Hair
Most shampoos and conditioners include coconut oil as a primary ingredient. This is because coconut oil moisturizes the hair and most especially, the scalp. Additionally, applying coconut oil on the scalp decreases scalp flaking therefore reducing dandruff and itching.
- Good for the skin
Large portion of coconut oil is made up of Lauric acid. This acid is widely known for its antimicrobial activity which benefits the skin. Coconut oil has been recorded for its potential for healing inflamed skin, as an effective moisturizer and cure to eczema. This explains why it is widely added to lotions and creams.
Coconut can be found at any local market.