Coconut oil has become very popular in alternative health circles, despite the fact that for many years it was considered a “bad” fat due to its high saturated fat content. It turns out that the saturated fat in coconut oil is not the same as the saturated fat in other oils and coconut oil has some amazing health benefits.
Coconut is rich in medium-chain fatty acids which cannot be stored in the body. Instead they get broken down and are used for energy production. The MCFAs found in coconut oil are lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. All of the early studies that found negative effects of coconut oil on cholesterol levels were done with partially hydrogenated coconut oil, whereas unprocessed, virgin coconut oil appears to have positive health effects.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil Health Benefit #1 – Immune System Support
Consuming coconut oil may help to fight off disease and illness thanks to its antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. If you're battling any kind of virus or infection, try taking coconut oil.
Coconut Oil Health Benefit #2 – Cardiovascular Health
Although coconut oil is a saturated fat, several studies have found that eating virgin coconut oil does not have adverse effects upon the heart. On the contrary, it appears to reduce the risk of high cholesterol and heart attack. Earlier studies done on coconut oil that found it caused high cholesterol were done using partially hydrogenated coconut oil and not virgin coconut oil and the studies were done on animals, not humans.
Coconut Oil Health Benefit #3 – Thyroid Support
Many people believe that consuming virgin coconut oil can help with the symptoms of hypothyroidism. While scientific evidence is conflicting in this regard, many people with hypothyroidism have successfully improved or even reversed their hypothyroidism and have been able to stop taking thyroid medication. It is important to consult with your doctor before stopping any medications.
Coconut Oil Health Benefit #4 – Weight Loss
One study found that women who took virgin coconut oil every day had a significant reduction in abdominal fat. Even though coconut oil is a type of fat, it may actually help you to lose weight because it contains medium chain fatty acids rather than long chain fatty acids. The body uses coconut oil for energy and does not store much of it as fat. In this way, it helps to boost the metabolism.
Coconut Oil Health Benefit #5 – Staph Fighter
When applied to wounds and sores, virgin coconut oil may prevent further staph infection. One study found that virgin coconut oil was beneficial in the treatment of atopic dematitis that was colonized with Staphylococcus aureus.
Coconut Oil Health Benefit #6 – Wound Healing
Wounds treated with virgin coconut oil have been found to heal faster and showed higher collagen cross-linking.
Coconut Oil Health Benefit #7 – Stretch Mark Prevention
In Asia, coconut oil is commonly used to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Already have stretch marks? Women have also found that applying coconut oil to stretch marks after they have formed diminishes and lightens the stretch marks appearance.
Coconut Oil Health Benefit #8 – Skin Benefits
Moisturizing your skin is the key to keeping it youthful and healthy and coconut oil can be used in place of lotion for a healthier moisturizer. When coconut oil is used, it also helps to fight bacteria and other skin problems including rashes, dermatitis, acne, wrinkles, eczema, and psoriasis. If you have an area of skin that is irritated, rub coconut oil on the skin to soothe the inflammation and reduce the symptoms.
Coconut Oil Health Benefit #9 – Healthy Hair
Coconut oil can be used to improve the health of your scalp and hair. One way it helps is by strengthening the strands and reducing protein loss during washing. Try applying a little bit of coconut oil on your hair to brush out tangles or massage a tiny bit on coconut oil on the scalp for a silky, strong, head of hair.
Coconut Oil Health Benefit #10 – Digestive System
Coconut oil has been found by many people to be beneficial for digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and indigestion. Coconut oil fights unhealthy bacteria in the digestive system and it also assists in nutrient absorption within the body.
More About the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
- Top 10 Evidence Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil from Authority Nutrition
- Countless Coconut Oil Uses and Health Benefits from Dr. Mercola
- 1o1 Uses For Coconut Oil from Wellness Mama
- The Amazing Healing Powers of Coconut Oil from Holistic Health Naturally
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil Recommended Reading
Dr. Bruce Fife is widely recognized as one of the leading authorities on the health benefits of coconut oil. This newest edition of The Coconut Oil Miracle is updated with crucial information, including the latest studies on links between coconut oil and benefits relating to heart function, Alzheimer’s prevention, bodily detoxification, weight loss, and many other hot topics.