This beautiful oil has recently surfaced in many skincare and hair products within western society. Coconut oil is not a trend; it’s been a staple food in various cultures for many years. It not only tastes great, but it provides incredible benefits for your overall health.
Although coconut oil is excellent for both your skin and hair, it’s also notorious for relieving stress, boosting immune function, aiding in heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney ailments, and diabetes. As for other benefits of coconut oil, it also helps individuals lose weight, improve digestion, and so much more.
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A Little Coconut Oil Background
The benefits of coconut oil have been documented for approximately 4,000 years. It has maintained its reputation as a sustainable superfood. Due to the solid source of plant-based fat, many cultures rely on this food source for energy and medicine. Although it has ‘nut’ in its name, it’s more closely related to olives, dates, and mangoes.
Coconuts are a staple food for many individuals across the world. This is especially true for those that live in Indonesia, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Asia, the Caribbean, Papua New Guinea, and many other locations and cultures.
Not only have people used coconut as an energy source for years, but they have used it to heal. For example, in World War II, soldiers would receive an intravenous of coconut water. The IV tube would be pierced into a coconut and administered to their vein. Due to the sugars, essential amino acids, and electrolytes, it’s an incredible, sterile way to stay hydrated.
Within western society, coconut oil has been frowned upon within the media. The claim has been that coconut oil is harmful due to the high levels of saturated fat. This propaganda was led by the soy and corn oil industry. Our understanding has been skewed regarding the benefits coconut provides.
Now, people realize that the benefits spanning thousands of years into history, most certainly have merit. Individuals that live in the South Pacific consume 60% of their calories from coconuts. However, there is no evidence of heart disease. This cannot be ignored.
Boost Your Health with Coconut Oil
Although coconut oil is mainly composed of saturated fats, don’t freak out. This does not automatically mean ‘heart attack.’ Review the benefits below, understanding the importance of coconut oil within your diet. It’s something to seek, not avoid.
1. Healthy Heart
We’ll start with your heart because this is where many people are concerned. Yes, there are saturated fats, but there’s also a lot of lauric acid present . Lauric acid makes up about 50% of the saturated fats found in coconut oil. This acid works to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, essentially preventing heart conditions. It is also noted in maintaining artery health.
2. Skin and Hair Care
Coconut oil is an incredible conditioner. It leaves your hair feeling healthy and looking shiny. When applied, coconut oil provides your hair with essential proteins. This counteracts any damage while nourishing and protecting your hair further. If you suffer from dandruff, massage coconut oil onto your scalp. It will moisturize dry skin, which helps to eliminate dandruff.
Just as it tends to your scalp, coconut oil is great for any area of your skin. Due to its effects on dry, flaky skin, it’s a great treatment for many skin conditions. If you suffer from eczema for example, coconut oil can do wonders for your skin health. Since coconut oil is so high in antioxidants, it helps to reduce the signs of aging as well.
3. Weight Loss
We are currently facing an epidemic regarding obesity . We eat far too many refined and processed foods. Within western society, we’re overfed, yet we’re hungry for nutrients. It’s not just about calorie counting, it’s about where you’re sourcing your calories from.
Due to its effect on the thyroid and endocrine system, coconut oil can increase your body’s metabolism. This allows individuals to burn more energy, helping aid in weight loss. It can also reduce your appetite, so you do not overeat. Coconut oil makes you feel fuller, longer. It also slows down digestion, while improving the absorption of other vitamins, amino acids, and minerals.
4. Healing Abilities
Applying coconut oil to wounds not only works, but it works well. If an area is infected, coconut oil prevents dust, bacteria, fungi, and viruses from entering the wound. It amazingly has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and beneficial anti-fungal properties.
This is why coconut oil is excellent for preventing influenza, hepatitis, ulcers, UTI’s, throat infections, athlete’s foot, diaper rash, and so much more. Consuming coconut oil provides your immune system with the boost it needs to keep you healthy and active.
5. Brain Health
Our brain does a lot for us each and everyday. It’s one of the most crucial organs and needs the right amount of attention. Our brain only accounts for about 2% of our body weight, yet it uses 20% of our daily energy. It’s crucial that you provide your brain with the energy it needs, so that it performs optimally.
Our brain uses glucose or fat as an energy source. Carbs are broken down into glucose, while fat is broken down into ketones. An incredible source of ketones come from medium-chain triglycerides (which are found in coconut oil).
Although our brains can run on glucose, ketones have been shown to restore and renew nerve damage and malfunctioning. Repaired neurons have even been documented after damage already occurred. This is exciting for Alzheimer’s research, as patients suffer from a lack of firing between neurons.
Although research is still being conducted, this is believed to be the cause of memory loss. Therefore, coconut oil may help prevent degenerative cognitive disorders.
As you can see, coconut oil provides some incredible benefits. Although you can improve your health with coconut oil, you need to focus on all aspects of your diet and lifestyle. Coconut oil is not a magic tool to reverse the effects of six cheeseburgers a week.
You need to practice a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Along with coconut oil, consume more complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fish. Stay active and sleep well. And remember, coconut oil is not just for your hair, it positively affects your heart, liver, kidneys, skin, brain, and so much more. Coconut is a ‘superfood’ for a reason. It helps boost your overall health.