coconut oil benefits – To date, there are over 1,500 studies proving
coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Coconut oil benefits and uses go beyond what most people realize.
Research has finally uncovered the secrets to this amazing fruit; namely healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), these unique fats include:
- Caprylic acid
- Lauric acid
- Capric acid
And around 62% of the oils in coconut are made up of these 3 healthy fatty acids and 91% of the fat in coconut oil is healthy saturated fat.
Most of the fats that we consume take longer to digest, but MCFAs found in coconut oil provide the perfect source of energy because they only have to go through a 3 step process to be turned into fuel vs. other fats go through a 26 step process!
Unlike long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) found in plant based oils, MCFAs are:
- Easier to digest
- Not readily stored as fat
- Are anti-microbial and anti-fungal
- Smaller in size, allowing easier cell permeability for immediate energy
- Processed by the liver, which means that they are immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat
Is It Good for Your Heart?
The American Heart Association says to limit saturated fat to no more than 13 grams a day. That’s the amount found in about one tablespoon of coconut oil.
Fans of coconut oil point to studies that suggest the MCT-saturated fat in coconut could boost your HDL or “good” cholesterol. This, they claim, makes it less bad for your heart health than the saturated fat in animal-based foods like cheese and steak or products containing trans fats.
But it also raises your LDL “bad” cholesterol.
A quick cholesterol lesson:
- LDL — helps form plaque that blocks your arteries
- HDL — helps remove LDL
“But just because coconut oil can raise HDL cholesterol doesn’t mean that it’s great for your heart,” Young says. “It’s not known if the rise in beneficial cholesterol outweighs any rise in harmful cholesterol.”
At best, she says, coconut oil could have a neutral impact on heart health, but she doesn’t consider it heart-healthy.
Yes, some recent studies have questioned the role saturated fat plays in heart disease. Yes, there have been headlines hailing the return of butter. But it’s still a good idea to choose your fats wisely.
A 2015 Harvard study found that replacing calories from saturated fat in your diet with calories from refined carbs like white bread and soda won’t lower heart disease risk. But swapping saturated fats like coconut oil and butter with unsaturated options — like those in nuts, seeds, and liquid vegetable oil — will.
What does that mean for you? While Young suggests using cholesterol-free coconut oil to replace butter or lard when you’re cooking or baking, she says you should get most of your fat from unsaturated sources including olive oil, avocado, and nuts.
Coconut oil fans point out that people in places like Polynesia and Sri Lanka eat high amounts of coconut products daily but don’t seem to have high rates of heart disease.
But there’s more to the story. “It’s likely that other factors like genetics, overall diet and daily physical activity may act to neutralize any negative impact that a high coconut intake can have on heart health,” Young says.
Proven Alzheimer’s Disease Natural Treatment
The digestion of MCFA’s by the liver creates ketones which are a readily accessible energy by the brain. Ketones supply energy to the brain without the need of insulin to process glucose into energy.
Recent research has shown that the brain actually creates it’s own insulin to process glucose and power brain cells. As the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient has lost the ability to create it’s own insulin, the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to help repair brain function.
Improves Memory and Brain Function
In a 2004 study published in the journal of Neurobiology of Aging, they found that the MCFA’s found in coconut oil improved the memory problems in their older subjects.
Across all the patients there was a marked improvement in their recall ability after taking this fatty acid. As the MCFA’s are absorbed easily in the body and can be accessed in the brain without the use of insulin, they are able to fuel brain cells more efficiently.
Can It Help With Weight Loss?
Many people think so. A quirk of MCTs like the ones in coconut oil is that your body processes them slightly differently than other dietary fats. You’re more likely to burn off their calories than convert them to body fat. So eat spoonfuls of coconut oil and watch the fat melt away, right? Not so fast.
Coconut is high in calories. You can’t just add it to your diet without cutting back elsewhere and expect to lose weight, Young says. “You definitely don’t want to think of it as a freebie food that you can eat as much of as you want.”
Building Muscle and Losing Body Fat
MCFAs aren’t just good for burning fat; they are also great for building muscle. The MCFAs found in coconut are also used in popular muscle building products like Muscle Milk™.
The vast majority of heavily produced supplements however, use processed forms of MCFAs. By eating actual coconuts, however, you get the “real deal.” I recommend adding 3 tbsp of coconut oil to a muscle building shake daily.
Cures UTI and Kidney Infection & Protects the Liver
Coconut oil has been known to clear up and heal urinary (UTI) and kidney infections. The MCFA’s in the oil work as a natural antibiotic by disrupting the lipid coating on bacteria and killing them. Also there is a study showing that coconut oil directly protected the liver from damage.
Coconut water also helps hydrate and support the healing process. Doctors have even injected the coconut water to clear up kidney stones. Coconut is a super powerful food!
Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis
In a study in India, the high levels of antioxidants present in virgin coconut oil reduced inflammation and healing arthritis more effectively than leading medications.
In another recent study, coconut oil that was harvested with only medium heat was found to suppress inflammatory cells. It worked as both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Coconut oil has two qualities that help it fight cancer. One, because of the ketones produced in it’s digestion. Tumor cells are not able to access the energy in ketones and are glucose dependent. It is believed that a ketogenic diet could be a possible component of helping cancer patients recover.
