06 Jan The (Surprising and Amazing) Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Did you know, in addition to the many benefits of using coconut oil with essential oils, there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of studies that show that coconut oil is one of the healthiest foods on the planet?
Coconut oil has several health benefits, the most important ones being its usefulness in hair care and skin care but also has other benefits for weight loss, treating yeast infections, improving digestion and increasing immunity against a host of infections and diseases.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
So first off, the health benefits of consuming coconut oil are many. These are just some of them.
May Increases Weight Loss and Increase Metabolism
Consumption of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), such as those in coconut oil, has been shown to result in increased energy expenditures compared to long-chain fatty acids. The body can easily convert this fat into energy for the body to utilize—it essentially helps increase your metabolism.
In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the effects of overweight participants consuming MCFA oils compared to long-chain fatty acids. The study discovered that subjects ingesting MCFA oils had a lower body weight and more fat loss at the end of the research.
Another study involving the overfeeding rats with either LCFAs or MCFAs for six weeks each showed that the rats fed MCFAs gained 20% less weight and 23% less body fat. It appears that MCFAs speed up an individual’s metabolism in order to burn more fat and/or calories.
May Support the Immune System and Help Fight Infections
The most abundant fatty acid in coconut oil comprising nearly 50% of the coconut’s fat content is called lauric acid. Lauric acid is effective in eliminating a large variety of bacteria by disintegrating their lipid membrane and destroying the organism. Specifically, coconut oil can help destroy the bacteria leading to stomach ulcers, dental cavities, and food poisoning.
May Help Prevent Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats which increase the healthy cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) in your body and help convert the “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) into good cholesterols. Increasing HDL in the body helps promote heart health and lower the risk of heart disease. Coconut oil also benefits the heart by lowering high triglycerides.
May Help in the Treatment of UTI and Kidney Infections and Protects the Liver
Coconut oil has been shown to be effective in treating urinary tract infection (UTI) and kidney infections. Research has also shown that coconut oil protects the liver from damage.
May Reduce Inflammation and Arthritis
In a study in India, the high levels of antioxidants present in virgin coconut oil (VCO) reduced inflammation and treated arthritis more effectively than leading medications.
Hair Care Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil helps to grow healthy hair and makes your hair shiny. I use it almost daily in my special essential oil hair care recipe. It’s highly effective in reducing protein loss, which if unchecked can lead to various unhealthy qualities in your hair. This is why it’s used as hair care oil, and in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Just apply it topically to your hair or use a coconut oil hair mask.
It’s also an excellent conditioner and helps the re-growth process of damaged hair. It provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair. Research studies indicate that it provides better protection to hair from damage caused by hygral fatigue.
Skin Care Benefits of Coconut Oil
A scientific study on the use of coconut oil as a moisturizer treatment for patients with atopic dermatitis—a condition marked by extremely dry skin and is highly prone to Staphylococcus aureus (SA) colonies—found that for 20 AD patients with SA, treatment using virgin coconut oil resulted in only one person remaining positive for SA colonies following the treatment.
Therefore, in addition to fighting the dryness of the skin, coconut oil can also be used as an aid in treating skin infection like atopic dermatitis.
Additionally, coconut oil can protect the skin from the harmful effects of direct sunlight. A study published by the Pharmacognosy Review determined that coconut oil, along with peanut, cottonseed, and olive oil, block out about 20% of ultraviolet rays from the sun.