Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil: There are many health benefits of coconut oil. Both for the inside and outside of the body. We actually call coconut oil the miracle healer in our house, and use coconut oil as a food and medicine. We love it that much, and I talk about coconut oil in my previous post which is about staying healthy. Coconut oil is said to help lose weight, prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes, strengthen the immune system and beautify the skin and hair. To truly understand the benefits of coconut oil, one must understand fats and the chemical make up of oils and the affect it has on your body. Honestly, I am not going to explain too much about that because that would make you bored and it would take up an entire post. But I highly recommend getting The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife. The book breaks down everything you need to know about coconut oil. I use it as a reference book when using coconut oil and there are also yummy coconut oil recipes listed in the book.
What you do need to know is that coconut oil is a saturated fat and has antibacterial, anti fungal, and antimicrobial properties. So, you might ask yourself, can saturated fat be good for me? Yes! Natural coconut oil (not processed) is a saturated fat, but is not the kind that doctors warn you about, and studies show that it has innumerable health benefits. If fact, saturated fats are necessary for cell growth and function.
Coconut oil is composed primarily of medium chain fatty acids, which breaks down in your body completely differently than long chain fatty acids, which are found in meat and vegetable oils. The medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil are broken down and used for energy instead of being stored as body fat. And since it is directly used as an energy, it helps to increase metabolism. The MCFAs do not have a negative effect on blood cholesterol and actually help protect against heart disease. One of the main health benefit of MCFAs in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is found in human breast milk and shown to help the immune system and fight viruses and disease.
So if coconut oil is good for me, how much should I take and how often? You should take coconut oil internally every day! Start by substituting coconut oil for other vegetable oil in your diet. Make sure your coconut oil is non-processed, organic and virgin. Use it to stir fry vegetables, cooking eggs, a butter substitute. Yes it’s even good on toast! Throw it in your smoothies. In the evening time, I like to have coconut tea, which is just a cup of hot water with a 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil, stirred. Oil pulling with coconut oil is popular in the morning time and is a great way to cleanse the mouth of bacteria and helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay. If you don’t know about oil pulling, it is a technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for about 20 minutes and then spitting it out. The oil draws out toxins in your body and improves oral health and overall health of the body.
Coconut oil is best known to make hair and skin beautiful. The ideal skin lotion or moisturizer is one that not only softens the skin but also protects it against damage, promotes healing and gives it a more youthful healthy appearance. Coconut Oil is just that! Time to throw out all that expensive skin moisturizer and just use coconut oil. My older sister is in her early 50s. Whenever I see her, I always ask what is your secret to staying so youthful? She says coconut oil! She applies it morning and evening every day as a moisturizer. Sometimes she will even wash her face with it. I have seen her face become more youthful while using coconut oil, and in my opinion I say she looks pretty darn good for being in her 50s! All natural!
Coconut oil also works great as a hair conditioner. A little oil (2 tsps.) can be applied at night and washed out in the morning. Not only will it make the hair soft and shimmery, but using coconut oil helps control dandruff.
I also love to use coconut oil as the medium for a herbal salve. I use it to mix essential oils in. Coconut oil works great for skin rashes, diaper rashes, chest vapors, skin burns, dry skin, skin blemishes, skin infections – the list really does go on. I have even used coconut oil on my children’s hair when they got lice. And it worked amazing! (But that is a whole other post!).
So here is a quick breakdown of the health benefits of coconut oil that can help prevent or treat ailments. Remember that if want to see good results, eating wisely and cutting out sugar and convenience-type, over-processed foods will help you reap the health benefits of coconut oil.
- prevent heart disease
- prevent diabetes and relieve the symptoms
- support the development of strong bones and teeth
- promote loss of excess weight
- kills viruses
- reduce chronic inflammation
- protect the body from cancer
- prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay
- ward off skin infections
- relieve dryness and flaking on skin
- prevent skin damage
- controls dandruff
- prevent premature aging
- relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome
- kills lice and other parasites
We get our coconut oil HERE.
You can read more of my posts over at my blog Darling Darleen