1. Improves the Health of Skin and Hair
A natural moisturiser, coconut oil is an excellent choice for moisturising skin and hair. It can be used topically full strength, or mixed with essential oils and other ingredients to make unique blends of skincare or hair products at home. This naturally occurring oil can replace expensive lotions and moisturisers that may be full of chemicals and harsh ingredients that can irritate the skin—and it often does a better job!
Coconut oil mixed with Shea butter can help prevent stretch marks from developing if applied during pregnancy or on a regular basis and can also help reduce the appearance of stretch marks that are already present. It can also be applied to the hair as a deep conditioner to help combat frizz and damage from heat styling or harsh climates.
2. Coconut oil has been proven to increase HDL, which is the good form of cholesterol found in the body.
Increasing the level of good cholesterol in the bloodstream can help balance the negative effects of bad cholesterol, known as LDL. However, because the oil is a saturated fat, some people may experience an increase in LDL when consuming coconut oil, so it is still important to use caution and consult a medical professional if there are any concerns or a family history of heart disease.
3. Improves Mental Clarity
Coconut oil contains MCTs (medium chain triglyceride’s), making it a fairly unique substance because most types of fat contain LCTs (long chain triglyceride’s), MCTs have the ability to increase the ketone level in the brain by increasing blood flow to the area. This can offer immediate improvement when people are struggling to focus, or in cases of mild Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Decreases the Risk of Diabetes and Helps Maintain Stable Blood Sugar
Another benefit of coconut oil, relating to the MCT content, is providing the body the ability to efficiently deal with blood sugar (glucose). It improves insulin resistance or sensitivity as well.
5. Boosts the Immune System
Coconut oil has natural antimicrobial properties and can help the body fight illnesses that may be contracted by a virus or bacteria. It can also help prevent or reduce problems with fungus growth and yeast on, and within, the body.
6. Reduce (and Help Prevent) Signs of Ageing
Coconuts are full of nutrients and antioxidants. Natural, unrefined coconut oil is a good source of these vital substances. The antioxidants found in coconut can help reduce free radical build up, which can slow down, and in some cases reverse the signs of ageing that occur as a result of free radicals. Coconut oil has the ability to slow the oxidation that creates the effects of ageing, actually reducing the need to continually take in antioxidants to fight the effects.
Coconut oil has a higher burning point than many other oils. For example, butter burns and smokes at a very low temperature, making it difficult to use when making stir fry meals or other types of food that require high heat. On the other hand, coconut oil can withstand fairly high temperatures, making it ideal for lightly frying or searing foods without compromising nutritional benefits.
8. Cost Effective Health and Beauty Supplement
Just one jar of natural, unrefined coconut oil can replace many expensive products you may use. It can be used as a makeup remover when applied to the skin and wiped off with a soft cloth, a nutritional supplement with endless possibilities, and a healthy alternative to unhealthy fats while cooking.
9. Soothes Skin Irritations
In addition to being a good moisturiser, coconut oil can help sooth itchy insect bites, heal eczema, and even help treat diaper rash on your little ones! Gently clean the area with a mild cleanser, then apply a thin layer of the oil to help soothe and protect the area. It can be repeated as often as needed because it doesn’t contain any medications or harsh chemicals.
10. A Fat that Fights Fat
It may be counter intuitive, but coconut oil is a unique fat that can actually help combat fat deposits in the human body. Because coconut oil contains medium chain triglyceride’s, rather than long chain, the body metabolize it differently. MCTs are more difficult for the body to convert to fat deposits. Instead, it is sent straight to the liver and converted to energy and ketones, which improve your overall energy level as well as your cognitive function and acts as an appetite suppressant. Coconut is also a mild thermogenic, meaning it increases the body’s calorie burn after it has been consumed.
Ways to Use Coconut Oil
How you use coconut oil will depend on the benefits you want to take advantage of. For skin moisturising, protection, and anti-aging benefits, it should be applied topically. It’s best to apply it to clean, dry skin and a small amount will go a long way. Start out with a small amount, let it sink in, and if you feel like you need a bit more moisture, you can apply more.
For the nutritional benefits of coconut oil, it should be consumed in small amounts on a regular basis. One easy way to get your daily dose of the oil is to replace vegetable or olive oil with coconut oil in your favourite recipes. It offers a light consistency and a refreshing flavour that enhances many foods, especially eggs and vegetables!
Best Kinds of Coconut Oil
As with most things, not all coconut oils are created equally. Many packaged foods contain refined coconut oil, which acts as a flavour booster and preservative. However, to get the most benefits from the oil, it should be unrefined coconut oil—even better if it is organic. Refined coconut oil loses almost all of its nutrient content and becomes just like any other saturated fat in terms of health benefits—meaning there aren’t any. A small amount of coconut oil goes a long way no matter what you are using it for. If you are consuming coconut oil as part of a healthy diet, just one or two teaspoons a day is all you need.
How to Store Coconut Oil
Unlike many oils, coconut oil is solid at room temperature. This doesn’t mean it has gone bad or isn’t real oil. It is easily turned into a liquid by heating it, even body heat can turn the solid coconut oil it a rich, smooth liquid to be applied to the skin. You should keep the oil in a cool, dark place if possible to help make it last. Exposing it to too much light or air can make it spoil more quickly.If you don’t already have some in the cupboard, pick up a jar of unrefined coconut oil next time you do the shopping—you won’t be disappointed!
Richard and Louise hope you enjoyed their blog 10 Benefits of coconut oil. Richard and I have a teaspoon spoon of organic coconut oil every morning before breakfast and I really feel it helps to keep my weight down. As we know coconut oil has numerous other health benefits and one of that is promoting weight loss so that’s why we choose coconut oil for our weight loss menu at Fresh Start Thailand Fitness Boot camp. Please contact us if you would like more information and we promise you that healthy food will never be boring here.