Coconut oil is a remarkable natural resource that has even been termed as a ‘superfood’ due its myriad nutritional and health benefits. Its special composition of fatty acids is what allows coconut oil to have such a positive impact on our health.
As if that’s not enough, coconut oil also shows impressive results in the realm of skin care and hair care. It’s no wonder coconut oil is gaining more and more popularity throughout the world as we unveil more of its wonders. Lets learn more about coconut oil benefits
Coconut oil benefits
Yes, that’s right – coconut oil can and will help you lose weight. While it may seem ludicrous that eating coconut oil, a fat, can help people lose fat, it’s actually completely true and that’s all due to its composition.
Coconut oil is made up of short and medium chain fatty acids that are an enormous help to those looking to shed off some weight. It improves the function of the thyroid gland and increases your metabolic rate to help you burn excess fat for energy.
Coconut oil has been shown to be especially effective at reducing belly fat. Furthermore, it reduces your appetite and is easily digested and metabolized compared to the long-chain fatty acids in other edible oils.
Just take a look at those living in tropical coastal regions that regularly use coconut oil for cooking; you’ll rarely find obese people.
Coconut oil contains a number of antimicrobial lipids that include lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid. These all have significant antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help supplement your immune system.
The lauric acid is especially important as the human body converts it to monolaurin, which helps combat microorganisms that cause various diseases like herpes and influenza.
Boosts brain function
According to a study published in the Journal of Neurobiology of Aging in 2007, scientists found that medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) found in coconut oil improved the brain function and memory in the elderly.
The digestion of MCFAs in the liver produces readily available ketones that provide an alternative source of energy to the brain. The brain is therefore fueled more efficiently as it doesn’t have to process glucose into energy using insulin.
Coconut oil has an incredible effect on your digestive system. Its antimicrobial properties help combat the many bacteria, fungi, and parasites that cause indigestion and other issues.
Due to its composition of short and medium chain fatty acids, coconut oil is readily available to be digested and processed by the liver. These MCFAs don’t need pancreatic enzymes to be digested, thus easing the strain on the pancreas. Coconut oil also helps in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Excellent for skin care
Coconut oil is great for skin and acts as an effective moisturizer, sunscreen and facial cleanser for all types of skin. It’s completely natural (unlike mineral oils) hence there’s practically no possibility of side effects and allergic reactions to those who apply this oil.
Moreover, coconut oil has anti-oxidant properties that help delay the progress of aging on your skin. It has therefore been used by various coastal people throughout the ages as a method of skin care.
It’s also effective for the treatment of a number of skin disorders. Caprylic and lauric acid in the coconut oil have anti-inflammatory properties and works both internally and externally to provide relief in skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.
The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil come in handy to control Candida and other fungal and bacterial sources of skin infections. These properties make coconut oil pretty effective at speeding up healing of skin bruises or abrasions.
Coconut has a high concentration of antimicrobial MCFAs which makes it useful as a method of cleaning the mouth and fighting against bacteria which cause gum disease and tooth decay. The use of coconut oil as a mouthwash is referred to as oil pulling, and it has been used for centuries as a way of taking care of your teeth and treating periodontal diseases.
By moving around the oil in your mouth, it sticks to bacteria and kills them. Incidentally, coconut oil facilitates the absorption of calcium in the body thus helping in the formation of strong teeth.
Helps prevent heart disease and high blood pressure
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, causing up to 1 in every 4 deaths. With such horrifying statistics, any way of fighting against it is a godsend and that’s where coconut oil comes in. Coconut oil is rich in natural saturated fats that increase the amount of HDL (good cholesterol) in your body.
It also helps convert the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol into other good cholesterols and reduces the prevalence of damage and deposition in arteries. This prevents atherosclerosis and the resulting high blood pressure.
Coconut oil is also great for your hair. The oil has nourishing properties that promote healthy growth of your hair and gives it an enviable shine. It has also been shown to be highly effective when it comes to reducing the protein loss which, if left unchecked, can lead to a number of detrimental qualities in your hair.
Furthermore, coconut oil has proven to be an excellent solution for damaged hair. It acts as an exceptional conditioner and facilitates the regrowth of damaged hair for a satisfactory resolution.
This is because coconut oil contains some of the essential proteins needed for proper healing of damaged hair. Finally, by nourishing and moisturizing the scalp, coconut oil is a sure-fire way of combating dandruff.
How to use coconut oil
With its many benefits, coconut oil has become a phenomenon. Its sheer versatility allows it to portray a wide range of uses; anything from baking to brushing your teeth with the oil is applicable. Here are some of the ways you can use coconut oil for the maximum benefits:
- Brushing teeth and oil pulling – brushing your teeth using a coconut oil toothpaste or directly use the oil as mouthwash. Swish it around your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes till it turns milky white then spit it out and rinse your mouth with water.
- Moisturizer – coconut oil is phenomenal at keeping your skin hydrated so buy yourself a coconut oil based moisturizer or directly use natural virgin coconut oil to make your skin smooth and supple.
- Cooking oil – regular cooking oils contain poly-unsaturated fats that aren’t suitable when used at high temperatures. Coconut oil contains natural saturated fats that hold up well to high temperatures making it perfect for deep frying. It also doesn’t get rancid easily and has many nutritional benefits.
- Hair conditioning – applying a tablespoon or two of coconut oil to your hair daily will nourish your hair and scalp, promoting hair growth and preventing dandruff. It’s also perfect for treating dry, damaged hair.
- Face cleaning – apply coconut oil on your face and neck while rubbing your skin in circles for better penetration. Afterwards, rinse your face with your usual cleanser. Doing this at least once a day will allow the nourishing and antimicrobial properties of coconut oil to work wonders on your face. You can even use it to remove eye make-up without any fuss.
- Shaving agent – you don’t need to buy expensive shaving cream for your legs or underarms. These areas aren’t too sensitive therefore coconut oil is more than enough to facilitate the process. After all, it’s a good moisturizer, has antimicrobial properties, is cheap and smells spectacular.
- Energy boost – coconut oil is easy to digest and provides steady energy for longer periods of time which makes it handy for athletes taking part in long distance events. An effective homemade energy booster can be made by mixing a tablespoon of coconut oil, chia seeds and raw honey together 30 minutes before starting the exercise.
While the benefits of coconut oil are self-evident, it’s important not to overdo it. Eat coconut oil in rotation with other healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and nuts to keep yourself healthy. Furthermore, don’t use too much of it when applying to the skin especially if you’re acne-prone as the oil may block your pores.
How to get started?
Actually, Coconut oil is very popular and it’s available in shops and online. It`s also available in different “condition” – packaging sizes and forms. So roll up the sleeves and test it out, if you haven`t done it already! Here are some all-natural findings: