When people think about coconut oil, they usually associate it with food. However, did you know food is only one of the areas where coconut oil can be beneficial? There are many other purposes for it. Here are ten reasons why you should be using coconut oil in your daily routine:
1. Contains healthy fatty acids
2. Can boost heart health
3. Might have antimicrobial effects
4. Reduces seizures
5. Improves your skin, hair, and teeth
6. Boosts brain function in Alzheimer’s disease
7. May be able to reduce harmful body fat
8. Helps balance your hormones
9. Curbs your appetite
10. Coconut oil can treat inflammation, arthritis, and osteoporosis
1. Contains Healthy Fatty Acids
Coconut oil possesses fatty acids that can help you burn fat. It is high in saturated fats, which means that you should not consume it very often. However, the fatty acids provide more energy to your body and brain. You can also reduce the risk of heart disease since it boosts your good cholesterol levels.
It’s also important to mention that saturated fats are dietary fats. MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) are shorter fatty acids, and they go to your liver. Your body either uses them as a source of energy or turns them into ketones. Ketones are chemicals your body makes when you do not have enough sugar to support your body.
2. Can Boost Heart Health
In various parts of the world, people consume coconut oil with the intent to combat illnesses. In Tokelau, an island chain in the South Pacific, there are exceptionally low heart disease rates. They also consume many calories from coconuts. In moderation, coconuts can positively impact heart disease, glucose levels, and other health concerns. By monitoring your diet and making sure you balance your calorie and fat intake, you can ward off certain illnesses.
3. Might Have Antimicrobial Effects
Colds affect everyone at some point. Some people even know what month or season of the year they can expect to catch a cold. Coconut oil can prevent some infections, as it contains a high amount of lauric acid. When your body digests it, it forms monolaurin. Both of these chemicals can destroy bacteria and viruses. Based on these facts, some people use coconut oil as a mouthwash.
4. May Reduce Seizures
Researchers have been trying to find ways to help children with epilepsy. There is a ketogenic diet that involves low-carbohydrate and high-fat consumption, and children who have taken advantage of this diet change reported having fewer seizures. The body burns fats, and more amounts of ketones are concentrated in the blood. This process helps regulate the body’s blood and sugar levels.
5. Improves Your Skin, Hair, and Teeth
You can use coconut oil to improve and maintain your physical appearance! Your skin, hair, and teeth are a few essential things to preserve about your outer appearance. There is a reason many beauty experts and consumers rave about this product. If you are concerned about dry skin, coconut oil can be used daily to help you. It will reduce eczema and leave you with better results. Just as body lotion such as Jergens or Aveeno provides you with soft, vibrant skin, coconut oil can work in the same way.
The same benefits apply to hair. Since coconut oil is rich in natural nutrients, it helps moisturize your hair. As for teeth, mouthwash is the primary way people use it. The lauric acid in coconut oil works well in removing bacteria. By using it, you can enhance the smell of your breath and the health of your teeth.
6. Boosts Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a disease that slowly deteriorates the brain. It dramatically impacts the ability to focus, remember things, and function properly. On a scientific note, it reduces your brain’s ability to use glucose for energy. However, ketones come into play once again since MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) increase ketones’ blood levels. That means that the body can control how it processes sugar and provides another energy source.
Coconut oil is proven to benefit people with mild Alzheimer’s, so more research is needed to treat people with severe cases. However, this is a good step in the right direction.
7. May Be Able to Reduce Harmful Body Fat
Suppose you are trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy body type. In that case, coconut oil has fatty acids that can help you accomplish this goal. The fatty acids can reduce appetite and increase fat burning. While fats are good for your body, it is possible to have too many bad fats. Abdominal fat is one example, which can lead to many chronic diseases. By using coconut oil sparingly and considering the types of food you are eating, you can reduce your chance of becoming overweight and gain the kind of body you want.
8. Helps Balance Your Hormones
As people age, their hormones can become off balance. Women significantly are affected as they enter their forties and fifties, which is when menopause usually occurs. Coconut oil can help your hormones maintain a balance that fits your body. That is due to the lauric acid it contains. During menopause, women can consider consuming more coconut oil. Based on a 2012 study from the Philippines, it provides a good source of fat. Estrogen levels also receive a big boost during this transition.
9. Curbs Your Appetite
Have you ever had days where you felt as though you could never eat enough to feel satisfied? Well, coconut oil can help with this. Based on how fatty acids metabolize in the body, it can decrease the body’s need for food consumption. Blood sugar levels and other body systems are stable due to the chemicals that coconut oil possesses. Your body responds differently to food intake because it does not feel as though it lacks nutrients or other needs for your body composition.
10. Coconut Oil Can Treat Inflammation, Arthritis, and Osteoporosis
High levels of antioxidants are found in virgin coconut oil. The antioxidants reduce inflammation and heal arthritis better than most leading medications. That is a huge and surprising discovery. Coconut oil has mainly served to enhance food, but it also possesses healing properties for pain in the bodily joints. People who do not have enough money to spend on medication or prefer not to take it now have an alternative way to relieve their pain.
As for osteoporosis, adding coconut oil to your diet is a great natural way to benefit your bones. It increases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals in the gut. Also, one of the minerals it has is calcium! Since bone volume and structure can increase while bone loss decreases, this is a major bonus.
However, two other causes of the condition are oxidative stress and free radicals. Oxidative stress is the imbalance between the production and maintenance of oxygen cells. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can cause damage and lead to various illnesses if left untreated. Coconut oil has enormous amounts of antioxidants that can combat these factors, which increases the overall benefit of using coconut oil. Many people are starting to incorporate coconut oil into their diet to manage the effects of osteoporosis.
Is It Possible to Use Too Much Coconut Oil?
It is possible to use too much coconut oil. Despite the numerous benefits it can have on your health and physical appearance, people should use it in moderation. The substance is high in calories and contains various chemicals that perform tasks to regulate your body when ingested or applied topically. If you overuse this substance, you can risk gaining weight or causing unnecessary stress on your body.
What is the Best Time of Day to Use Coconut Oil?
You can use coconut oil at any time of the day. The reason why someone uses it determines what time of day might be better for them. For example, a person with dry or blemished skin may find that using coconut oil as a face mask overnight revitalizes their skin. On the other hand, someone else may find that coconut oil works better when they rinse their mouth at night before bed. Consider your reasons and daily routines to decide what time would work best for you.
Sources: Eat This, Not That! and Healthline