The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, cholesterol level maintenance, weight loss, boosted immune system, proper digestion and regulated metabolism. It also provides relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, and cancer, while helping to improve dental quality and bone strength. These benefits of oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and their respective properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothing qualities.
Coconut oil has become more mainstream over the past couple of years, but tropical populations have enjoyed the benefits of this powerful oil for centuries. This oil offers so many health benefits, and it can be used in a variety of ways. Coconut oil is 92 percent saturated fat, and 2/3 of this saturated fat is in the form of medium chain fatty acids. This type of fatty acid is used quickly by the body as energy. A powerful component of coconut oil is lauric acid, which has strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
Below are just a few of the many ways you can use coconut oil and improve your health.
1. For your skin.
Coconut oil is a great moisturizer for your skin and boasts many characteristics that help nourish and heal the skin. It has antibacterial properties and can be used as an acne treatment. It’s a much more natural and affordable solution compared to the expensive lotions and procedures that are available. The antioxidant properties of coconut oil help protect the skin from free radical damage caused by the sun. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging.
2. Use as a hair treatment.
Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrients for your hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair and gives your hair a shiny quality.Coconut oil is a great hair treatment and helps improve dry scalp conditions. Coconut oil helps hair retain its natural moisture and makes hair stronger. For an easy, deep-conditioning hair mask, rub a little coconut oil into your scalp and let sit for 5 minutes. Then wash your hair as normal.
3. Cooking and baking.
Coconut oil is a great cooking oil because it’s stable and can withstand high heat. Vegetable oils oxidize quickly and become rancid at high temperatures. Try using coconut oil when sautéing, baking, or roasting. Here in Bali we mostly use coconut oil for cooking. I also use it raw in my raw energy protein balls recipes.
4. Restore and balance your digestion.
Whether you suffer from mild, occasional digestive discomfort, or more severe and chronic digestive problems, consuming coconut oil can help. In addition to the health benefits of coconut oil itself, these fatty acids may also help the body absorb other nutrients as well.
When purchasing coconut oil, make sure you buy organic, cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil.
5. Weight loss
Coconut oil is very useful for weight loss. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. Further, it increases the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby burning more energy and helping obese and overweight people lose the weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who use coconut oil every day as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.
How to use coconut oil?
If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially hair care, just melt the oil (if it is solid) by keeping the bottle in the sun or soaking it in warm water. You can also take some coconut oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame (don’t use a microwave). Then, take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair. If you want to use it for internal consumption, simply replace butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your recipes. Remember, you don’t need to completely switch to coconut oil, because then you will lose the other benefits of more traditional oils and dairy products.
Varieties of Coconut Oil
There are primarily 6 varieties of coconut oil that you will find on the market. These are pure coconut oil, refined coconut oil, organic coconut oil, virgin coconut oil, organic virgin coconut oil and extra virgin coconut oil.
Buying Coconut Oil
Purpose————–Preferable Type to Buy
Cooking————–Refined Coconut Oil
Weight Loss———Virgin Coconut Oil
As a Carrier Oil—–Virgin Coconut Oil,Fractionated Coconut Oil
Good Health———Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Oil
Massaging———–Pure Coconut Oil, Refined Coconut Oil
Hair——————–Pure Coconut Oil, Refined Coconut Oil
Medicinal uses—–Virgin Coconut Oil, Virgin Organic Coconut Oil