Virgin coconut oil comes from freshly harvested coconut meat. The oil is extracted either by mechanical or natural processes. As the coconut meat is untreated and raw, the oil thus obtained is termed as “virgin” coconut oil.
Since there is minimal processing involved, the virgin coconut oil retains most of its nutritional components. It is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and has zero cholesterol. Above all, VCO retains its antioxidant properties, a reason why it is gaining much notice in the fields of science and wellness.
Some benefits of VCO include:
1. REPAIRS THE SKIN. VCO has almost all the properties of a perfect skincare solution. It is an antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and is wound-healing agent.
2. Aids in weight loss. Most oils have long-chain fatty acids that increase blood cholesterol levels. VCO contains medium-chain and long-chain fatty acids. Medium-chain fatty acids don’t raise blood cholesterol as much as long-chain fatty acids do. They are not stored in your body’s fat tissue.
3. PROMOTES HEALTHY HAIR GROWTH. Regularly applying VCO to hair has been shown to reduce protein loss. Coconut oil penetrates better into the hair shaft as compared to sunflower oil and mineral oil. VCO also reduces the formation of split ends. They can fill the gap between hair cells and protect them from harsh chemical changes.
4. PROTECTS FROM DENTAL CARIES (aka Cavities). VCO has broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. Most bacteria causing dental caries are susceptible to this oil. This is why it is commonly used in oil pulling. Gargling or swishing VCO in your mouth can help get rid of plaque and gingivitis.
5. MIGHT REDUCE CANCER RISK. Medium-chain fatty acids are essential for individuals with low immunity. VCO is one of the best dietary sources of these fats. Compared to other oils, it was found to have better protective activity against breast and colon cancers. Studies have also shown that those undergoing chemotherapies feel weak with little or no appetite. Adding VCO to their diet can boost their nutritional status, energy, and metabolism due to the lauric acid in VCO.
HOW TO USE VCO?
VCO can be added to food and drinks during preparation or used as cooking oil when sauteing. For cosmetic benefits, it is applied topically.
HOW TO KNOW IF VCO IS SPOILED OR EXPIRED?
VCO should stay for about 2-3 years if stored away from heat and light. If the oil smells rancid or has changed its color, discard it.