While you may not be familiar with coconut oil, you’re sure to go out and stock up after you learn how great it is for your overall health. You can take coconut oil daily by the tablespoon, use it for cooking, apply it to your skin or use it in your hair. Now for the benefits of coconut oil!
1. A Variety of Medicinal Properties
Even though coconut oil contains a lot of saturated fat, studies have shown that saturated fat actually poses no harm to your overall health. One unique thing about coconut oil is that it doesn’t contain the same type of saturated fat you find in steak and cheese. Instead, coconut oil contains what’s known as medium chain triglycerides, which are fatty acids of a medium length. What’s unique about this is that a majority of fatty acids are long-chain acids and aren’t metabolized the same way coconut oil’s fatty acids are. Coconut oil acids can be used as energy and as a way to treat Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.
2. You Can Burn More Fat
Not only should you pay attention to how many calories you consume when you’re watching your weight, you should also pay attention to where you get your calories from. Another benefit of the medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil is they can help your body burn more fat by amping up your energy expenditure. Consuming anywhere between 15 and 30 grams of medium chain triglycerides a day allows you to boost your 24-hour energy expenditure by as much as five percent, which roughly translates to about 120 calories a day.
3. Protect Yourself from Infections
About half of the fatty acids found in coconut oil are the 12-carbon lauric acid. When digested, the super oil also creates a monoglyceride called monolaurin. These two compounds are known for killing viruses, bacteria and fungi, any of which can lead to an infection. In fact, both lauric acid and monolaurin have been known to break down a dangerous pathogen called Staphylococcus Aureus.
4. Reduce Your Hunger
How many times have you eaten food that just didn’t seem to make you feel full no matter how much you ate? Rather than waste your money and potentially pack on unnecessary pounds, add a little coconut oil to your recipes. One of the reasons the oil is effective at reducing your hunger is the fatty oils it contains are effective at reducing your appetite. To get the most out of this particular benefit, try consuming coconut oil first thing in the morning.
5. Reduce Seizures
The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are turned into ketone bodies once they’re sent to the liver, which is one reason why the oil is used to treat epileptic patients. Another way medical professionals use coconut oil to reduce seizures is to prescribe epileptic patients a special diet that’s low in carbs and high in fat. This method is also used to treat children with drug-resistant epilepsy.
6. Beneficial to Skin, Hair and Oral Health
In addition to eating coconut oil, you can also use it for cosmetic purposes. Lather some coconut oil onto your dry skin to add lipids and moisture. You can also use coconut oil to repair or prevent damaged hair. Spread some oil on your skin the next time you go to the beach or head out in the hot summer sun. One study showed that coconut oil can protect you from as much as 20% of the sun’s rays.
Coconut oil can also be beneficial in freshening your breath and improving your overall dental health. The oil has been used in a special process known as oil pulling, which is essentially breaking down all of the harmful bacteria in your mouth.
7. Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Another great thing about the saturated fats found in coconut oil is they raise good cholesterol (HDL) and change bad cholesterol (LDL) into a benign subtype. In studies conducted on rats, evidence showed that coconut oil reduces total cholesterol and triglycerides, improves HDL cholesterol and improves antioxidant status and blood coagulation factors. All of these improvements in cardiovascular risk factors can be used as a powerful indication that coconut oil has the potential to lower an individual’s long term risk of heart disease.
As you’re searching for coconut oil, bear in mind you’ll want to get virgin coconut oil, preferably of the organic variety. The PurMEDICA team recommends you check with your local health food store for your first taste of coconut oil.