Benefits of Coconut Oil for Your Health

We are constantly being fed rumors about the latest fad supplement that is totally going to turn our health around. However, coconut oil is showing up time and again to be immensely effective in all kinds of areas. Coconut-And-Organic-Coconut-OilOnly rather recently have we discovered the uses and advantages to supplementing our diets with coconut oil, but it just keeps proving its worth as we continue to use it and observe even more qualities.

To start with the basics, coconut oil is an unbelievably helpful agent in the realms of hair care, heart diseases, skin care, weight loss, immunity, digestion, infections, and the healing process.

Hair Care

Coconut oil’s greatest contribution to the hair on our heads is its prevention of protein loss. When our hair loses too much protein, it becomes unhealthy and unattractive. Keeping those proteins intact, coconut oil works to thoroughly condition the hair, keeping it healthy and shiny, as well as aiding damaged hair in its regrowth and protecting it from further damage. Not only that, but even dandruff can be prevented with the regular topical use of coconut oil. Massaging the oil into your scalp on a regular basis will prevent flaking, even with the driest of scalps. This regular maintenance will also prevent lice and lice eggs from finding their way to your head (2).

Heart Diseases

Despite the fact that coconut oil contains a large amount of saturated fats, this substance is actually extremely beneficial when it comes to heart health. Unlike in vegetable oils, the saturated fats in coconut oil are not harmful. They do not lead to increased levels of bad cholesterol or high blood pressure. Instead, they fight these and help maintain artery health, protecting the heart from injury and ultimately therefore diseases like atherosclerosis (2).

Skin Care

Another topical use for coconut oil is in skin care. Used effectively as massage oil, coconut oil is like mineral oil when it comes to its benefits for the skin. However, the benefit coconut oil has over mineral oil is that there are no risky side effects that come with it. Instead, it is a reliable solution to dry, flaking skin and similar skin problems like psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema. It even helps delay wrinkles and sagging skin as you age, thanks to its natural antioxidants. Using soaps, lotions, and other body care products with coconut oil as the foundational ingredient is an easy way to include it in your daily skin care regimen, as recommended (2).

Weight Loss

Easy to incorporate into our diets and even easier to digest, coconut oil’s short and medium-chain fatty acids help rid the body of extra weight. Helping to maintain the health of the thyroid and endocrine system, while also working to increase metabolic rate, the regular consumption of coconut oil is an exceptional aid for overweight and obese people. Using it as the primary cooking oil is the most convenient way to incorporate coconut oil into the diet and help maintain a healthy weight (2).

Immunity

Antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid are all components of coconut oil that help the body in its constant battle against oncoming germs and bacteria. Containing 50% lauric acid, coconut oil’s presence in the body serves as extra ammunition in fighting off the viruses and bacteria that cause herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and HIV (2).

Digestion

As previously mentioned, coconut oil is extremely easy to digest. But it doesn’t stop there. It keeps working to better the overall health of the entire digestive system. The saturated fats that people automatically fear are actually the direct source of these healthy digestive properties, fighting off bacteria, parasites, and fungi that ultimately lead to digestive problems. They also help the body to more effectively absorb other nutrients, minerals, and amino acids vital to our health (2).

Infections & The Healing Process

Arguably the best and most useful part of the topical application of coconut oil is the fact that, upon application to infected areas on the skin, it forms a protective chemical layer over the infection, preventing the entrance of dust, air, fungi, and various bacteria and viruses into the blood stream. Viruses leading to ulcers, throat and urinary tract infections, pneumonia, gonorrhea, influenza, measles, hepatitis, and herpes are all fighting a losing battle against the healing powers of coconut oil (2).

A Cure For Autism?

As if coconut oil didn’t already have enough going for it, a recent discovery has found coconut oil to be a potential cure for autism, as it has been found to substantially eliminate the telltale symptoms. The exceptional improvements in the brain functioning of 7-year-old Homer, an autistic boy, gives us an even deeper look into the true potential coconut oil provides for our wellbeing.

Having watched her son battle the restrictions and complications of autism for seven years, Homer’s mother decided to give coconut oil a try as at least a helpful supplement. She was blown away by the extent of improvement it brought upon her son’s health. She gave it to him every day, up to three times a day, and within two months, his echolalia (meaning repetition of spoken words, symptomatic of autism and other psychiatric disorders) was gone. After years of being unable to do so, he could finally also read and write clearly, express his own ideas and emotions, develop real friendships, and enroll and even excel in the regular academic classes. He was on no special diet – simply the addition of coconut oil brought about these massive changes.

So how in the world is coconut oil able to do this? It all boils down to much of the benefits already discussed. All the benefits it offers in terms of digestion and immunity combine to keep the intestinal walls bacteria-free and at healthy, appropriate levels of microbial content. Fighting off the bad bacteria and keeping in the good, the components of coconut oil allow for a clear digestive tract that promotes nutrient absorption and adequate access of these nutrients to the brain.

Another key reason for coconut oil’s effectiveness in the treatment of autism is its ketone content. Autistic children tend to abnormally metabolize glucose, which is detrimental to their bodies because the brain requires glucose for proper functioning. With the presence of excessive free radicals and inflammation characteristic of autism, brain cells will have no choice but to degenerate and therefore cause mental dysfunction.

The key with ketones here is that they are the brain’s source of energy when the blood contains low glucose levels. It is a last-resort energy source for the brain, but it is actually much more potent and effective. Though the brains of autistic children combat a defect in glucose metabolism, this doesn’t occur with ketones. Therefore, these ketones being supplemented to the body act as a superfuel, providing the brain with enough energy to make up for the lack it would have otherwise. The ketones also conveniently trigger the function of what are called brain-derived neurotrophic factors that promote brain cell maintenance, repair, and protection, as well as relieve oxidative stress and inflammation to ultimately stimulate brain cell growth and restore mental function (1).

Wrap-Up

Simply cooking with coconut oil is the best way to implement these beneficial elements, improve your health, and even reverse symptoms of psychiatric disorders. To reap the most benefits, it is suggested to maintain a low-carb diet complete with fresh meat, eggs, fish, and veggies, supplemented with the regular consumption of coconut oil.

There is no denying that coconut oil has its fair share of advantages and benefits and seems to lack any adverse side-effects or disadvantages. However, any major diet changes or concerns should always first be taken up with your doctor.

References (click to show/hide)

  1. Fife, Bruce, N.D. "Coconut Ketones: Fueling Brain Function & Reversing Autism." Well Being Journal 21.5 (2012): 24-28. Web.
  2. Health Benefits of Coconut Oil | Organic Facts." Organic Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 June 2014. http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html.

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