Who doesn’t love the taste of coconut? I know I do. But, did you know that the oil extracted from coconuts can be very beneficial to your health?
The benefits of coconut oil range from helping you lose weight, improving your digestion and circulation, preventing infections, lowering your cholesterol levels, and even soothing your sunburn.
Covered In This Article
- What Is Coconut Oil?
- A Functional Food
- What Are The Benefits Of Coconut Oil?
- Coconut Oil Helps You Lose Weight
- Protects Your Skin From Sun Damage
- Great For Cooking
- As A Replacement For Butter
- Replacing Body Lotion
- Improves Digestion
- Increases Your Energy Levels
- Strengthens Your Immune System
- Can Help Reduce Fatigue
- Helps You Maintain Lean Muscle
- Reducing Inflammation
- Prevents Premature Aging
- Can Be Used As A Massage Oil
- Improves Memory
- Virgin Coconut Oil Vs. Refined Coconut Oil
What Is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil (also known as copra oil) is a natural vegetable oil produced from the fruit of the coconut palm. It’s available in both liquid and solid form, depending on its production method, and it has a wide variety of uses.
Coconut oil contains high amounts of saturated fats and medium-chain fatty acids that makes it more stable and less likely to go rancid than other oils.
A Functional Food
Coconut oil is a “functional food” that can be eaten as a part of a balanced diet or may even offer health benefits.
In the skincare industry, it is used in products intended to moisturize and protect both skin and hair from damage due to sun exposure and the environment.
The Fatty Acids In Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a highly concentrated source of saturated fats that are predominantly medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
These are easier to digest than other types of fat and promote healthy digestion. They provide an energy source for the body because they are broken down more quickly than long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs).
What Are The Benefits Of Coconut Oil?
Here we take a look at 13 different ways in which coconut oil can improve different aspects of your life:
Coconut Oil Helps You Lose Weight
If you’re trying to lose weight with the keto diet, then coconut oil might be helpful! Most of the fat in coconut oil is a saturated fat called lauric acid – which has been proven to increase metabolism and help prevent body fat accumulation.
Its fatty acids are easy for your body to digest due to their low molecular size – this way it doesn’t accumulate into adipose tissues (bodyfat) which cause unsightly cellulite that makes people look pudgy/fat.
How Does Coconut Oil Help You Lose Weight?
Coconut oil is a rich source of saturated fats that are metabolized differently from other types of fat.
While most dietary fat is stored in adipose tissue, which can lead to weight gain, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil are rapidly burned by the liver for energy and may actually encourage weight loss.
What is so special about MCTs? The main type of fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that can be immediately used by the body for energy production.
Each lauric acid molecule contains a long chain of 12 carbon atoms with a short hydrophilic head, making it easy for the body to absorb and capable of passing from the intestines to the blood without needing to be broken down in the liver.
This is why coconut oil can help you lose weight – MCTs are processed by your liver and provide a quick source of energy, stimulating your metabolism and promoting fat burning.
In addition, the liver breaks down MCTs into ketones, which are then released into the bloodstream where they can be used by your body for energy, reducing your appetite and cravings.
Coconut oil uses for weight loss also include improved food digestion, steady blood sugar levels, and increased thyroid function.
Leptin is a hormone that helps regulate energy levels. It acts as your body’s appetite suppressant and signals your brain when to burn fat for energy.
Coconut oil strengthens the Leptin receptors within cells, triggering them to release that stored fat so you can use it up as fuel. This boosts metabolism and reduces the chances of putting on weight.
Coconut oil works for appetite control by preventing sugar cravings and curbing your appetite.
It triggers a satiating effect in the body so you won’t feel hungry the entire day.
The fat in coconut oil is very filling and will keep you from feeling deprived of food.
This is why it’s one of the best foods to eat while on a diet – it’ll prevent cravings which can ruin your plans for a slimmer you.
It can also help prevent fat storage by balancing the body’s metabolism, which results in a slimmer waistline & less risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Protects Your Skin From Sun Damage
People nowadays know how important it is to protect themselves from the sun, which means wearing sunscreen or getting a tan slowly by sunbathing in the shade.
However, besides these things, people should also apply some coconut oil before going out since it protects UV rays too!
Coconut oil is the only natural substance that’s able to protect your skin against sun damage, so people with sensitive skin should use it daily since they can’t use other products.
How Does Coconut Oil Protect Your Skin?
You can’t just use any type of coconut oil, you should find one that’s organic with extra virgin coconut oil and cold-pressed. Don’t worry about the taste since it has no scent and is not greasy like other oils – it feels like a cream on your skin.
Coconut oil’s protection against sun damage is due to its antioxidant content, especially vitamin E and phenolic compounds which are also found in green tea. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that inhibits lipid peroxidation of the skin cells.
It can absorb dangerous UV rays before they have a chance to accumulate within the body, protecting your skin from the sun.
