Coconut oil – I’m sure you’ve heard about it before, but how good is it really for you? Let’s find out!

To date, there are over 1,500 studies proving coconut oil be one of the best superfoods available on the planet. Coconut oil benefits and uses go beyond what most people realize.

Some of the most research has solidly uncovered the secrets to this amazing fruit (yes it’s actually a fruit). And what are the benefits? The healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), these unique fats include:

  • Lauric acid
  • Caprylic acid
  • Capric acid

And  did you know that… Around 62% of the oils in coconut are made up of these 3 healthy fatty acids and 91% of the fat in coconut oil is healthy saturated fat? Incredible right!

Coconut oil has a whole multitude of health benefits. I used it every day, in fact, I even take it traveling. It works wonders on our skin and hair, as well as a healthy superfood supplement. But the most important qualities of coconut are not visible to the eye. When you’re having problems with digestion, it’s the ultimate reliever. Because of the ketones produced during digestion, coconut oil has been proven to be effective in treating cancer. Tumor cells are not able to access the energy in ketones that are glucose dependent. It is also believed that a ketogenic diet could be a possible component of helping cancer patients recover. Check out my article explaining this in detail.

But what makes coconut really special is that it fights infections and other related immunity disorders. Not a lot of people know the firepower of coconut. Most people are just now beginning to discover the wonders this oil can bring to our overall health. Let us find out how many of these coconut oil benefits do you know. Here are the  benefits of coconut oil that get people really excited about:

For cooking
Many of the common oils used for cooking (such as olive oil) can be and often are damaged when exposed to heat. If an oil is heated beyond its smoke point, it can become toxic. The smoke point of olive oil is around 200°C. Some refined oils, such as palm, peanut, safflower and soybean oils can have smoke points around 230°C to 260°C, but unrefined oils can have smoke points in the low hundreds. This means that many of the health benefits normally found when consuming such fats as olive oil is lost. In fact, when exposed to high heat, olive oil oxidizes, which as you might know, is not good for our health at all! Heat, along with light and oxygen, can destroy the beneficial fats in some oils. Polyunsaturated fats are the most fragile and are not recommended for cooking.Coconut oil, being mainly a saturated fat, is able to withstand higher temperatures than other oils, making it one of the best oils for cooking.

Proven effective in Alzheimer’s disease patients
The digestion of MCFA’s through the liver creates something called “ketones” which in turn becomes a readily accessible energy source for the brain. Ketones supply energy to the brain without the need of insulin to process glucose into energy. This is what’s called the “ketogenic diet”.

As the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient often has lost the ability to create its own insulin, the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to help repair brain function.

Get out of your old skin
This oil is the oil for people who don’t like oils. Most women find oily skin as the kryptonite to their make-up loving face. We aim for just the right balance, that’s dewy but not at all too oily or dry. Applying it directly to your skin helps you achieve that radiance. Just the right texture that actually reveals our real age or sometimes, ideally, at best hide it. Coconut oil delays the appearance of wrinkles and saggy skin textures. It nourishes and quite simply acts as an excellent moisturizer for all types of skin.  Especially if you’re using organic coconut oil, there’s no chance of having unexpected side effects. It’s the perfect partner for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. On harsh winter nights, I personally use coconut oil to keep my hands from drying out.

Shed off those extra pounds
Coconut oil has fatty acid components that take off excess weight. Most people in the tropical or coastal parts of the world who live in coconut abundance and use coconut for cooking are usually not overweight. You’ll notice the difference right away in terms of body mass when you compare people who thrive on packaged oil and people who use coconut oil. The way it works is that it powers up your metabolic rate by taking away additional workload for your gut. That part about digestion, the antimicrobial properties of coconut can defend your internals from various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that are usually the primary cause of indigestion. Also, it contains lauric acid which neutralizes high cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Not only does it help you lose the extra weight, it can also give you a stronger heart.

Prevents heart disease and high blood pressure
Since coconut oil is so high in natural saturated fats, it does not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL) in your body but it also helps to convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols.

By increasing the HDL’s in the body, it helps promote a healthy and strong heart, and as such, lowering the risk of heart disease.

Healthy hair
Coconut oil is used as the base component of various hair care products as it supplies the needed proteins. If you take away the added chemicals and use the real source of protein instead and apply it directly, the impact goes deeper. Dry scalp gives roots to itchiness which usually leads to dandruff and limpness. Massaging your crowning glory with coconut oil will give you that shiny quality of a well-kept hair. It provides the essentials for nourishment, ultimately healing any damaged hair and stimulate re-growth.

Healing factor
The antioxidant qualities of coconuts go in tandem with its healing capacities. It forms a chemical layer that protects the exposed area from external dust, bacteria, and airborne viruses. It is highly effective on bruises and wounds because it speeds up the healing process of damaged tissues. As the healing effects of coconut oil are gradual and not instant or drastic like most chemically based medicines, it gives your body enough time to respond, recuperate and actively participate in the healing process.

Coconut oil for anti-aging
According to evidence published in the medical journal “Food and Function”, coconut oil improves antioxidant levels which we know, in turn, slows down the aging process. Coconut oil also works by reducing stress on the liver and by lowering oxidative stress.

Also, they found that coconut oil may support detoxification because of how it works with the liver. To naturally slow aging take 1 tbsp of coconut oil with anti-oxidant rich berries for breakfast. You can also apply it directly to the skin for additional benefits and smoothing.

So in short, get yourself some coconut oil and start reaping the benefits!

References:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24150106
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25301680
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23892389

 

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