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Health & Wellness

Digestive Benefits of Coconut Oil

Over the last few decades, individuals have often been presented with conflicting information about what is and isn’t healthy. We've been told that fats are good and that fats are bad. We've been told that eggs are full of cholesterol and we should avoid them. We've been told that eggs are full of protein and we should enjoy them. Planning a healthy diet feels like one of those scenarios where you can do nothing right.

The field of nutrition is constantly evolving and advice is being steadily refined. Modern wisdom is that some fats are good, while others are not as good. A healthy diet with lots of plant-based products is a good starting point. Nevertheless, humans require fats because of the nutrients they provide and because fats are required for hormone production. 1

Consuming a variety of fats, including plant-based fats such as coconut oil, is one of the best ways to protect your health.

 coconut oil digestion Why Coconut Oil?


There are many benefits to coconut oil, improved digestion being one of them. The digestive system is complex, and to stay healthy, you need to take in a wide variety of nutrients, including fiber and fats. You also need to eat a healthy, balanced diet that will support the gut microbes that aid your body in breaking down the foods that you eat. The gut must be kept in a delicate balance, and good nutrition can help prevent many common digestive issues. 2

Coconut oil can help with digestion because it contains medium chain triglycerides. These are shorter, simpler fats that are quite readily broken down for energy. 3 It is those fats that provide a lot of the benefits of coconut oil.

If you grew up during the period when we were told that "fat is bad," you might find it hard to believe that coconut oil can be beneficial. There are many populations, however, that have culturally had coconut or coconut oil as a staple of their diets, and they tend to enjoy good health. The Tokelauan culture, for example, gets 60 percent of their daily calories from coconuts, and they tend to have low levels of heart disease. 4

Coconut Oil Is a Good Colon Cleanser


Coconut oil is full of vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and antimicrobial agents. Some people are leaning towards using oils for constipation to serve as a colon cleanse as well. While evidence for the use of oils is limited, there is a growing number of people who swear by the practice, and studies do show that coconut oil can help to reduce gut inflammation. 5 , 6

Improve Your Cholesterol Balance coconut oil digestion


One of the main concerns when it comes to diets and health these days is cholesterol. There are two kinds of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. The LDL variety of cholesterol is “bad” cholesterol, and having elevated levels of it can be harmful to your cardiovascular health. HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is “good” cholesterol.

Studies show that the link between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol is more complex than just your body digesting the cholesterol in your food and sending it in your bloodstream. Coconut oil has been found to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, while also increasing HDL cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of heart disease and improving your metabolic health. 7

coconut oil digestion Mild Metabolism Booster


Weight management is, in its simplest form, a matter of calories in versus calories out. Of course, in the real world, individuals are all human beings with busy lives and finite willpower who break diets without thinking sometimes. It can be hard to stick to a strict calorie controlled diet if the quality of the calories that you are consuming is less than optimal.

Coconut oil can help people to stick with their diets because it is filling and tasty. Additionally, the nature of the medium chain triglycerides in the oil means that simply breaking it down can increase the amount of energy that you burn. Consuming 15 to 30 grams of oil made up of medium-chain triglycerides can increase your daily energy expenditure by up to five percent. 8 That's a very small boost, but it could be the difference between slow, steady fat loss and maintaining your weight.

Coconut Oil Is Still a Calorie-Dense Fat coconut oil digestion


Coconut oil is still a fat, and it should be consumed in moderation. It’s better than butter in a lot of respects, but it is still not perfect. There are other oils that could be thought of as being more “heart healthy.” 9

Adding a small amount of coconut oil to your diet if you like the taste is OK. The oil is antimicrobial, can help you to stick to your diet, and can help to boost your metabolism very slightly. This does not, however, offset the fact that it is saturated fat. You should consume such fats in moderation only.

Conclusion


A healthy diet should include complex carbohydrates, fibers, healthy fats, and protein. Eating coconut oil can help with this.

PhotoCredits: AfricaStudio/shutterstock.com, NokLek/shutterstock.com, mastermilmar/shutterstock.com

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