Cardiovascular diseases represent an increasing share of the global disease burden. Heredity, hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, improper diet and stressful lifestyles are the factors responsible for heart diseases. In Ayurveda, Cardiovascular problems are dealt with under Hrudroga. Ayurveda stressed prevention. Sushruta states Hrudya Karma (heart protective function) of coconut. People traditionally consume coconut oil as part of their ordinary death as a very low incidence of heart disease as compared to other oils.
Coconut oil is derived from coconuts (Cocos nucifera of Arecaceae family). Coconut oil is called as “functional food” (provides health benefits over and beyond basic nutrients). Coconut oil contains free caprylic acid in addition to glycerides of Lauric, myristic, palmitic, and stearic acids. Coconut oil is beneficial in hair and skincare, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer. These benefits can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid. Coconut oil mostly contains medium-chain fatty acids which are directly converted into energy in the liver. Hence, bypasses the blood circulation and prevents accumulation in coronary arteries reducing the chances of heart diseases. This review describes facts and phenomena related to its use as heart-protective diet.