In a lot of Eastern religions, the concept of a “world tree” exists. It is a very imperative concept in Hinduism where it is known as kalpavriksha or “wish-fulfilling tree”. The coconut tree has always been identified as a kalpavriksha because of its various uses. In fact, a lot of families on the southern coast of India unfailingly include coconut oil in their cooking. They cannot imagine consuming a meal without coconut in it. On the other hand there also an irrational fear of cooking without coconut oil. This comes about because coconut oil has a high concentration of saturated fats. Fortunately, the situation is changing. These days we are experiencing a resurgence of interest in the oil because of numerous scientific studies done about it around the globe. Coconut is unique because unlike other kinds of cooking oil such as sunflower oil, palm oil and so forth, its benefits extend to more than just cooking. Let us look into some of the benefits of coconut oil:
It has a high smoking point
It has a smoking point of 177 degrees. A lot of vegetable, nut and seed oils have a low smoking point. Smoking point is the heating point beyond which the oil will start to burn. Foods that are cooked in oils that have a low smoking point usually have a burnt flavor. Another benefit of a high smoking point is that beyond that point, the fatty acids in the oil oxidize and produce free radicals that are known to be dangerous to the health of human beings.
It has antimicrobial properties
Coconut oil has vital ingredients that give it antimicrobial properties, i.e., caprylic acid and lauric acid. Once they are ingested, the lauric acid gets converted into monolaurin which is effective against many protozoa, bacteria, and viruses. It also checks the yeast population in your intestine and restores balance to the digestive tract. If the yeast population increases, it can result in persistent burping, bloating, flatulence, constipation, and diarrhea.
It aids digestion
The medium chain triglycerides found in it, especially lauric acid transforms into antimicrobial agents in the digestive system. They eliminate bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori while leaving the beneficial bacteria intact. Thus it reestablishes balance in the digestive system and promotes better colon health. It is also effective against digestive issues such as constipation, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and gastritis. A lot of individuals even recommend coconut oil for colon cleanses.