The coconut palm tree produces coconut fruits that are used to make coconut oils. A coconut tree can produce up to 70 fruits per year in a good yield. However, mostly the yields are less due to prevailing conditions and poor maintenance. Unfortunately, this also affects the quality of the fruit and, in turn, affects the quality of the coconut oil it will produce. Coconut oil from organically raised trees and trees growing with fertilizers has different qualities. This variance in growth conditions may affect the naturally known benefits of coconut oil in a negative way. Due to these and some other factors related to quality regulation, some health organizations like the United States Food and Drug Administration program do not promote coconut oil usage. However, when grown under excellent conditions with the oil extracted in a natural or efficient way, coconut oil tops the list of oils to use in everyday activities.
It contains mostly fatty acids that form almost 100% of its component matter. Fatty acids can either be the long-chain, medium-chain, or short-chain fatty acids. Their hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen components determine if the fatty acid is long, medium, or short chained. Depending on the type, it is determined whether it is wholly or partially bonded and, thus, determines the rate of breakdown. Thus, fatty acids can either be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. Coconut oil mostly contains medium-chain fatty acids forming 64%. Coconut oil does not readily oxidize and, thus, has a longer life in its natural state than most of the vegetable oils.
Various Applications for Coconut Oil and Related Individual Benefits
The Uses Include:
Used in frying food since it is rich in fat that quickly melts. It contains the medium-chain fatty acids as opposed to the long-chain fatty acids in animal fats. These fats are easily absorbed and used up in the body. During extraction of coconut oil, the residues are high in protein and fiber and can be used to prepare rice and other dishes. It has a melting point of 250C.
- Medicinal and Health Benefits
For a simple analysis, it is better to outline the individual components making up coconut oil. A tablespoon full of coconut oil contains 116 calories and 13.5 grams of fatty acids with zero or negligible levels of proteins and carbohydrates and a small degree of Vitamin E. Coconut oil is 64% medium-chain saturated fatty acids. Medium-chain fatty acids aid in the metabolism process of breaking down calories. They lower the rate of bad cholesterol accumulation and raise the level of good cholesterol that gives extra energy to the body. This helps maintain a healthy blood calorie level and prevents many cardiovascular-related disease.
The Main Components Include:
Saturated Fatty Acids
Lauric Acid—forms 50% of coconut oil. The body converts it into Monolaurin that is a strong antifungal and antibacterial component. It can even act on viruses that have lipid coating on them, making it an excellent option for those patients with Measles, HIV, Ringworm infections, and other fungal infections.
Myristic—Forms 19%. It raises the HDL cholesterol in the body.
Palmitic acids—Forms 7%
Unsaturated Fatty Acid
Oleic—Is a monounsaturated fat. Forms 5%
Stearic—Forms 2%, and this is a long-chain saturated fatty acid. However, scientifically it has not been proven to raise cholesterol level in the body.
Following Health and Medicinal Properties Related with Individual Components of Coconut Oil Make It Good to Use in the Outlined Ways
- When feeling fatigue in the body and during intensive energy exercises.
- It is an excellent antioxidant, counters the effects of aging like hair loss, wrinkling of skin, and whitening of hair.
- It is a healthy diet for pregnant mothers; this is due to the high level of antifungal and antibacterial capabilities. It helps prevent candidiasis that is a common infection for pregnant mothers. It also reduces the marks associated with the stretching of body muscles in pregnancy. Also helps in the smooth flow of blood.
- In children and aged people, it helps maintain and repair the brain tissues.
- Prevents severe consequences from diabetes, blood sugar, and obesity; all this is due to its ability to help in burning extra fat in the body. There is a smooth flow of blood in clean arteries as a result.
- It stabilizes the functioning of the liver, pancreas, and the kidney. It also maintains insulin level in the body favorably, and this is a great advantage to diabetic people.
Industrial and Manufacturing Process
- Coconut oil has a melting point of 250C, and this makes it a great contributor in the manufacture of lubricants. It also has a high viscosity level and, thus, can flow and penetrate into tight and delicate areas.
- Another use is in making soap, both liquid and non-liquid. The soaps that have coconut oil in them give out foam easily in hard or salty water, and this makes them very convenient to use.
- Popcorn-making firms also use it due to its smoking level.
- Used in herbicide industries due to the saturated fatty acid element it has.
Beauty And Cosmetic Use
Pure, virgin, or organic coconut oil is a great skin softener and also a beauty enhancement product. It protects the body from sunburns, and shampoo-making firms also use coconut oil due to its moisturizing inherent nature. It easily penetrates the hair and reduces hair breakage and protein loss. Due to its smooth and soft texture, it is also used in massage parlors. The one used most is the refined, bleached, and deodorized coconut oil.
Snacks And Dairy Use
Coconut oil has a sweetening flavor when added to meals. This makes it ideal for making chocolates and margarine products.
All the above factors point out the potential benefits of coconut oil. However, due to this, there looms a risk of compromising quality in the extraction process. Quality compromises can be made by adding other low-quality oils or even using immature fruits to make the oil. Artificial enhancers and genetically modified trees affect quality too. All these will compromise quality and reduce the utility value associated with coconut oil.