Amazing Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut oil benefits and uses go beyond what most people realize.To date, there are over 1,500 studies proving coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.”
Its benefits include weight loss, better brain function, skin health and many more.The oil is used not just in tropical countries, where coconut plantations are abundant, but also in the US and the UK.
People are discovering the wonders this oil can create and it is again gaining popularity throughout the world. Let us see how many of these benefits you are aware of.
Eating Coconut Oil Helps You Lose Weight
Coconut oil for weight loss is the best fat to choose, due to the plethora of healthy medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCTs) that boost metabolism for immediate energy. As a bonus, the MCTs in coconut oil don’t end up as stored body fat like longer chain fatty acids sometimes can.
Countries that consume high amounts of coconut and coconut oil in their diets such as the Philippines, India, and the Pacific Islands have significantly fewer cases of heart disease and obesity clearly disproving any agenda driven smear campaign against this marvelously healthy oil!
Supermodels are already onto the coconut oil for weight loss secret. Australian beauty Miranda Kerr has been using coconut oil for years to maintain her enviable figure and won’t go anywhere without it!
Proven Alzheimer’s Disease Natural Treatment
The digestion of MCFA’s by the liver creates ketones which are a readily accessible energy by the brain. Ketones supply energy to the brain without the need of insulin to process glucose into energy.
Recent research has shown that the brain actually creates it’s own insulin to process glucose and power brain cells. As the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient has lost the ability to create it’s own insulin, the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to help repair brain function.
It Increases Your Ability To Build Muscle
In addition to facilitating weight-loss, coconut oil provides long-lasting energy. As such, eating a spoonful of coconut oil before heading to the gym can help get you through that difficult workout. Not only will you experience increased endurance, but you’ll also get better blood flow to your muscles. It’s a winning combination!
Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL) in your body, but also help to convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols.
By Increasing the HDL’s in the body, it helps promote heart health, and lower the risk of heart disease.
It Naturally Curbs Unhealthy Cravings
Cutting back on ‘junk’ food doesn’t just help you to lose weight. It also improves many other aspects of your health. Just a few of these include balanced blood-sugar, blood-pressure and cholesterol levels; healthier hormone production; more efficient liver and kidney function; improved mental capabilities; and a cleaner complexion.
As previously mentioned, eating coconut oil helps to curb unhealthy cravings naturally. It does this by improving digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as by boosting metabolism and energy levels.
Populations That Eat a Lot of Coconut Oil Are Healthy
Coconut is an exotic food in the Western world, primarily consumed by health conscious people.However, in some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.The best example of such a population is the Tokelauans, which live in the South Pacific.They eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world.These people are in great health, with no evidence of heart disease.
Another example of a population that eats a lot of coconut and remains in excellent health is the Kitavans.
Eating Coconut Oil Improves Digestion
We already mentioned that eating coconut oil is a great way to improve your digestion. This effect happens for several reasons.
First, coconut oil helps eliminate overgrowth of harmful bacteria and other microbes which may be present in your digestive tract. These parasitic microorganisms are a leading cause of poor digestion – a condition which can seriously damage many other aspects of your health.
Additionally, coconut oil facilitates better absorption of the vitamins and minerals in other foods you eat. Some notable examples are calcium and magnesium, as well as fat-soluble vitamins A and E.
Eating coconut oil also reduces inflammation in the gut which may be caused by food sensitivities or other dietary problems. If left untreated, this inflammation can lead to more serious digestive disorders such as nutrient deficiencies or Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Cures UTI and Kidney Infection & Protects the Liver
Coconut oil has been known to clear up and heal urinary (UTI) and kidney infections. The MCFA’s in the oil work as a natural antibiotic by disrupting the lipid coating on bacteria and killing them. Also there is a study showing that coconut oil directly protected the liver from damage.
Coconut water also helps hydrate and support the healing process. Doctors have even injected the coconut water to clear up kidney stones. Coconut is a super powerful food!
Coconut Oil Can Help You Burn More Fat
Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world.
While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others (myself included) believe that the sources of those calories are important too.It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is not a calorie.
The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase how many calories you burn compared to the same amount of other fats.One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day.
Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis
In a study in India, the high levels of antioxidants present in virgin coconut oil reduced inflammation and healing arthritis more effectively than leading medications.
In another recent study, coconut oil that was harvested with only medium heat was found to suppress inflammatory cells. It worked as both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Eating Coconut Oil Helps To Regulate Appetite
Because it improves digestion and balances blood-sugar levels, eating coconut oil also helps to regulate appetite. It provides concentrated energy which is easy for the body to digest and use. Thus you’ll feel fuller longer after you eat it; and you won’t need snacks or meals nearly as often.
Coconut oil and diabetes
Diets high in MCTs (65% of coconut oil’s makeup) have been shown to improve glucose tolerance and reduce body fat accumulation when compared to diets high in LCTs. MCFAs have also been shown to preserve insulin action in, and insulin resistance in rat studies.Coconut oil may also improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics.