Two, as the MCFA’s digest the lipid walls of bacteria, they also can kill the helicobacter pylori bacteria that has been known as increasing the risk of stomach cancer. Even in studies where cancer is chemically induced, the introduction of coconut oil prevents cancer from developing!
Immune System Boost (antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral)
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is known to reduce candida, fight bacteria, and create a hostile environment for viruses. Many diseases today are causes by the overgrowth of bad bacteria, funguses, viruses and parasites in the body.
You can replace grains and sugar in your diet with coconut oil as your natural fuel source when you’re sick. Sugar feeds the growth of bad bacteria. Instead take 1 TBSP of coconut oil 3x daily when sick and consume plenty of vegetables and bone broth as well.
Improves Energy and Endurance
Coconut oil is easy to digest, but also produces a longer sustained energy and increases your metabolism. When taking a quality non-processed coconut oil, you can get the most benefit as it’s MCFA’s are sent directly to the liver to be converted into energy!
Today, many triathletes will use coconut oil as their source of fuels during training and races for long distance events. You can make a homemade energy fuel by mixing coconut oil, raw honey and chia seeds together. Simply put together 1 TBSP of each and consume 30 minutes prior to exercise.
Improves Digestion, Reduces Stomach Ulcers & Ulcerative Colitis
Coconut also improves digestion as it helps the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium, and magnesium.
If coconut oil is taken at the same time as omega-3 fatty acids, it can make them twice as effective, as they are readily available to be digested and used by the body.
Coconut oil can help improve bacteria and gut health by destroying bad bacteria and candida. Candida imbalance especially can decrease stomach acid which causes inflammation and poor digestion.
Reduces Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease & Pancreatitis
The MCFA’s of coconut oil do not need the pancreatic enzymes to be broken down, so taking coconut oil eases the strain on the pancreas.
Additionally, this super fat is so easy to digest that it has been known to improve the symptoms of gallbladder disease as well. Replace other long-chain fats with coconut oil to improve gallbladder and total body health.
Improves Skin Issues (burns, eczema, dandruff, dermatitis, and psoriasis)
Coconut oil is wonderful as a face cleanser, moisturizer and sun screen, but also it can treat many skin disorders. The fatty acids (Caprylic and Lauric) in coconut oil reduce inflammation internally and externally and moisturize making them a great solution for all types of skin conditions.
It protects the skin and has many antioxidants that make it ideal for healing the skin. In addition the antimicrobial properties balance out the candida or fungal sources that can cause many skin conditions.
Prevents Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
Oil pulling with coconut oil has been used for centuries as a way to cleanse the mouth of bacteria and help heal periodontal disease. Coconut oil is one of the most effective oils for oil pulling due to it’s high concentration of antibacterial MCFA’s.
By swishing the oil in your mouth the oil denatures the bacteria and sticks to it. Removing oral bacteria greatly reduces your risk of periodontal disease. If you want to heal your gums and repair your teeth, I recommend coconut oil pulling 3x a week for 20 minutes a day
Oxidative stress and free radicals are the two biggest culprits of osteoporosis. Since coconut oil has such high levels of antioxidants which help fight free radicals, it is a leading natural treatment for osteoporosis.
Another of the amazing coconut oil benefits is that it increases calcium absorption in the gut. Research with osteoporosis has found that coconut oil not only increases bone volume and structure in subjects, but also decreased bone loss due to osteoporosis.
Improves Type II Diabetes
When cells refuse to respond to insulin and no longer take in glucose for energy, then they are considered insulin resistant. The pancreas then pumps out more insulin to compensate and creates an overproduction cycle. Insulin resistance is the precursor to Type II diabetes.
The MCFA’s in coconut oil helps balance the insulin reactions in the cells and promote healthy digestive process. They take off the strain on the pancreas and give the body a consistent energy source that is not dependent on glucose reactions which can prevent insulin resistance and Type II diabetes.
Coconut oil is a creamy solid at room temperature, and turns to liquid when heated to 76°F. While in the shower, melt your coconut oil by running the jar under the warm water. Then, after shampooing, apply a generous amount of the oil to wet strands and twist hair into a bun. Let it sit for at least five minutes before rinsing to add moisture and shine back into limp locks.
As a solid, coconut oil’s creamy texture makes it the perfect light moisturizer to slather all over. Apply a quarter sized amount right after you get out of the shower so it can sink into your warm skin. The light tropical scent that lingers after it’s applied. Add in a few drops of peppermint or lavender oil for a massage mix.
Chapped lips don’t stand a chance against ultra-hydrating coconut oil. Scoop some into a spare contact lens holder and throw it in your purse so you can dab it on with your finger throughout the day. Feeling fancy? It’s easy to create your own pretty package.
Get double duty from your new DIY coconut oil lip balm case and say goodbye to ragged cuticles. Using your finger, swipe a small amount of the oil onto each of your cuticles and allow it to sink in. The coconut oil will strengthen your nails and hydrate the delicate cuticle skin, making your hands look more youthful.