Coconut oil contains 5 times more vitamin E than almond oil, making it beneficial for preventing oxidative stress caused by free radicals that contribute to oxidative damage in the cells – this way you prevent aging of your skin and keep it healthy.
Great For Cooking
A lot of people like eating coconut oil by itself or mixing it with smoothies. However, it’s great for cooking too.
High Smoke Point
Coconut oil has a high smoke point – 350 degrees Fahrenheit means you can use coconut oil for frying, sauteing, or baking without worrying about the product being damaged.
The majority of coconut oil is made up of saturated fats, making it more stable at high temperatures. This means you can cook with coconut oil over a very wide range of temperatures.
Cooking with coconut oil is a healthy way to maintain your body’s good cholesterol and strengthen the immune system.
It also tastes great! You can use it as a spread or to fry foods from meats, fat burning fibrous vegetables, and fish.
As A Replacement For Butter
To replace ordinary butter, you can simply use coconut oil instead! It contains healthy medium-chain fatty acids, which are beneficial to your health.
You can spread it over bread and use it as a replacement for butter since it tastes great too!
Coconut oil is incredibly easy to substitute for any recipes that you’re used to using butter in.
It’s also great for your bones and teeth – it contains high levels of lauric acid, which is why it can be used as an effective preventive measure against tooth decay.
Coconut oil can also be used on popcorn, or oatmeal to give them a fresh taste and a creamy texture.
Replacing Body Lotion
Instead of buying expensive body lotions or paying a visit to a local spa, why don’t you try using coconut oil?
Just rub some oil on your skin after showering and massage them – this will leave your skin feeling silky smooth without the greasy feel from regular lotions/oils.
Helps Dry Skin
In addition, it soothes dry skin as well as various skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
Pure, unrefined coconut oil is perfect for dry skin. It offers long-lasting hydration and may also be beneficial for other skin types as well because it does not clog pores or cause breakouts like other moisturizing products might.
Coconut oil’s antimicrobial properties make it a safe and effective treatment for acne and other skin conditions without the use of synthetic chemicals or drugs.
Coconut oil is also beneficial for soothing sunburns. Due to its chemical composition, particularly its high amount of saturated fats and medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), coconut oil penetrates deep into the layers of the skin to moisturize from within.
Great For Your Hair
It’s also great for hair! You can use coconut oil in place of your regular hair products, whether they are conditioner or shampoo.
Coconut oil makes hair shiny and smooth. It strengthens the roots while nourishing split ends.
Massage the oil into your scalp and leave it on overnight – wash your hair in the morning with a gentle shampoo. This will remove all dirt and impurities while moisturizing your scalp at the same time.
According to research, coconut oil helps with relieving symptoms caused by ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease – within just two weeks of using this natural substance daily.
Absorb Antioxidants From Vegetables
People who had these digestive issues were able to see significant improvements. It eases bowel movements and also helps absorb antioxidants from various vegetables/foods you eat throughout the day.
Coconut oil also helps improve the body’s ability to absorb important vitamins such as A, D, E & K2 (fat-soluble vitamins).
These are important since they can’t be stored in the body for too long so it’s important to get them from food or supplements.
The vitamins are essential for supporting blood, skin, bones & teeth health!
Stimulates Your Body’s Digestive Enzymes
Adding coconut oil to your meals also helps stimulate your body’s digestive enzymes, which makes it easier for you to absorb the nutrients from the foods that you eat.
Gets Rid Of Heartburn
Coconut oil can also help relieve heartburn pain and other acid reflux problems. It may be a better alternative than some over-the-counter drugs or even prescription medications.
It has anti-inflammatory effects and contains a high level of lauric acid. This substance can kill stomach infection-causing bacteria so you won’t have to suffer from indigestion, which is often associated with heartburn or acid reflux.
Increases Your Energy Levels
Coconut oil contains lots of healthy fats which provide long-lasting energy for the body to use.
Instead of turning carbs into sugar (glucose) which is the body’s quick source of energy, you’re using its stored fats for this process!
These fats are contained in coconut oil and can’t be burnt off easily. It is used more efficiently by the body for a longer period, avoiding the sugar-high/crash cycle which is so common with simple carbohydrates or processed sugars.
This will give you lasting energy throughout the day so that you won’t feel sleepy after an hour or so.
You can get more energy from coconut oil by using it as a pre-workout source of calories. Taking coconut oil about 30 minutes before hitting the gym will help give you that energy boost that you need to get through tough workouts!
Strengthens Your Immune System
Due to its high level of antioxidants, coconut oil can strengthen your immune system and help prevent diseases before they start.
The fatty acids help to prevent bacteria, fungi, and viruses from growing inside the body by impairing their cellular structures.
At the same time, it enhances your own body’s resistance towards infections/diseases too since it increases blood flow through the lymphatic system which fights against foreign invaders.
Coconut oil’s antimicrobial properties also help with relieving common cold/sore throat symptoms, upset stomach issues, yeast infections, and even gum disease.
