8 Wonderful Benefits of Coconut Oil
by Acacia Jones
Coconut oil may just be one of the best superfoods to ever exist. Not only is it ideal when it comes to cooking healthy and balanced meals, it has tons of benefits that can assist in enhancing overall health and wellness both inside and outside the body.
Why Coconut Oil is a Safer Beauty Alternative
1. Naturally Whitens Teeth
Believe it or not, coconut oil is perfect for achieving a brighter smile. Oil pulling is a holistic practice which first begun in India thousands of years ago. This technique is widely used in helping people effectively whiten their teeth in a natural and safer manner, rather than bleaching which can potentially cause your teeth to decay as well as cause irritation of the gums and sensitivity to your teeth. Lauric acid, a fatty acid found in coconut oil, helps combat and eliminate both plaque and bacteria, huge factors that cause discoloration of the teeth.
2. Boosts Skin Health
If you constantly deal with dry, cracked, or irritated skin, coconut oil is the perfect remedy when wanting to keep your skin soft and moisturized. Caprylic and Lauric acid are fatty acids and are both present in coconut oil. They help to retain moisture in your skin as well as keep inflammation levels down within your body. Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and dandruff can all be relieved from the use of coconut oil, while antioxidants & antimicrobials help to prevent further development of skin problems.
Another added benefit of using coconut oil for your skin is its ability to prevent wrinkles. Coconut oil works to penetrate underlying layers of your skin while increasing the production of collagen. This ultimately strengthens your skin and helps it to remain soft and firm.
3. Promotes Hair Growth
While it may seem odd to add oil to your hair when we naturally secrete oils from our scalp, applying coconut oil to your crown is actually very beneficial. You can speed up the growth of your hair by doing so since coconut oil is the most abundant among MCFA’s or, medium chain fatty acids. It is so rich, that in some cases, it can help to stop the hair from losing its proteins. Because of its structure, coconut oil can successfully penetrate hair strands compared to other oils which usually don’t have the same kind of effect.
Since coconut oil contains a ton of fats, it will help to keep your hair shiny, voluminous, and moisturized. It’s also perfect for treating breakage and amazing when used as a conditioner or during general styling as a styling product. By using the technique of massaging your scalp while applying coconut oil, you are sure to see a difference in the growth of your hair in no time at all.
How Can Coconut Oil Benefit Long-Term Health?
4. Helps Fight Cancer
According to a study conducted at the University of Adelaide, researchers found that Lauric acid helped to terminate over 90% of cancer cells from colon cancer. Coconut oil can also prevent further development of cancers as shown in other studies. Due to the production of ketones, which are triglycerides in coconut oil, during the process of digestion of coconut oil cancer cells do not have the ability to gather energy from the triglycerides. It’s important to note that cancer cells feed off glucose which is sugar, and since coconut oil contains a high level of fat, there is a strong possibility this alone could help destroy the further growth of cancer cells.
There are also studies that have shown that following a ketogenic diet can greatly assist in healing and recovering from cancer. This is because this particular diet is void of processed sugars and carbs, therefore cancer cells will have nothing to feed on which will ultimately cause them to decrease in amount while halting further growth of the cells.
5. Strengthens the Immune System
The presence of coconut oil in the body can help to revitalize and greatly improve the immune system. A great deal of illness and disease comes about due to an excessive amount of bad and unhealthy bacteria as well as viruses, and parasites. Caprylic acid and Lauric acid or both properties found in coconut oil that assists in combatting infections and viruses specifically, bacterial and yeast infections. Once ingested, the body works to change coconut oil into monolaurin which in turn works to protect and fight off viruses and pathogens which include: HIV, influenza, Helicobacter pylori, and Giardia lamblia.
6. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Coconut oil contains a plethora of saturated fats which helps to boost the good cholesterol in your body also known as HDL cholesterol. These saturated fats also help to decrease the amount of LDL also known as bad cholesterol, which collectively helps to reduce the risk of developing disorders such as heart disease. Coconut oil also decreases the number of high triglycerides in the body which if not stable, can lead to increased risk of fatal and non-fatal coronary heart disease.
By incorporating coconut oil into your diet or even replacing it with butter when cooking, you can greatly assist in boosting your overall health and well-being.
7. Keeps You Energized
Once ingested coconut oil works fast to provide your body with a long-lasting supply of energy. Due to MCT’s or medium chain triglycerides within coconut oil, specifically in unrefined or unprocessed coconut oil, it has the ability to absorb quickly into the liver where the oil is then transformed into energy. These fats can also assist in weight loss by burning fat throughout the body.
8. Aids in Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis
According to studies, incorporating coconut oil into your diet can help to both prevent and treat osteoporosis. Because the oil contains antioxidants it has the ability to alter and turn around the physical changes a lack of estrogen can cause in the body. Coconut oil can also help keep the bones strong since it also assists in the absorption of magnesium and calcium, two nutrients that are vital in order to preserve bone strength.
Two main factors that contribute to the development of osteoporosis are free radicals and oxidative stress, which coconut oil has the power to combat, and keep both at bay. One 2012 study not only found that coconut oil assists the gut in drawing in increased amounts of calcium, but it also increased bone volume and structure as well as reduces the loss of bone density.