Researchers observed that study participants who followed a diet in which 40% of calories came from fat, either comprised of mostly MCTs or LCTs, the MCT group improved insulin-mediated glucose metabolism by 30% when compared with the LCT group.
Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Coconut oil has two qualities that help it fight cancer. One, because of the ketones produced in it’s digestion. Tumor cells are not able to access the energy in ketones and are glucose dependent. It is believed that a ketogenic diet could be a possible component of helping cancer patients recover.
Two, as the MCFA’s digest the lipid walls of bacteria, they also can kill the helicobacter pylori bacteria that has been known as increasing the risk of stomach cancer. Even in studies where cancer is chemically induced, the introduction of coconut oil prevents cancer from developing!
Coconut Oil Improves Memory & Concentration
Eating a spoonful of coconut oil straight from the jar first thing in the morning not only kick-starts your metabolism. It’s also a great way to wake up your mind. Furthermore, regular use of coconut oil in your diet actually improves memory. This is thought to be due to the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which make up over half of the essential fatty acid content of coconut oil. MCTs provide easily-accessible energy to the brain just as they do to the rest of the body. The result is overall better cognitive ability – both short- and long-term.
Coconut Oil Can Protect Hair Against Damage, Moisturize Skin and Function as Sunscreen
Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it.Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair.Studies on individuals with dry skin show that coconut oil can improve the moisture and fat content of the skin.
Coconut oil can also be very protective against hair damage and one study shows effectiveness as sunscreen, blocking about 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Another application is using it like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health and reduce bad breath.
It Can Help Ward Off Neurodegenerative Disorders
Because of its positive effects on the brain, coconut oil can also help ward off neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease. It does this by providing the brain with an alternate source of fuel – chemicals known as ketones which are produced by our bodies when we eat coconut oil. These ketones are easily-accessible even for brain cells which have lost the ability to process glucose, one of the leading causes of Alzheimer’s.
Many neurodegenerative disorders develop slowly over time and only become apparent later in life. So getting into the daily habit of eating coconut oil now just might save your mind further down the line!
Improves Energy and Endurance
Coconut oil is easy to digest, but also produces a longer sustained energy and increases your metabolism. When taking a quality non-processed coconut oil, you can get the most benefit as it’s MCFA’s are sent directly to the liver to be converted into energy!
Today, many triathletes will use coconut oil as their source of fuels during training and races for long distance events. You can make a homemade energy fuel by mixing coconut oil, raw honey and chia seeds together. Simply put together 1 TBSP of each and consume 30 minutes prior to exercise.
Research shows that coconut oil contains a medium-chain fatty acids accelerate that stimulates metabolism, gives you more energy.
It Can Prevent & Treat Urinary Tract Infections
Most people don’t drink enough water. This results in a constant state of dehydration which can easily lead to bacterial infection in the urinary tract (also known as a UTI). Of course, our first and best piece of advice would be to simply drink more water. But eating coconut oil straight from the jar is also an effective natural remedy to prevent or treat a UTI.
Coconut oil is a powerful natural antibiotic. The MCTs which make up the majority of the oil actually penetrate and dissolve the cellular wall of harmful bacteria. In effect, this causes them to disintegrate and die.
Reduces Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease & Pancreatitis
The MCFA’s of coconut oil do not need the pancreatic enzymes to be broken down, so taking coconut oil eases the strain on the pancreas.
Additionally, this super fat is so easy to digest that it has been known to improve the symptoms of gallbladder disease as well. Replace other long-chain fats with coconut oil to improve gallbladder and total body health.
Coconut Oil Kills Bacteria That Cause Bad Breath
Bad breath is most often caused by bacteria which naturally exist in the mouth. Because of its powerful anti-microbial properties, this also makes coconut oil ideal for freshening breath.
Maximize your coconut oil’s contact with buccal bacteria by swishing the oil around your mouth for about 30 seconds. Then you can either spit the oil out or swallow it, depending on your personal preference.
Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying it to the head, followed by a gentle massage, helps to eliminate mental fatigue. According to research virgin coconut oil gives relief from stress and has antioxidant properties.
Eating Coconut Oil Naturally Whitens Your Teeth
Those same bacteria which cause bad breath, secrete a stick substance (which we call plaque) in order to hold on to whatever surface they’re growing upon. Bacterial plaque not only holds bacteria in place, it also adheres food particles to your teeth. This lingering food is a leading cause of staining.
When you use coconut oil to remove excess bacteria, you also reduce plaque build-up and prevent much of this staining. Thus eating coconut oil can go a long way toward keeping your pearly-whites bright and healthy!
Improves Skin Issues (burns, eczema, dandruff, dermatitis, and psoriasis)
Coconut oil is wonderful as a face cleanser, moisturizer and sun screen, but also it can treat many skin disorders. The fatty acids (Caprylic and Lauric) in coconut oil reduce inflammation internally and externally and moisturize making them a great solution for all types of skin conditions.
It protects the skin and has many antioxidants that make it ideal for healing the skin. In addition the antimicrobial properties balance out the candida or fungal sources that can cause many skin conditions.
