In this post you will learn about the benefits of coconut oil for health. As you know, coconut oil is a plant-based fat that is rich in various nutrients and antioxidants. The best part about it is that it’s a healthy substitute for butter, vegetable oil, or animal fat
Coconut oil is one of the most underestimated oils. Find out how coconut oil can help you shed weight, improve your digestion, reduce inflammation, and much much more.
Are you ready to learn about the advantages of coconut oil? Let’s go!
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Health.
Over the years there have been many claims made about the natural health benefits of coconut oil. Most of these claims surround the dietary and medicinal properties that it holds.
This is why in the west coconut oil has quickly become a hot consumer product with thousands of companies including it in their beauty products and thousands of recipes including it as an alternative to other oils.
Yet there is still some controversy surrounding the health benefits of coconut and debate still exist as to whether claims of its benefits have been exaggerated. This is where this post comes in.
We have researched the benefits of coconut oil and outline at length all the fantastic healthy qualities that are proven to exist when using coconut oil in your diet or applying it to your hair and skin.
1. Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Your Hair.
Coconut oil has long been regarded as one of the best hair conditioning products in the natural world. Many people worldwide use coconut oil as their sole hair conditioning product as it is relatively cheap and gives remarkable results.
The benefits of coconut oil for your hair are numerous. It first helps to keep your hair well moisturised and promotes the healthy growth of strong hair whilst keeping the scalp free from flakes.
Its main benefit comes from increasing the protein retention in your hair. This allows for fuller and stronger growth.
Whilst many companies use tiny amounts of virgin coconut oil in their high end products a lot of people are now turning to pure virgin coconut oil for the benefits it brings. The key benefits of using coconut oil for your hair can be evidenced by looking at the chemical properties of coconut oil.
Lauric acid – Benefits of Coconut Oil.
One of the primary causes of hair loss and recession of the hair line is the action of microbes on the scalp and at the base of the follicles.
Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid that protects the roots of your hair and acts as an anti-microbial. It also helps prevent the hair from breakage. This means it prevents the build-up of damaging microbes that cause hair loss.
The lauric acid stimulates fresh strong growth. One study “Single Hair Fiber Assessment” determined that, because coconut oil deeply penetrates hair strands, it makes them more flexible and increases their strength preventing them from breaking under tension.
Coconut oil is an excellent source of lauric acid meaning it is great for your hair and can also be used to help prevent the loss of hair if used regularly.
Virgin coconut oil contains a high yield of Capric acid as well as Lauric Acid. Capric acid is another anti-microbe that works in a similar way to Lauric acid. It tackles microbes at the source preventing further spread and loss of hair whilst stimulating new hair growth.
We all know how important vitamin E is to natural health generally. Vitamin E helps keep the skin in tip top condition and is one of the key ways in which your hair retains its shine and bounce. The benefits of coconut oil on hair is because it is a rich source of Vitamin E
The fatty acids in coconut oil serve as a great anti-dandruff treatment that far outshines most store bought anti-dandruff shampoos. Regular application softens and moistens the skin of the scalp reducing the accumulation of hair and flakes.
The benefits of coconut oil for your hair are amazing. This is why more and more people are replacing their traditional shampoos and conditioners with either pure or high density coconut oil products.
2. Benefits of Coconut Oil On The Skin
Coconut oils natural health benefits extend far beyond your hair. It also has a number of fantastic benefits for your skin as well.
The first is Vitamin E.
Vitamin E keeps your skin healthy, spot free and even protects against skin cancer. Vitamin E is plentiful in coconut oil and acts as an antioxidant for the skin. It protects your skin cells from UV light, pollution and the negative effects of smoke and other “free radicals“.
Vitamin E also helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks and prevents the appearance of age spots by rejuvenating the skin cells over your body. Several studies show that coconut oil boosts the moisture content within dry skin. One of these was Natural Oils For Skin – Barrier Repair.
They also show that Coconut Oil can improve the function of the skin, helping prevent excessive water loss and protecting you from external factors, such as infectious agents, chemicals, and allergens.
A recent study determined that applying 6–8 drops of virgin coconut oil on your hands and leaving it overnight may be an effective way to prevent dry skin caused by frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. You can also make a luxurious body butter with essential oils.
3. Benefits Of Coconut Oil When Losing Weight.
Many people think that because virgin coconut oil has a high proportion of saturated fat it is bad to include within the diet. This is one of the greatest myths surrounding coconut oil.
Most of the saturated fatty acids in coconut oil are what are known as medium chain triglycerides. Medium chain triglycerides are actually easier for your body to break down than other saturated fats.
Further, the saturated fats in coconut oil especially Lauric acid actually increase the body’s metabolism and promote optimal health of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Having a high metabolism means that the body burns calories at an increased rate.
The enzymes contained within coconut oil act as catalysts to your stomach acid and help you break down fat at an increased rate. As your metabolism is also increased you can burn a higher proportion of the calories you take in.
These helpful enzymes also promote a healthy gut by fighting bacteria and strengthening the stomach lining. Hence coconut oil actually is much better for you to use in cooking and food preparations than other alternatives.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to coconut oil is moderation.
Coconut oil helps curb your appetite, but that doesn’t mean coconut oil doesn’t have calories of its own. Like any other oil, coconut oil contains saturated fats. It is recommended you start by consuming one tablespoon a day.
