Among all the variety of vegetable oils, supplying our body with useful fats, coconut oil is usually not mentioned. However, a quality product made from natural raw materials is bound to prove useful. What is the use of coconut oil? How to choose a quality product? And in what products from coconut oil is better to refuse?
Production of coconut oil
Coconut oil is a kind of palm oil. On the one hand, they form an opinion about him as a potentially dangerous trans fat, and on the other hand it is very appropriate in the care, for example, of our body. Coconut oil is actively used in the kitchens of the southeast Asian countries. Adherents of Ayurveda (a traditional system of medicine originally from India) have learned to extract the maximum benefit from coconut oil. In our latitudes the main spheres of application of coconut oil are:
- production of margarine,
- confectionery production,
- cosmetic industry,
- production of medicinal ointments and suppositories.
In tropical regions, coconut oil is often used as an alternative fuel for cars, buses and other vehicles. The main world producers of coconut oil are Malaysia, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia.
Coconut oil is predominantly saturated fatty acids, which are not readily oxidizable, which means that an unimaginably long time can be stored. Replacing coconut oil with a similar component in food products allows for a long shelf life. In order to reduce the cost in both the food and cosmetic industries, low-quality coconut oil varieties can be used, which in most cases is more harmful to health than useful.
But in fact in southeast Asia they extract the same from the oil? Let’s try to figure out how it can be useful and when this benefit loses?
For the production of coconut oil suits hardened pulp of coconut – it contains more than 65% of fat. It is released from the bark, dried and ground. Then they apply cold pressing technology (the same method, which produces the most valuable vegetable oil), and ultimately obtain a tender and sweetish oil. If the dried pulp of coconut to give the technology of hot pressing, then the oil will be significantly more (about a third of the total weight of raw materials). At the same time, the resulting oil will have low food and biological value, but it is cheaper. Also, the process of refining and deodorization is reflected in the value of the product, and therefore its cost, as well:
- unrefined coconut oil is a crude product of milky or pale yellow color;
- refined oil – undergoes high-pressure cleaning, can be deodorized; It is transparent and devoid of a pleasant tropical flavor.
Composition of coconut oil
So, it was already mentioned that in the composition of coconut oil, mainly saturated fatty acids, namely:
- lauric – 50%,
- myristic – 20%,
- palmitic – 9%,
- capricorn – 5%,
- caprylic – 5%,
- stearic acid – 3%.
In addition to them, monounsaturated oleic acid (about 6%) has also been detected in coconut oil. Among the polyunsaturated acids, linoleic and linolenic are leading, but in a very small amount.
Among the remaining components of coconut oil are betaines, fatty ester ethoxylates, polyols of esters, ethanolamides, polysorbates, monoglycerides.
From vitamins it is necessary to allocate B1, B2, B3 from group B, vitamins A, E, K and C.
Of the minerals in coconut oil, most are iron, calcium, phosphorus.
Properties of coconut oil
Of course, all the properties of coconut oil are due to its composition:
- lauric acid is antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal; as a result, a wound healing, regenerating effect is also possible;
- myristic acid fulfills the function of a certain conductor, it promotes penetration and the best absorption of cosmetic components by the surface of the skin; At the same time it performs the function of a protein stabilizer, which partly ensures the formation of immunity;
- caprylic acid has a fungicidal function, it also normalizes the acid-base balance, improves the absorption of oxygen by the skin;
- capric acid – increases the antifungal and antibacterial action of laurin, and also forms the immune functions of the body;
- oleic acid promotes skin moisture retention, provides barrier functions of the skin, and also prevents the accumulation of fatty deposits and even activates the cleavage of deferred; like all monounsaturated acids reduces the level of “harmful” cholesterol in the blood and prevents its oxidation.
Most of these properties make the application of coconut oil indispensable and unique in cosmetology. External application of coconut oil allows to achieve positive results in the treatment of psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema. Oil promotes healing of skin lesions and has bactericidal properties.
But coconut oil is used and inside. If you choose only a natural and high-quality product, unrefined and containing the whole range of useful components, if you skillfully supplement them with everyday dishes, the effect on health will be as follows:
- anti-inflammatory, antifungal and bactericidal action, which is appropriate during the treatment of candidiasis, mycoses, ringworm, herpes, hepatitis, influenza, cytomegalovirus, ARVI, infectious and inflammatory diseases of the respiratory, urinary, and reproductive systems;
- prevention of atherosclerosis, thrombosis, coronary heart disease and arterial hypertension, normalization of cholesterol level in the blood; thanks to vitamin E the viscosity of blood is normalized, blood vessels are strengthened;
- normalization of thyroid function;
- prevention of diseases of the organs of the digestive system, since the wound-healing effect of coconut oil is appropriate for ulceration of the digestive tract and, for example, with Crohn’s disease; antibacterial properties of coconut oil are also relevant for Helicobacter pylori;
- with diabetes mellitus type II prevents the development of obesity – components of coconut oil improve the natural production of insulin pancreas, as a result of the activation of metabolic processes and restore the concentration of glucose in the blood;
- prevention of fatty liver disease, urolithiasis and cholelithiasis;
- the content in the coconut oil of calcium and phosphorus, magnesium, hyaluronic acid causes the prevention of osteoporosis, joints and teeth diseases; Coconut oil has a beneficial effect on the formation of bone tissue, dental;
- antioxidant action – prevention of premature aging, development of Alzheimer’s disease and cancer;
- antistress action.
Application of coconut oil in cosmetology
The most popular use of high-quality coconut oil is cosmetology. Coconut oil can be mixed with other components of home care products, and also used as an independent ingredient:
- for care of cuticles – rub around the nail plates, which prevents their dryness and peeling;
- for moisturizing the lips – an excellent alternative to hygienic lipstick; and if the remnants of lipstick are mixed with a small amount of coconut oil, then this is a great way to revitalize makeup;
- for moistening hair – mix with honey, egg, herbal tea or regular shampoo;
- for hair care – oil creates a protective film that does not allow moisture and well retains the shape of the hair (for example, to prevent hair curling in wet weather or vice versa, to ensure the firmness of the curls when the hair is curled);
- for skin care – mix with soda, coffee, sugar (get a great scrub) or apply a thin layer before going to bed (which will nourish the skin);
- for antibacterial treatment of the skin surface, including to care for the problem skin – you can combine the oil, for example, with natural honey;
- for body care – as part of body scrubs, and as a component of relaxing baths;
- for foot care – oil and moisturize the skin, and prevent the emergence of an unpleasant odor, excessive sweating; antibacterial effect also takes place;
- for make-up remover – with the help of coconut oil, you can use the skin remover to remove the remnants of makeup, up to the removal of mascara;
- for the care of eyelashes – with the help of a brush from the used carcass, apply oil on the eyelashes before going to bed, it will strengthen and improve them;
- instead of a shaving cream – oil improves the slip of the razor, and at the same time moisturizes the skin, it turns out an excellent alternative to foams and shaving creams;
- to remove wax – if you use hair removal with wax, then its remnants can be quickly and painlessly removed with the help of coconut oil, and at the same time it will be possible to moisten the skin irritated by the procedure;
- for smoothing wrinkles – deep wrinkles with coconut oil can not be eliminated, but it will be possible to prevent the aggravation of only the nascent; This is an excellent alternative to anti-aging serums and creams;
- to eliminate burns, in particular sunny – reduces irritation, moisturizes the skin, minimizes exfoliation;
- for home spa treatments and massages – coconut oil is mixed with a few drops of any essential oil, which provides a pronounced positive effect.