Oxidative stress and free radicals are the two biggest culprits of osteoporosis. Since coconut oil has such high levels of antioxidants which help fight free radicals, it is a leading natural treatment for osteoporosis.
Another of the amazing coconut oil benefits is that it increases calcium absorption in the gut. Research with osteoporosis has found that coconut oil not only increases bone volume and structure in subjects, but also decreased bone loss due to osteoporosis.
Coconut Oil Moisturizes & Nourishes Your Lips
When you eat a spoonful of coconut oil straight from the jar, you’ll automatically run your lips over the surface of the utensil as you slide it out of your mouth. This action doubles as a natural way to moisturize and nourish your lips. Even if they aren’t dry, your lips will benefit from this extra dose of pure lipid perfection!
Eating Coconut Oil Helps Relieve Dry-Mouth
Drinking lots and lots of water all at once won’t actually re-hydrate you or cure your dry-mouth as fast as you might think. At least not right away. About 3 – 4 ounces (or 90 – 120 ml) is about as much as your body can handle at once. Any more than that and your system will probably just use it to flush out your urinary tract. (Not that this is a bad thing.)
That said, if you get a bad case of dry-mouth, try drinking about 4 ounces of water to start the re-hydration process. Then chase it with a spoonful of coconut oil. As the oil moves through your mouth and throat, it will help to seal in what moisture is there and alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of dry-mouth.
Continue to drink 3 – 4 ounces of water every 30 minutes or so until your body becomes re-hydrated. At this point, your dry mouth symptoms should fade completely.
Candida and Yeast Infections
A study published in the journal of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy found the capric acid and lauric acid in coconut oil were an effective natural treatment for candida albicans and yeast infections.
To effectively kill candida and treat yeast infections remove processed sugar and refined grains from your diet and consume plenty of healthy fats. Take 1 tbsp of coconut oil 3x daily as a supplement.
It Can Soothe A Dry, Scratchy Throat
This seems to work in much the same way as using coconut oil for dry-mouth. To soothe a dry, scratchy throat, drink a small glass of water. Then follow that with a spoonful of coconut oil to seal in moisture. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil will also help to alleviate any swelling or irritation in your throat.
Remember, when you’re trying to re-hydrate your body, you’ll need to drink a little bit of water at a time. On average, try to consume between 3 – 4 ounces (or 90 – 120 ml) of water per hour. You can drink more water and do it more frequently, if you so desire. Just remember not to drink too fast as this could actually upset your stomach, in some cases.
Coconut Oil slows aging
According to research published in the medical journal Food and Function, coconut oil improves antioxidant levels and can slow aging. Coconut oil works by reducing stress on the liver and by lowering oxidative stress.
Also, they found that coconut oil may support detoxification because of how it works with the liver. To naturally slow aging take 1 tbsp of coconut oil with anti-oxidant rich berries for breakfast. You can also apply it directly to skin for additional benefits and smoothing.
Coconut Oil Protects Your Liver & Pancreas
As mentioned earlier, the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil behave differently than other saturated (long-chain) fats. Whereas most saturated fats must be broken down in the intestines before being transported into the bloodstream for use as fuel; the MCTs in coconut oil are absorbed as-is and delivered directly to the liver. The liver then transforms these intact fatty acids directly into energy, thus reducing its already considerable workload.
Furthermore, because the liver directly converts MCTs into energy, eating coconut oil also results in less fat accumulation (stored energy from other sources) in and around the liver.
Working side-by-side with the liver, the pancreas also benefits when we eat coconut oil. One of the pancreas’ functions is to produce the enzymes needed to transform fatty acids into usable energy. Because its MCTs don’t have to be broken down this way, eating coconut oil also reduces strain on the pancreas by lightening its workload.
Coconut Oil for Hormone Balance
Using coconut oil benefits your hormones as well! Coconut oil may help naturally balance hormones because it’s a great source of saturated fat including lauric acid. Studies have found that coconut oil may be an excellent fat to consume during menopause and also may have positives effects on estrogen levels.
In order to naturally balance hormones reduce sugar and grain consumption and load up on healthy fats from coconut, avocado, flax seeds and ghee.
Eating Coconut Oil Makes Your Whole Body Smell Better
Body odor is caused by a combination of factors. Some of these include poor diet, stress and other hormonal imbalance, microbial over-growth, and build-up of waste toxins due to poor liver and kidney function. Because coconut oil has such a huge positive impact on these aspects of your health, eating it on a daily basis can actually make your whole body smell better!
Not All Coconut Oil Is the Same
In order to enjoy the health benefits outlined in the article, then you must get organic, virgin coconut oil, not the refined stuff.
I personally cook almost everything I eat in coconut oil and my health has never been better.
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This article is not intended to take the place of a competent nutritionist or doctor. It is solely intended to educate people on the vital and perhaps underestimated importance of this nutritional element.
The information in this site is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.
In the event the reader uses the information for his own health, he is in fact prescribing for himself, which is his own constitutional right, and for which the author assumes no responsibility.
If you suffer from a medical condition, consult your doctor. If you have questions as to the application of this information to your own health, you are advised to consult a qualified health professional.