The coconut oil craze has been going on for years, and for good reason. Coconut oil can be used for cooking, thanks to its low melting temperature and high smoke point. It’s also a great moisturizer, and helps reduce inflammation naturally.
Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of coconut oil.
What about saturated fat?
Nutritional guidelines can be confusing, especially when they seem to change. While the American Heart Association encourages people to reduce their saturated fat intake, it doesn’t mean that you need to avoid consuming coconut oil and other saturated fats entirely. In fact, our bodies need saturated fats for proper liver function and enhancing our immune system.
The AHA recommends that adult men consume about 30 grams of saturated fat (two tablespoons) and 20 grams for adult women (1.33 tablespoons) per day. When planning your meals, consider how much saturated fat you’re consuming—and consider switching to coconut oil for its additional health benefits.
Coconut oil health benefits
Here are a few of the biggest benefits to making coconut oil a part of your daily life:
- Treat skin issues: The caprylic and lauric fatty acids in coconut oil are great for moisturizing the skin, while reducing inflammation externally and internally. The antioxidants, antibacterial and antifungal properties help heal burns, eczema, dandruff, psoriasis and dermatitis.
- Lose weight: Coconut oil can reduce your appetite while enabling your body to burn fat and calories at a faster pace. The caprylic fatty acids in coconut oil can help improve thyroid function, lowers the resting heart rate and helps your body burn fat for energy. It’s particularly great for shedding belly fat.
- Build muscle: Coconut oil is full of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are found in products like Muscle Milk. MCTs help reduce metabolic syndrome and build muscle—which, in turn, helps burn more fat overall.
- Reduce signs of aging: If you want to improve your antioxidant levels—and enjoy a youthful glow longer—make coconut oil a part of your regular diet. It can help slow aging by lowering oxidative stress and stress on the liver.
- Boost immune function: Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties are great for activating and supporting your body’s natural immune response. When you’re sick, replace grains and sugar in your diet with coconut oil. You can take up to three tablespoons daily when fighting off illness. Just make sure that you’re not consuming more saturated fat and calories than necessary.
- Reduce inflammation: The antioxidants in coconut oil help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress put us at risk for disease. Coconut oil reduces inflammation, and can even act as an analgesic. This helps lower the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis and other inflammatory issues.
- Prevent heart disease: Natural saturated fat helps convert “bad” (LDL) cholesterol into “good” cholesterol (HDL). Regular coconut oil consumption can improve your HDL levels, which helps prevent heart disease.
- Improve cognitive function: Alzheimer's and other cognitive diseases are devastating. Fortunately, coconut oil is loaded with ketones, which supply energy to the brain. Instead of using insulin to transmute glucose into energy, the brain can use the ketones in coconut oil to create an alternate source of energy. It may even repair brain function. Coconut oil helps improve memory problems and brain function.
- Prevent cancer: The antimicrobial properties in coconut oil can kill the H. pylori bacteria, which can cause ulcers and increase the risk of stomach cancer. At the same time, the energy from ketones in the oil is inaccessible to tumors, which need glucose to proliferate.
- Boost energy levels: Coconut oil produces longer, more sustained energy, and boosts your metabolism. This helps improve your energy and endurance levels—some athletes swear by coconut oil before big events.
- Deal with Type II diabetes: Coconut oil can help balance insulin reactions in cells. Instead of relying on your pancreas to provide glucose reactions, coconut oil offers a sustained energy source. This prevents insulin resistance, and in turn, Type II diabetes.
Consuming or applying coconut oil should not be your sole health regimen. It’s important to visit a medical doctor regularly, especially if you’re at risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, ulcers and neurodegenerative diseases.
Think of coconut oil as a bonus—it can help fight off illness, signs of aging and boost your energy levels—but it’s best used in conjunction with your traditional medical care. Why not buy a jar and start improving your health today?