Users sometimes report feeling an initial queasiness with coconut oil, so ease your body into it. Even after an adjustment period, your intake should still be limited to two to three tablespoons daily.
Coconut oil is a natural appetite inhibitor, which is another reason that it is useful for weight loss in a way other cooking oils aren’t. This is because of its fats being “medium chain triglycerides”
The presence of this particular type of fatty acid not only decreases your accumulation of body fat, but also works as an appetite suppressant by increasing your feelings of fullness. This is one of the main reasons people choose to use coconut oil for weight loss.
4. Antimicrobial Effects And Digestion
Many of our common digestive problems are caused by the presence of microbes in the foods we eat. We have a natural set of microbes in our stomach that aid digestion but these often react negatively with certain enzymes found in other foods.
Antimicrobial And Antibacterial Properties
Coconut oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties due to its Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) content, specifically, lauric acid.
Lauric acid is a fatty acid that makes up about 50% of the MCTs in coconut oil.
A research study on Lauric Acid1Lauric Acid Is a Potent Biological Control Agent That Damages the Cell Membrane of Phytophthora sojae suggests it may have antimicrobial effects against disease causing microorganisms, such as:
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Streptococcus mutans
- Streptococcus pyogenes
- Escherichia coli
- Helicobacter pylori
These studies show that the lauric acid may act as a bacteriostatic agent. This is a substance that prevents bacteria from multiplying without actually killing the bacteria.
It may also act as a bacteriocidal agent, which destroys some bacteria.
Indigestion is primarily caused by the acid in your stomach irritating the stomach lining and the top of your small intestine. The most common cause is acid reflux.
The saturated fats in coconut oil, especially Lauric acid and Capric acid, aid indigestion by neutralising micro bacteria. These fats help remove parasitic bacteria and fungi keeping your digestive tract and stomach at optimal health and performance.
Whilst the benefits are great for indigestion they also help keep the rest of your body healthy too. Coconut oil is rich in vitamins and minerals itself but the fatty acids within it encourage the absorption of most other vitamins and minerals into your body.
5. Oral Health – Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Health
Evidence shows that using coconut oil benefits oral hygiene when used as a mouthwash.
To use is simple. All that is needed is to swish the coconut oil in your mouth like you would a mouthwash. A research study on the effects of coconut oil and oral health2The Effect of Coconut Oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans Count in Saliva in Comparison with Chlorhexidine Mouthwash showed this process significantly reduced the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth compared with using regular mouthwash.
This benefit for oral health is thought to be due to the antibacterial properties of lauric acid.
Additionally another study on the “benefits of oil pulling for oral health”3Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review shows that the lauric acid in coconut oil reacts with saliva and forms a soapy substance that helps to prevent cavities and reduces dental plaque build up and inflammation of the gums.
6. Fight Infection and Boost Immunity
Coconut oil contains two special ingredients that make it an excellent health boost for immunity. These are anti-viral properties we already know well. They are lauric acid and caprylic acid.
Both are well known for relieving common yeast overgrowth (candida) as well as other bacterial infections.
Coconut Oil is actually comprised of almost 50 percent lauric acid, which the body converts to monolaurin, an antiviral agent that fights off a number of pathogens and viruses.
Incredibly the viruses and pathogens that coconut oil is proven to protect against and help prevent includes:
- listeria monocytogenes,
- helicobacter pylori,
and harmful protozoa such as
- giardia lamblia.
Why Immunity Benefits From Coconut Oil Fats.
Coconut oils, as we know already, are comprised of medium chain triglyceride fats, which are used by the liver to aid cleansing and convert energy.
Unlike most fats, coconut oil fats are used to boost metabolism and have been shown to cleanse the blood, aid weight loss, and boost digestion.
How to Use Coconut Oil for Immunity:
A simple way to boost immunity is to take a teaspoon of coconut oil a day. Coconut Oils anti-viral effects are strong so build up to 1 teaspoon.
You may experience headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, etc. as bacteria start to die off in the body. To prevent these symptoms and still gain the benefits add your teaspoon of oil to other dietary ingredients.
A very popular method is to stir it into a cup of coffee, often called bulletproof coffee. You can also replace coconut oil with coconut butter. This has the added benefit of retaining a lot of the fiber naturally found in coconut but not found in the oil.
Coconut oil used on the skin is more than a moisturiser. It also acts as a natural “shield” for viruses and bacteria in the environment!
7. Brain Function – Benefits of Coconut Oil On Health.
When coconut oil fats are oxidized for energy, ketone bodies are produced. These ketones are the preferred source of fuel for your brain. They also help decrease appetite and make you feel full.
People with epilepsy should add coconut oil as part of their ketogenic diet. This has been shown to decrease the severity and frequency of seizures.
Coconut oil has also been found to boost brain function4Coconuts and Health: Different Chain Lengths of Saturated Fats Require Different Consideration. Research has shown that these ketones can offset early signs of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. This is achieved by providing an alternative energy source for brain cells.
Are you aware of any other benefits of coconut oil for health or any natural remedies that use coconut oil? If you do please share with us all by adding to the comments section below!
- 1Lauric Acid Is a Potent Biological Control Agent That Damages the Cell Membrane of Phytophthora sojae
- 2The Effect of Coconut Oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans Count in Saliva in Comparison with Chlorhexidine Mouthwash
- 3Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review
- 4Coconuts and Health: Different Chain Lengths of Saturated Fats Require Different Consideration