20 Proven Coconut Oil Benefits
According to medical research, coconut oil benefits the body in the following ways:
1. Proven Alzheimer’s Disease Natural Treatment
The digestion of MCFAs by the liver creates ketones that are readily accessible by the brain for energy. 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 its own insulin to process glucose and power brain cells. As the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient loses the ability to create its own insulin, the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to help repair brain function. (1, 2)
2. 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 cholesterol) in your body, but also help convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols.
By increasing the HDL in the body, it helps promote heart health and lower the risk of heart disease. Coconut oil also benefits the heart by lowering high triglycerides.
3. Treats UTI and Kidney Infection and Protects the Liver
4. Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis
5. Cancer Prevention and Treatment
6. Immune System Boost (Antibacterial, Antifungal and Antiviral)
7. Improves Memory and Brain Function
8. Improves Energy and Endurance
9. Improves Digestion and Reduces Stomach Ulcers and Ulcerative Colitis
Coconut also improves digestion as it helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, calcium and magnesium.
If coconut oil is taken at the same time as omega-3 fatty acids, it can make them twice as effective, as they are readily available to be digested and used by the body.
Coconut oil can help improve bacteria and gut health by destroying bad bacteria and candida. Candida imbalance especially can decrease stomach acid, which causes inflammation and poor digestion. All this together means coconut oil benefits digestive health and helps treat or prevent stomach ulcers and ulcerative colitis.
10. Reduces Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease and Pancreatitis
11. Improves Skin Issues (Burns, Eczema, Dandruff, Dermatitis and Psoriasis)
12. Prevents Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
13. Prevents Osteoporosis
14. Improves Type II Diabetes
When cells refuse to respond to insulin and no longer take in glucose for energy, then they’re considered insulin-resistant. The pancreas then pumps out more insulin to compensate and creates an overproduction cycle. Insulin resistance is the precursor to type II diabetes.
The MCFAs in coconut oil help balance the insulin reactions in the cells and promote healthy digestive process. They take off the strain on the pancreas and give the body a consistent energy source that is not dependent on glucose reactions, which can prevent insulin resistance and type II diabetes.
15. Coconut Oil for Weight loss
Because of the energy-creating abilities of coconut oil and the fact it’s a no-carb oil, it is no wonder that it is beneficial in losing weight. It helps burn fat and calories, decrease appetite, and in studies it was especially helpful in losing belly fat.
Coconut’s ability to help you shed fat has been well-established. A 1985 study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health proved that a single injection of capric acid resulted in “initially rapid, then gradual decrease in food consumption and a parallel loss of body weight” in male rats.
It might seem counterintuitive to assume that eating coconut oil (a fat) will contribute to fat loss, but it is actually quite logical. The key to understanding this phenomenon lays in the multidimensional ability of the MCFAs to control a variety of physiological processes.
For example, in the 1985 study mentioned above, it was discovered that capric acid shows significant improvements in thyroid function, helps lower resting heart rate and assists your body in burning fat for energy.
More recently, the Obesity Research Journal published a study from Boston University Medical School that gives us a clue why MCFAs have fat-burning ability. (7)
Testing the effects that MFCAs have on fat breakdown, adipose (fatty) cells in rats were pretreated with caprylic acid. They observed that fat breakdown occurred at such a significant level that it literally mimicked the characteristics of fasting.
Fasting, in this sense, is not to be regarded as negative, but positive in that the body uses its energy reserves most effectively and speeds up the breakdown of needless fat reserves.
In the words of the researchers who conducted this study, “Such changes could contribute, in part, to weight loss in animals and humans associated with dietary medium-chain fatty acids.”
16. Building Muscle and Losing Body Fat
MCFAs aren’t just good for burning fat; they are also great for building muscle. The MCFAs found in coconut are also used in popular muscle-building products like Muscle Milk™.
The vast majority of heavily produced supplements, however, use processed forms of MCFAs. By eating actual coconuts instead, you get the “real deal.” I recommend adding three tablespoons of coconut oil to a muscle-building shake daily.
17. Coconut Oil Benefits for Hair Care
If you have dandruff or dry hair, coconut oil has the perfect fatty acids to help improve these conditions. In fact, there is so much coconut oil can do for hair. You can make homemade coconut lavender shampoo to improve your hair and use straight coconut oil as an all-natural hair conditioner.
To get rid of dandruff and thicken hair, massage one tablespoon of coconut oil mixed with 10 drops of rosemary essential oil into your scalp for three minutes. Then shower 30 minutes later.
18. Candida and Yeast Infections
A study published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy found the capric acid and lauric acid in coconut oil made for 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 one tablespoon of coconut oil three times daily as a supplement. (8)
19. Coconut Oil for Anti-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 lowering oxidative stress. (9)
Also, researchers found that coconut oil may support detoxification because of how it works with the liver. To naturally slow aging, take one tablespoon of coconut oil with antioxidant-rich berries for breakfast. You can also apply it directly to skin for additional benefits and smoothing.
20. 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. (10)
In order to naturally balance hormones, reduce sugar and grain consumption and load up on healthy fats from coconut, avocado, flax seeds and ghee. You can also consume other coconut forms, such as coconut butter or coconut water.
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Nutiva's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is made from freshly picked coconut that are cold-pressed within hours of shelling. The light, sweet coconut flavor and scent will enhance your favorite recipes and is perfect for your body care routine. Always organic and NON-GMO verified, Nutiva's Virgin Coconut Oil is an excellent source of medium chain triglycerides as well as lauric and caprylic acids