It is hard to control everything that has an impact on our health. What we actually can control is the products we eat and consume every day. In this article we would like to talk about coconut oil, the product that has attracted many serious studies and is believed to possess dozens of effects beneficial for our health. Populations that have a diet rich in coconut oil tend to be in good health, and stay away from many of modern diseases, torturing western nations. It would be harsh to claim that coconut oil is a perfect universal product on its own, but there is enough witness that it is a great asset for anyone who strives for better life. Here are just some of the effects attributed to coconut oil.
Virgin coconut oil for skin health
As skin diseases become more common throughout the world, people look for alternative ways to solve the problem. There has been evidence that virgin coconut oil is able to help many skin problems. For instance, people suffering from skin yeast infections have given positive reports, and there is a research showing the MCTs contained in coconut oil kill yeast infections. Apparently we can say that coconut oil could be one of the main reasons people living in tropical countries can spend extensive time in the sun without suffering from skin cancer. Coconut oil has amazing antioxidant properties protecting the skin from free radical damage. Also, when used topically on skin, coconut oil helps our bodies absorb other nutrients, such as Vitamin E, another great antioxidant nutrient protecting the skin, in a more effective way.
Although it would be too optimistic to claim coconut oil is a heal-all remedy for diabetes, studies that were carried out in India and some Pacific countries showed that having the saturated fats of coconut oil in the diet reduces the chances of the disease. A study made at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia in 2009 showed that a diet including plenty of coconut oil fights against ‘insulin resistance’ (an impaired ability of cells to respond to insulin) in fat and muscle. Having in mind that insulin resistance and obesity are the main reasons for the development of Type 2 diabetes, using coconut oil makes good sense.
Treating Alzheimer’s Disease
No drugs have proved perfect in fighting Alzheimer’s Disease so far and people have been searching for alternative remedy. In 2013 the University of South Florida’s Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute launched a study of the coconut oil effects on Alzheimer’s Disease. The scientists have enrolled 65 individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s to track the effects of coconut oil, versus a placebo, on the disease. Many people with Alzheimer’s Disease have seen a drastic improvement, and in some cases a full reversal, of the disease after including coconut oil in the diet.
Fat contains such vitamins as A, D, E, and K and it would not be wise to remove it from the diet. However, everybody can control the type of consumed fats. Coconut oil is believed to be able to suppress hunger. It is extremely rich in medium chain triglycerides (MCT) increasing metabolism and leading to weight loss. These triglycerides play an important part in thermogenesis that increases the body’s metabolism, resulting in creating more energy. Livestock owners have been exploiting that effect for many years. If the diet of the animals is rich in vegetable oils, they gain weight quickly and produce fatty meat. On the contrary, when fed with coconut oil, animals tend to be very lean.
Boosting athletic abilities
Coconut oil seems to be a powerful support for athletes and workout enthusiasts. It increases energy and endurance as a result of thermogenesis, provided by the medium chain fatty acids. Apart from thermogenesis, coconut oil also has ketogenic effect, which makes bodies look slimmer, even without losing weight. A study held by Japanese scientists showed the following results: “Our data suggest that short-term ingestion of food containing a small amount of MCT suppresses the increase in blood lactate concentration and RPE (rating of perceived exertion) during moderate-intensity exercise and extends the duration of subsequent high-intensity exercise”.
During the study of coconut oil influence on hair, it proved to be capable of reducing the protein loss significantly for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a conditioner. Coconut oil is capable of binding the natural protein structure of the hair which helps the hair preserve its natural moisture level and reinforces the hair fiber, making it stronger. People who chemically relax, heat straighten hair on regular basis, and apply permanent color will definitely admire coconut oil’s effect of preventing protein loss and reducing hair porosity. Also, coconut oil’s hydrophobic characteristics allow it to block the penetration of water from the surrounding air and environment.
Resisting fungal and yeast infections
Coconut oil is extremely rich in medium chain fatty acids which proved to be incredibly effective natural fungicides. These MCTs also kill candida yeast. Caprylic acid contained in coconut oil is the one that is responsible for fighting the troublesome ailment. It is worth mentioning that the antimicrobial actions of the coconut acids, unlike most medicines, do not affect useful bacteria, known as “pro-biotics”, which are important in fighting candida infections. It is noteworthy that people eating coconuts abundantly live in areas susceptible to yeast and fungi, however manage to resist infections easily. When used to rinse mouth, coconut oil becomes a great infection guard.
Another application refers to coconut oil antibacterial effect. Many people noticed it can be used as a natural deodorant. Sweat doesn’t smell on its own, it is the bacteria on our skin that feed on the fats, produced with the sweat that comes out of our apocrine sweat glands that produce the unpleasant smell. Since coconut oil has a unique antibacterial effect, it helps cut down on the bacteria number that causes the odor, just like a deodorant from the store. Some people mix it with baking soda, others add some arrowroot, you can even use pure coconut oil, but in the end you get the most natural deodorant with pleasant aroma.
Another hygienic use of coconut oil is applying it as a make-up remover. Yes, there is no shortage in store bought products but when it comes to ladies faces, it is really smart to use something as healthy and natural as coconut oil, because it will keep one’s face skin protected and beautiful. It will gently remove all signs of make-up and leave a healthy and refreshing feeling on your face. Just apply some oil on your fingers and use it as a regular make-up removing product. Having done that you can use some soap to remove traces of coconut oil or enjoy the natural aroma.
Coconut sweeties and pastries
The sweetest use of coconut oil is one in cooking. And it’s extremely healthy too! Coconut oil is arguably the richest accessible source of saturated fat, around 90% of calories being saturated fat. According to some serious studies, populations consuming much of the fats through coconut oil have zero to low level of cardiovascular disease and are generally in perfect health. Nations eating a large portion of calories from coconuts tend to be healthier than others. And there is plenty of recipes online for those who would like to use coconut oil for cooking homemade chocolate, crisp candies, cookies or smoothies.
Read more about how to get rid of acne here.