Stress causes the body’s sebaceous glands to work overtime, producing more oil to keep your skin moisturized. This can lead to acne breakouts, which are often worsened by excess sebum production – coconut oil helps control it.
Can Help Reduce Fatigue
Coconut oil contains lots of lauric acid which helps penetrate the mitochondria and allows for improved production of energy within cells.
It also boosts the body’s metabolic rate and alleviates tiredness.
This is when your body can boost its natural immunity, improve digestion & increase your overall energy levels instead of feeling all worn out throughout the day.
When you’re feeling tired, unfocused, and weak – it means your body is lacking in fuel so you need to take a break and give yourself some time to rest.
Coconut oil can help trigger your body’s natural responses to make you feel more refreshed and ready for the day ahead!
Helps You Maintain Lean Muscle
It also helps with building muscles by providing you with enough energy so that you can exercise for longer periods – this way you’ll be able to build more muscle tissue which boosts metabolism & decreases chances of getting fat in the future.
When you have more lean muscle, you burn more calories throughout the day- even while you’re kicking back watching TV.
Coconut oil is calorie-dense, providing your body with 400 calories per tablespoon. Many people who are counting their daily calorie intake will use coconut oil to boost their caloric intake in order to meet their daily calorie quota.
It is still calorie-dense & you should take note of how much you’re taking in when using it in your diet plan – ensure that you don’t exceed your daily limit.
If you notice that your weight is creeping up after a certain period, it might be a good idea to cut back on your coconut oil intake.
Another one of its amazing benefits is how it reduces swelling or inflammation that happens throughout the body due to allergies or injuries.
Its fatty acids help inhibit prostaglandins production which triggers pain/inflammation.
Plus, it also reduces blood pressure because of its potassium content (many people are deficient in this mineral) which is another natural way to prevent pain & improve blood flow.
Prevents Premature Aging
Coconut oil can help protect you from the effects of aging as well.
Its antioxidants help slow down free radical damage that speeds up the aging process by causing wrinkles and age spots on the skin; plus even helps your brain stay young since it prevents protein glycation there too!
Coconut oil will also help you maintain a naturally healthy and youthful appearance, preventing dryness and flaking – instead of leaving your skin silky smooth & hydrated.
You should always use high-quality virgin coconut oil to maximize its benefits and be able to enjoy all these amazing uses for the body!
Can Be Used As A Massage Oil
As we’ve discussed, coconut oil is great for your skin, and it’s especially when applied topically.
People love using coconut oil before and after exercising because it has excellent benefits for the joints and muscles.
It’s full of antioxidants and proteins that your body absorbs quickly without becoming greasy. Coconut oil is also great as massage oil since it’s not sticky at all and provides extra moisture to your skin.
Coconut oil contains capric acid and lauric acid, which can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain caused by arthritis and other joint problems.
Coconut oil is loaded with healthy fats which are known to improve memory. These fats are the same ones found in salmon, avocado, and nuts.
Its MCTs are also great to improve brain function, memory, and concentration.
Coconut oil is known to protect the brain from diseases that lead to memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s – all of which are age-related.
Virgin Coconut Oil Vs. Refined Coconut Oil
Which is the best, most nutritious choice?
The short answer to this question is that virgin coconut oil is far superior compared to refined coconut oil.
A big part of refining any food, including both the fat and protein content, is involving high heat. This means during refining some valuable nutrients are lost in the process.
Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin Coconut Oil is derived from fresh coconuts, either by cold-pressing the meat or filtering the milk.
- Cold press means that no heat will be applied to the coconuts in order to extract the coconut oil. This keeps the valuable nutrients intact in the virgin coconut oil.
- The milk can be filtered without applying heat. This process is known as wet-milling coconut milk to produce coconut milk powder. Once again this keeps the valuable nutrients intact in virgin coconut oil.
Refined Coconut Oil
Refined Coconut Oil, on the other hand, has gone through a high heat processing method during which some of the most important nutrients are lost or damaged.
The two main processes of refining are called RBD (refined, bleached, and deodorized) and FFA (free fatty acid).
- Most refined coconut oils will be processed using the high heat method of processing which is known as RBD. This uses chemicals such as hexane to extract its oil from the coconuts. It is then cleaned with a petroleum-based solvent and cottonseed oil to remove the smell of the coconuts.
- Free fatty acid involves processing coconut oil with solvents at extremely high temperatures, usually higher than 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This process will burn away some valuable nutrients in the fats. In addition, it may produce toxic substances such as Acrolein which has been demonstrated to cause cancer in animal studies.
If you are looking for a product that will help improve your appearance and also protect the health of your brain, then look no further than coconut oil.
Coconut oil contains capric acid and lauric acid, which can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain caused by arthritis and other joint problems. Its MCTs are also great to improve brain function, memory, and concentration.
Virgin coconut oil is far superior compared to refined coconut oil because it keeps valuable nutrients intact in the process of extracting oils from coconuts without applying any heat whatsoever.