When you discover the many health benefits of coconut oil, you'll wonder why coconut oil has gained a reputation for being unhealthy. Some coconut oil benefits are not even available from any other food!
Coconut oil's primary health benefits fall into these general categories:
Although it was not known how coconut oil did its magic, it has historically been used in Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medicinal system in India. See my page on Coconut Oil Nutritional Value for the reasons behind the health benefits of coconut oil.
Even though coconut oil is predominately a saturated fat, it has been found to have many factors that contribute to a reduced risk of heart disease compared to other dietary oils.
Natural coconut oil tends to increase HDL cholesterol and actually improve your cholesterol profile. New research has demonstrated that the medium-chain fats in coconut oil protect against heart disease and may one day even be used as a treatment to cure it!
Eating coconut oil regularly leads to:
See my page on Coconut Oil and Heart Disease to learn more about this topic.
Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that help in taking off excess weight. MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
Coconut oil increases your body's metabolism by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby burning more energy. Besides weight loss, there are other advantages to boosting your metabolic rate. Your healing process accelerates. Cell regeneration increases, and your immune system functions better overall.
Coconut oil is also easy to digest and helps in the healthy functioning of your thyroid gland. Research has demonstrated that, due to its metabolic effect, coconut oil increases the activity of the thyroid. A sluggish thyroid is one reason why some people are unable to lose weight, no matter what they do.
See Coconut Oil for Weight Loss for more on this topic.
Coconut oil aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and amino acids — thus preventing various stomach- and digestion-related problems, including irritable bowel syndrome.
The saturated fats present in coconut oil also have germ-fighting properties that help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion.
The benefits of coconut oil include the ability to boost energy levels and endurance. Coconut oil breaks down quickly in the liver and can be used like you would use a carbohydrate. Athletes and bodybuilders use it as a natural supplement in sports drinks. Several studies have now shown that MCFAs enhance physical or athletic performance.
Coconut oil helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. Regular use of coconut oil reduces your risk of developing diabetes, and is effective in controlling the symptoms of diabetes.
Coconut oil has often been compared to carbohydrates in its ability to be "burned" for energy. However, since insulin is not involved in the process of digesting coconut oil, you won't get those carb-related spikes in your blood sugar level.
The lauric acid in coconut oil is an effective way to help strengthen your immune system. Lauric acid is the predominant type of medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) found in coconut oil. MCFAs are powerful germ fighters and are known to kill dozens of disease-causing organisms.
Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. It kills viruses that have a lipid (fatty) coating, such as herpes, HIV, hepatitis C, the flu, and mononucleosis.
Coconut oil also kills the bacteria that cause pneumonia, sore throats, dental cavities, urinary tract infections, measles, meningitis, gonorrhea, food poisoning, pneumonia, and many more bacterial infections. It kills the fungus/yeast infections that cause candida, ringworm, athletes foot, thrush, jock itch, diaper rash and more.
There's no better oil for your skin than coconut oil. It smooths and moisturizes, promotes skin elasticity, helps protect your skin from the aging effects of free radicals.
The benefits of coconut oil for the skin are not just temporary; coconut oil will also aid in restoring your skin's youthful appearance. Coconut oil aids in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making the skin smoother. When coconut oil is absorbed into the skin and connective tissues, it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep connective tissues strong and supple.
See Coconut Oil for the Skin for more details.
Detergent- or soap-based shampoos leave your hair dry, rough, and hard. The natural oils in coconut counters this effect, keeping your hair smooth and shiny, and add a sweet and refreshing scent.
Coconut oil is one of the most common natural ingredients found in shampoos and hair conditioning products today, for good reason. Coconut oil contains several different nutrients that keep your hair strong, protect it from the effects of aging, and make it healthier and shinier.
The various fatty acids present in coconut oil serve as very good anti-dandruff agents, and work better than any anti-dandruff shampoo.
See Coconut Oil for Hair for more details.
For the Liver: Because medium-chain fatty acids are easily converted into energy, they help to reduce the work load on the liver and help prevent liver diseases.
For the Kidney: Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones.
For Your Bones: Coconut oil improves the ability of your body to absorb important minerals, iincluding calcium and magnesium, which are necessary for bone development. Therefore, coconut oil is very useful for women who want to prevent osteoporosis.
Healing: When applied on infections, coconut oil forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dirt and bacteria. Coconut oil is also effective on bruises, as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.
Fatigue: The saturated fats present in coconut oil, being a great source of energy, effectively combat fatigue and energy depletion.
Oxidation/Aging: Coconut oil contains high levels of antioxidants which help to protect the body from free radicals and prevent degenerative diseases and premature aging. The antioxidant properties of coconut oil counter the adverse effects of free radicals and aging.
Candida: The antimicrobial properties of coconut oil, already mentioned above, have been found effective against candida.
Dandruff: coconut oil prevents peeling away of skin on scalp and conditions like dandruff by keeping the skin moist and smooth.
There are several ways you can add the benefits of coconut oil to your everyday life, and it really is easy! Coconut oil is stable even during long periods of storage, and needs no refrigeration. Because its melting point is 76° F, it can be used in both liquid or solid forms. It has a neutral flavor that makes it ideal for use in frying, cooking and baking.
Here are just a few suggestions:
You can even try coconut oil right out of the jar for a quick burst of energy, without creating a spike in your blood sugar levels.
Smoothies are a great way to get more of the benefits of coconut oil. Adding coconut oil to your smoothies gives them a rich, creamy texture, and will keep you feeling satisfied for hours.
See my page on how to make smoothies the healthy way, where I reveal my secrets for creating incredibly-healthy smoothies.
There are several excellent organic coconut oils that I can recommend. Click on any of the images below for more information on any one of them:
If you want to take a look at a wider selection of coconut oil products, check out the Coconut Oil Store at iHerb.com. There's over 30 different name-brand products to choose from — and buying from iHerb means that you also get all of these benefits as well:
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