Coconut oil is one of the most well-known natural oil for it’s many health benefits. Obtained from the famous tropical fruits, it contains a high percentage of saturated fat (up to 60%) which is higher than butter (35%) and beef fat (25%). Saturated fat particularly from animal products, can increase our bad cholesterol. While too much saturated fat is bad for our heart, as it increases “bad” LDL cholesterol level, a cause of many heart diseases. Coconut oil is different, as most of the saturated fats in coconut oil comes from lauric acid. Lauric acid increases “good” HDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
1. Hair Care
If you’re a woman, then you must have come through this advice sometime: to massage coconut oil through your scalp and on your hair for better effects. Well, do believe whoever gives you this piece of advice, as coconut oil is rich in proteins which is quite essential for your hair, giving it a shiny look and able to restore damaged hair to its previous glory. On the top of that, it protects hair from dandruff and keeps lice and their eggs away from your precious hair. It can be massaged either on its own on your scalp (and this is widely used in India) or you can use a hair conditioner composed of it which makes hair feel soft and lustrous.
2. Skin Care
Not to worry about your skin anymore, my lady. As coconut oil is helpful for your hair, it’s also very healthy for your skin. Due to its anti-oxidant properties and fatty nature, this oil works as a perfect moisturizer to protect your skin from dryness and flaking especially in winter without any side effects, while also useful to prevent wrinkles that accompany aging. Even medical conditions such as psoriasis and eczema can be relieved by using coconut oil. It’s not a surprise then to find it as a base for many cream and lotions in the market.
3. Weight Loss
Have you ever seen someone living in one of those coastal tropical places fat or obese? No, right? Those people mostly use coconut oil as their number one cooking oil and that’s the secret to their fitness. Due to its content of medium-chain fatty acids, it can help take off the excessive weight by increasing the metabolic rate and encouraging the endocrine and thyroid glands to work more, burning more calorie and decreasing weight.
Candida is a serious condition caused by a type of natural yeast called Candida Albicans. This yeast naturally resides in one’s stomach, controlled by other helpful bacteria, but with the excessive use of antibiotics or excessive washing of the stomach can decrease the amount of useful bacteria, leading to the uncontrolled growth of Candida yeast, leading to a very nasty infection.
So what does coconut oil do? Research shows that the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil kill candida yeast. It’s believed to be able to prevent and cure Candida, although it should be taken in gradual quantities to prevent ‘withdrawal effects’ associated with the body’s rejection of the toxins as the fungi are removed.
Due to its antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties, this oil is also widely used to treat infections. You might be surprised to know that it’s capable of killing many viruses, as simple as influenza and as serious as Hepatitis.
You can consider this an explanation of the previous point. Coconut has powerful effects on the immune system, increasing its capability of fighting viruses, bacteria and fungi. But how does it do that? Well, to keep it simple, this oil contains lauric acid, which is converted inside the body to monolaurin, a substance proven to be effective against even the most powerful bacteria.
7. Healing Wounds and Bruises
Rubbing coconut oil on an injury is also very benefical, as it covers the wound with a lipid layer that protects it from air and dust, and give its anti-septic properties as mentioned.
8. Stress and Fatigue
Its benefits aren’t only limited to physical treatment, as coconut oil could be rubbed into the head with a gentle message to help one relax and get rid of mental fatigue, proven to be a very soothing oil.
9. Dental Care
As we all know, calcium is quite essential for teeth and bone growth. What you probably don’t know is that coconut increases body’s absorption of calcium and hence developing strong teeth. Also, swishing one tablespoon of coconut oil around in your mouth (also called oil pulling) can improve dental health too.
If you’re a diabetic patient, use coconut oil for cooking. With a double effect of both, improving insulin secretion and increasing the utilization and metabolism of glucose inside the body, it’s proven to help decrease glucose levels in blood.
11. Liver Health
Coconut oil is composed of medium chain fatty acids and triglycerides which are easily converted into energy, thus decreasing liver workload and preventing fat accumulation in it.
Coconut oil comes with so many incredible benefits so always consider for healthy living!