Coconut oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the endosperm, called copra, of the coconut. The largest production is found in the Philippines, Indonesia, and India. The annual production of these three countries would exceed 4 million tons per year.It was introduced to Great Britain in 1820 as vegetable butter. History says that coconut was cultivated in India along the Malabar Coast much before the time of Christ.
The influence of coconut in the lives of people from tropical countries became so prominent that it is considered as one of the foods that shaped civilization.
The existence of coconuts can be dated back thousands of years. Coconut as a fruit, its flesh, coconut water, its milk, and coconut oil has been known to have a great influence on the lives of those belonging to tropical countries.
Coconut has been widely in use in Southern and Central American regions, Africa, India, and in most of the Asian countries.
However, it is only in the 1600s that the term coconut was coined. The coconut palm finds its natural habitat in tropical and subtropical regions.
They are mostly found on shorelines and soils of sandy nature. They do not grow well in places with low temperatures. High humidity coupled with rainy and sunny weather is ideal for plant growth.
What is coconut oil?
The coconut has been used as food for centuries. The white flesh of the coconut finds its use in cooking all sorts of cuisines. Coconut water is widely consumed around the world and is known for its nutritional values.
The kernel of coconuts is also used to extract coconut oil which can be used as cooking oil as well as in cosmetic products.
Benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil has received a lot of bad press in the past owing to its saturated fat content. People were quick to announce that since it has saturated fat it must be avoided at all cost.
However, recent studies have gone on to prove that they couldn’t be more wrong. The unique structural make up of the saturated fats in coconut oil makes it easy to digest and improves the absorption of essential nutrients. Saturated fat is present in coconut oil is essential for human health.
Packed with nutritional properties, coconut oil finds its use in both traditional and modern medicines.
Coconut oil is packed with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Thanks to its moisturizing properties, coconut oil is believed to cure all sorts of skin ailments when ingested or applied topically. Coconut oil can be used to treat skin ailments in adults and babies. It is even used to improve pet health.
Coconut oil is also known to improve hair health. It is an excellent conditioner and helps strengthen roots and reduce hair fall. Coconut oil is also extensively used in treating dandruff and other scalp related conditions.