Although the well-known and commonly used benefit of coconut oil is in cooking, the more important ones are its health benefits.
The recent craze, however, has been around the old and traditional uses of this oil, especially in oral health and hygiene.
The real advantages of using coconut oil though, are in its health benefits. It is a very nutritious food that contains a couple of fatty acids and medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which have antioxidant properties.
Additionally, the three MCFAs (Caprylic, Lauric and Capric acids) take a short time to digest and thus, are not readily stored as fat. With such properties, comes a lot of health benefits, and these are explained below.
Btw, if you don’t know, coconut oil is the same as copra oil.
Here is our list of the health benefits of coconut oil that you’ll surely want to know more of.
1. Coconut Oil Is Good For Your Kidneys And Liver
Coconut oil has been used to treat symptoms of urinary tract infections and kidney infections.
It would seem that the MCFAs work as a natural antibiotic that’s lethal to the bacteria that causes the infections.
Coconut oil may also be good for your liver. In a study conducted in albino rats, they noticed that coconut oil was able to protect them from liver damage.
2. Prevents High Blood Pressure And Heart Diseases
A big percentage of coconut oils consist of natural saturated fats, which raise healthy cholesterol levels (HDL cholesterol) in your body.
According to experts, an increase in healthy cholesterols in the body is better than the boost of total cholesterol, and this ultimately leads to a healthier heart by opening up the arteries for better blood flow.
This also helps prevent high blood pressure because the blood will flow uninterrupted.
Additionally, the healthy HDL cholesterol helps in converting the bad cholesterol (LDL) to good cholesterol and thus, improves the health of the heart.
3. Coconut Oil Boosts Your Immune System
Coconut oil can help improve your body’s immune system against different kinds of diseases.
Coconut oil appears to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral qualities which greatly improves your chances of getting sick.
It can also improve your rate of recovery if you are already sick.
A more specific example is the presence of lauric acid in coconut oil. It’s able to help out in fighting bacteria, fungal infections, and creates a hostile environment for viruses.
4. Reduces The Chances Of Arthritis And Inflammation Occurrence
The antioxidant property in coconut oil is very useful in reducing inflammation in case of an injury.
These same antioxidants can be very helpful in treating arthritis by basically reducing the inflammation around the joints.
Mangosteen is another superfood besides coconut that can help you with your arthritis issues. You can learn more about the effects of mangosteen on arthritis here.
5. Coconut Oil Helps Prevent Osteoporosis
Coconut oil has antioxidants that are effective against free radicals and oxidative stress which can cause osteoporosis.
It’s even said that coconut oil helps in the absorption of calcium.
Further research conducted on rats has shown that it can simultaneously increase bone volume while decreasing bone loss.
6. Coconut Oil May Promote Better Brain Functioning
In terms of coconut oil for health, this is arguably the best benefit that it can give you.
Since the oil is easier to digest and takes a shorter time to do so, it can be used as an alternative source of power to keep the brain up and running.
According to certain reports, neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s cause the brain to lose the ability to make its own insulin and also blocks its glucose uptake.
This deprives it of the required energy to function and can be very fatal.
However, since the MCFAs in coconut oil are easily digested, they are converted into ketones by the liver, and these are easily accepted by the brain as an alternative source of energy.
Therefore, coconut oil can help repair certain brain functions by keeping it energized at all times.
7. Coconut Oil May Help Manage Diabetes
Your pancreas produces more insulin when your body doesn’t respond to insulin and no longer uses glucose for energy.
This can result to overproduction which can develop insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is considered to be a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
This is where coconut oil may be able to help. Its MCFAs can help with your digestive process as well as balance your insulin reactions. You can check more of this study here.
This means that it can reduce the strain from your pancreas from producing more insulin as it gives your body a consistent energy source that’s not reliant on glucose reactions alone.
8. May Prevent And Treat Cancer
Coconut oil helps fight cancer in two ways. First, since it is converted to ketones by the liver, it starves cancerous cells because they can only feed on glucose.
Therefore, by adopting a coconut oil-based diet, you could prevent or reduce the growth of tumor cells.
Second, MCFAs tend to digest the lipid walls of bacteria, which improves your immune system and, in the process, also kills the Helicobacter pylori bacteria that is known to increase the chances of stomach cancer occurrence.
9. Coconut Oil Is Good For Your Hair
Coconut oil has been traditionally used to treat dandruff as well as promote thicker hair.
There are even commercial shampoos and conditioners that use coconut oil as part of their ingredients.
This can probably be attributed to the presence of fatty acids.
10. Improves Stamina
Apart from being easy to digest, the fatty acids in coconut oil produce longer and sustained energy as compared to glucose, and this means that you get bursts of energy that last for longer periods of time.
The oil also increases the rate of metabolism in the body as the MCFAs are sent directly to the liver and converted to energy. This leaves your body having more energy just a few minutes after taking in this fuel.
11. Coconut Oil Helps Relieve Stress
There is a study conducted in mice that showed coconut oil to have antistress effects.
It seems that it can reduce some stress from chronic cold and exercise.
Coconut oil has also been used to treat some kinds of depression.
12. Improves Digestion
As an easily digestible fat, coconut oil also aids in quickening the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble calcium, magnesium, and vitamins into the body.
Additionally, it can make nutrients such as those in omega 3 acids to be more effective, and thus, you should make a point of mixing these up for better results health-wise.
13. Coconut Oil Promotes Weight Loss
As stated earlier, the MCFAs in the oil increases the rate of metabolism, more specifically by reducing stress on the pancreas.
Instead, they are sent to the liver for a quick break down and conversion into energy and in the process burns more fats in your body. This helps you lose weight.
Furthermore, since the oil is preferentially used up, it is not converted to fat and stored up in the body as fat reserves.
On top of this, the ketones produced after breaking down coconut oil give you longer bursts of energy or stamina, and this lowers your appetite, which in turn reduces your food intake and therefore, your body gets less excess food to convert into fat.
14. Is Good For Skin Care
Topically, coconut oil is also very beneficial to the skin. It can be used to moisturize, reduce inflammation, and minimize aging by reducing tissue damage as a result of its antioxidant properties.
With continued application, this oil will keep your skin smooth, tender, and young.
15. Coconut Oil Is Good For Oral Hygiene
Being an antibacterial oil, why not use it to clean your mouth? By simply swishing the oil around your tongue and teeth, you can kill or denature a lot of bacteria, and this could help you maintain proper oral hygiene.
This benefit is actually not newly discovered. Coconut oil has been used for a long time as a mouth cleanser because it has a very high concentration of MCFAs that are antibacterial, and is known to heal periodontal disease.
Therefore, it is a good option to consider for tooth and gum maintenance and repair.
16. Slows Down The Aging Process
If the antioxidant MCFAs can help prevent tissue damage and aging on the skin, then they can also do the same inside the body.
According to a number of reports, coconut oil reduces stress on the liver by lowering its oxidative stress and this slows down its aging process.
According to the same reports, the oil may also detoxify the liver, which then leaves it clean and as good as new.
Well, is coconut oil good for health or not? If you had any doubts about it, then the benefits explained above should answer that question for you.
It is certainly something worth using every day because, apart from these benefits, there are many more that keep popping up after scientific studies, and thus, it is highly recommended for healthy living.
The one on the list of health benefits of coconut oil that I like is that it’s useful for my arthritis condition. How about you?
Is coconut oil or coconut part of your healthy living too?
Just to be safe and sure, please ask first your doctor or medical professional if it’s ok for you to consume or use coconut oil.
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