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Here you will discover how coconut oil can benefit you inside and out, ranging from hair and skin treatment, to aiding weight loss and protecting the heart.
For a few years now I have been using coconut oil to add to ingredients, to cook with, and as a skin and hair moisturizer/conditioner.
But there is an ever-growing number of health benefits that are continually being discovered, making coconut oil an amazingly versatile product that everyone can benefit from.
I want to show you why coconut oil is so healthy, what it can do for you, and how you can incorporate it into your daily life, as I have.
Coconut Oil In Cooking
Coconut is a nutritious source of meat, milk juice and oil. For generations it has been effectively used to feed, fuel and cure a large percentage of the world’s population, especially in the Asian and Pacific countries.
While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber, vitamins and nutritional content, it is the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine.
Coconut oil used to be regarded as bad oil, high in saturated fat and therefore not good for our diet. But recent studies have shown that the coconut oil is a different sort of saturated fat that reacts differently in our bodies.
It’s all to do with the type of fat molecule that is present in the oil. Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). This won’t mean much to most people, but it is what gives coconut oil its unique qualities.
Most of the saturated and unsaturated fats found in our daily diet consist of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Most oils and processed foods we eat contain these unhealthy fats.
MCFA found in coconut oil are very different from LCFA. Unlike other fats, it is not stored in the body. MCFA’s are processed in the liver and immediately used for fuel, or energy. That’s why athletes and sportsmen and women are turning to coconut water to use as a natural energy drink.
They do not have a negative effect on cholesterol and actually help to protect against heart disease and lowers the risk of atherosclerosis.
It is primarily due to the MCFA in coconut oil that makes it so beneficial to our bodies and so healthy to cook with.
There are only a very few good dietary sources of MCFA. By far the best sources are from coconut and palm kernel oils.
Coconut Oil Health Benefits
Traditional medicine among the Asian and Pacific population have used the healing properties of coconut oil extensively and to great effect, for many years. Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness.
This bold claim is not without substance as scientists have recently discovered various healing properties of coconut oil and how it can be used in modern medicine to treat a variety of conditions.
Here’s how coconut oil can benefit your health:
Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Viral and Anti-Fungal
Coconut oil is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. It kills viruses that have a lipid (fatty) coating, such as herpes, HIV, hepatitis C, the flu, and mononucleosis.
It kills the bacteria that cause pneumonia, sore throats, dental cavities, urinary tract infections, meningitis, gonorrhea, food poisoning, pneumonia, and many more bacterial infections.
It also kills the fungus/yeast infections that cause Candida, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, jock itch, diaper rash and more.
Coconut oil isn’t a cure in itself, but it does contain these properties that fight against such ailments.
Coconut Oil for Energy
Coconut oil is able to boost energy levels and endurance. It is not stored in the body’s cells like other fats and actually breaks down much quicker within the liver and used like a carbohydrate.
Athletes and bodybuilders use it as a natural supplement in sports drinks. It also increases your metabolism which is great for anyone wanting to lose weight. There is a whole industry devoted to losing weight through coconut oil products and recipes.
Improved Digestive System
Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and absorption of fat soluble vitamins, minerals and amino acids. This helps to prevent various stomach and digestion related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome.
The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion.
Diabetics use it to reduce their symptoms and the risk of developing diabetes is reduced with regular use of coconut oil in your cooking.
High in Antioxidants
Coconut oil, in particular virgin coconut oil contains high levels of antioxidants which help to protect the body from free radicals and prevent degenerative diseases, cancer and premature aging.
Good For Your Heart
It has been accepted for a long time now that diets high in saturated fat can cause heart disease. This is true of popular cooking oil and many fast and processed foods.
Coconut oil is also high in saturated fat, but scientists are discovering that this form of saturated fat is actually good for your heart despite the bad press it has received over the years.
It contains about 50% lauric acid, and has shown not to increase ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels that other saturated fats do.
For optimal heart health it is recommended we have a healthy balance of saturated, poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fat.
A Natural Stress Relief
Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue.
Coconut oil is excellent massage oil for the skin. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin, including dry skin.
The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. But unlike mineral oil, there is little chance of having any adverse reactions on the skin.
Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. It forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions, creams, etc., used for skin care.
Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory, so it’s possible it would bring some relief from bug bites, as it promotes healing.
Since it is anti-inflammatory, coconut oil might be useful as a salve to speed healing of bruises, strains, and sore muscles.
Coconut Oil for Your Hair
Coconut oil is one of the best natural products for promoting healthy, shiny hair. This widely used oil provides essential proteins needed for nourishing damaged hair and makes an excellent shampoo or conditioner.
It is commonly used as hair-care oil and used in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams.
Due to its anti-fungal properties, regular massage of the head with coconut oil ensures that your scalp is free of dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry.
For more information on this, read my article: Coconut Oil for Hair. Also watch the video below.
Coconut oil is used in various mosquito repellents as a natural product, rather than using Deet. Just by eating it or using it as a shampoo or face cream etc., can ward of mosquitoes.
Unless you have some sort of allergic reaction to oil or fat, coconut oil shouldn’t give you any problems. Over the course of my research I have not found any possible side effects through consuming it.
Using coconut oil on the skin might cause a reaction for some people, (as could any cream or liquid), but again this is highly unlikely.
Many health organizations still advice people not to consume too much coconut oil because of its high saturated fat content. Even though research has identified coconut oil as having different compounds to other saturated fat, government regulated health authorities take an age before they will approve a natural product as a health benefit.
Where Can I Buy Coconut Oil?
There are plenty of good online stores that sell coconut oil products. Its worldwide popularity speaks for itself, but up until now you probably never realized how beneficial it actually is!
The best coconut oil you can buy is organic, virgin and ‘cold pressed’. Make sure it has these and you’ll be fine. Cold pressed simply means the oil is produced without heating it first.
Heating it turns the oil into a hydrogenated fat in order to make it solid at room temperature. Hydrogenated fat should be avoided because it turns unsaturated fat to saturated and may also contain very unhealthy trans fats.
Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oilis the best-selling coconut oil product on Amazon and I use this product myself.
It tastes delicious and is great for cooking or to use as a butter substitute. I also use it as a conditioner for my hair and on my skin.
It has over 800 positive reviews on Amazon and is simply the best coconut oil product out there.
Coconut oil is truly the healthiest oil you can consume. It is rich in lauric acid, which is known for being antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal, and contains no trans fat (even olive oil has some trans fat). You can even use it on your skin to help prevent wrinkles, or your hair for a shiny, healthy look.
Learn more about coconut oil benefits in the following video..
Please continue the coconut oil discussion below. Tell us how you use coconut oil and what benefits you’ve experienced in doing so. Or ask any questions you may have.