You’ve no doubt noticed that coconut oil is on everyone’s lips lately. You may also be aware that it’s in their frying pans, their smoothies, their hair, and in a little jar on their nightstand. What underlies this oil’s recent adoption by the masses is the sheer benefits of coconut oil for mind, body, and soul that it promises. And it’s not a marketing spin; a growing body of research shows that adding coconut oil to your diet and your person could be one of the easiest ways to improve your health, well-being, and appearance! Read on to learn how incorporating just a few tablespoons of this tropical oil can really kick your health in the right direction.
Coconut oil helps burn fat by increasing energy output.
It’s no secret that obesity is one of the biggest problems in the world. While coconut oil does contain fat, it’s not the same fat that is found in a stick of butter. It contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that the body processes differently, and replacing the current oils and fats you use with it will help with weight loss. So the science says: The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats. One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24-hour energy expenditure by 5%, totaling about 130 calories per day. Therefor the body actually burns more calories by consuming coconut oil!
The unique fatty acids and saturated fat in coconut oil will keep you healthy.
For a long time, saturated fat was wrongly pegged as the food responsible for clogged arteries and heart disease. This myth began in 1977 despite having never been proven and became a cornerstone in dietary recommendations. However, current research has shown saturated fat to be associated with stronger bones, improved liver health, and improved brain functioning. The science says: New data is showing that saturated fats are harmless. Many massive studies that include hundreds of thousands of people prove that the whole “artery-clogging” idea was a myth. The point is: you have nothing to fear when consuming coconut oil and foods high in saturated fat. These foods were wrongly blamed for problems caused by sugar and insulin.
Coconut oil can help stave off infections by stopping bacteria, fungi, and viruses in their tracks.
Sick of getting sick? There is a large amount of lauric acid found in the fatty acids of coconut oil. When it is consumed and digested, the lauric acid travels through the body’s various systems and helps the body fight off bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It’s a good idea to consume coconut oil when you’re sick or have an infection for these reasons. Lauric acid can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi. It has been shown to kill the bacteria, Staphylococcus Aureus (a very dangerous pathogen), and the yeast, Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans.
Coconut oil will improve skin and hair quality.
Coconut oil has a variety of benefits listed at the end of this article, but the 2 most effective uses are for skin and hair quality. Coconut oil does not have to be consumed to reap all of its benefits, making it one of the most versatile foods on the planet. What the facts say: Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil improves the moisture and lipid content of the skin. Coconut oil is protective against hair damage, and one study shows that it can even be used as light sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Another application is using it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health, and reduce bad breath.
Helps reduce the most dangerous fat on the body
The fat around the abdomen is the most dangerous fat, because it is stored in the abdominal cavity and around many of the major organs. This type of fat is highly correlated with many diseases and the danger of premature death. It can help you reduce this type of fat and subsequently reduce the chance of developing these diseases. This is another excellent reason weight loss programs should have coconut oil in them. What the facts say: In a study of 40 women with abdominal obesity, supplementing with 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day led to a significant reduction in both BMI and waist circumference in a period of 12 weeks. Another study in 20 obese males noted a reduction in waist circumference of 2.86 cm (1.1 inches) after 4 weeks of 30 mL (1 ounce) of coconut oil per day.
Some Common Uses:
Conditioner – Use occasionally on hair for deep conditioning to help restore and prevent breakage. For best results, leave it in for 5 min-1 hour, and wash it out with shampoo afterward. Then condition with a normal conditioner.
Skin Moisturizer – As discussed earlier, coconut oil is an amazing moisturizer. Coconut oil delivers a refreshing, healing burst of moisture that penetrates the skin and works to truly heal it.
Massage oil – Rather than use a heavy lotion with chemicals, coconut oil is a better solution. Its sweet smell can also relax the body and make for a very pleasant experience.
Nail and cuticle treatment – Cuticles and nails get worn down with usage over time. Rub over the cuticles and nails to smooth out flaws and encourage healthy, natural growth.
Wood polish – Most wood polishes are filled with synthetic chemicals that only work for a short period of time. Coconut oil will soak into the wood and give it a healthy shine for longer.
Mouthwash/Pulling – Bacteria forms in the mouth over time and can cause bad breath and plaque buildup. A great solution is using coconut pulling to help kill it off. Simply take a little coconut oil and swish it around in your mouth for 5-10 minutes. This will freshen up your breath and get rid of the bacteria in the mouth.
Butter substitute- Need to lubricate your cooking pan or need an oil added to a recipe? Try substituting coconut oil in for a healthier meal!