The use of coconut oil has grown in popularity over the years. It has been discovered that ingesting the oil or using it topically has countless benefits. The benefits are often attributed to its healthy saturated fats such as lauric, caprylic and capric acid. Coconut oil is also composed of linoleic acid, poly-phenols, oleic acid, several essential minerals such as iron, as well as vitamins such as E and K. It is also known to have many anti-fungal, anti- bacterial, anti-parasitic and anti- oxidant properties.
Studies have shown that coconut oil can improve thyroid and heart function, insulin levels and several skin conditions. Whether you choose to ingest coconut oil or use it topically it can provide these additional benefits to your health:
- Promotes weight loss– The medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) contained in coconut oil boosts the metabolism and increases energy.
- Lowers cholesterol– It has been shown that the lauric acid increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood.
- Improves digestion– It supports the absorption of nutrients during the digestive process.
- Improves hair and scalp condition– Coconut oil provides the hair and scalp with optimal hydration. It is often used as a conditioner to repair damaged hair and maintain lustrous locks. It also serves as an effective anti-dandruff agent because of anti –fungal properties.
- Promotes healthy skin– This essential oil can moisturize, treat and soothe dry skin. It is rich in vitamin E which prevents premature aging and wrinkling. Coconut oil is sometimes used in the treatment of eczema, acne and psoriasis.
- Improves Immunity- Lauric and caprylic acid contains anti-viral properties and anti- bacterial properties which can help in strengthening the immune system.
There are several forms of coconut oil available for purchase; however, experts highly recommend the use of fresh-pressed virgin coconut oil because it is the least refined, is extracted from fresh coconuts and is of a higher quality. It is also easy to digest.
Be sure to talk to your physician about adding coconut oil to your daily diet or applying it on your body.