The Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has become one of the most universal health products on the shelves. The diverse oil offers an array of uses, providing anything from natural beauty product alternatives, to immune system boosting properties. As the popularity of this product is on the steady rise, many consumers begin to seek more and more uses of this super-product. Chances are, if you are reading this, that you’d in fact like to know more about the positive affects of using coconut oil in your everyday life. Let’s take a look.
The most widely-known use of coconut oil besides cooking, is likely the beauty benefits of the product. Hair treatments and face masks centralized around coconut oil can be easily accessed through the click of a mouse. Coconut oil can be used for a multitude of reasons in the beauty world. The oil is jam packed with Vitamin E, which stimulates hair growth when applied to the scalp, as well as nail growth when applied to the cuticle. Coconut oil also provides a non-chemical alternative to conditioner, makeup remover, and skin moisturizer. Many times, acne is actually worsened by the harsh chemicals in the “acne fighting” creams and washes applied to the skin. Coconut oil has been shown to improve acne by replacing harsh washes and moisturizers with the oil. In addition to acne, coconut oil can actually improve new skin growth on open wounds and burns. Coconut oil has a smaller molecular size than most oils, allowing it to easily pass through the cell’s semi-permeable membrane. Once inside, the oil molecules provide needed energy and nutrients to the damaged cells, stimulating new cell growth. In doing so, wounds, burns, and even sunburn can heal much faster with the application of coconut oil.
Coconuts and Cholesterol
Many rumors have been recently floating around that coconut oil is not heart-healthy, due to the fact that it is a saturated fat. However, coconut oil is in fact a heart-healthy alternative, despite it being saturated. With the obesity epidemic in America, one of the main concerns with “heart-healthy” options is cholesterol. However, many people are unaware that there are actually two different types of cholesterol. There is the well-known LDL (bad) cholesterol, and HDL (good) cholesterol. LDL is what most people think of when on the subject of cholesterol. LDL blocks arteries by manufacturing harmful plaque on the arterial walls. HDL however, does the opposite. HDL cholesterol is responsible for clearing plaque away from the arterial walls, in turn lowering blood pressure and the risk for heart disease. Coconut oil has a substantial abundance of HDL cholesterol, and has even been shown to have the ability to convert LDL into HDL when consumed on a regular basis. In conclusion, despite the bad reputation hanging around saturated fats and oils, coconut oil is actually a highly heart-healthy alternative to other saturated fat.
Coconut oil and Brain health
In addition to being packed with good cholesterol, coconut oil is also chock-full of ketones and useful acids. The acids contained in coconut oil include Lauric acid, which is also found in breastmilk. Lauric acid is key in fighting illness and bacterial infections. Coconut oil has been used to treat UTIs, kidney infection, and general sicknesses. The Lauric acid is actually shown to break down the cell membranes of intruding bacterial infections. By doing so, the bacteria quickly die, shortening the length of sickness. The ketones found in coconut oil have been shown to have drastic positive affects on memory as well as overall brain health. The ketones have even been shown to slow or even improve the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. These ketone components in coconut oil have also been shown to aide in cancer treatment and prevention by balancing the good nutrients and ridding the cells of cancer-causing agents. Coconut oil is a huge immune system booster and brain health tool. On top of those benefits, coconut oil can aide in weight loss as well. Coconut oil is high in satiety, meaning it makes you feel full for longer. By eating coconut oil frequently, it will decrease the urge to snack between meals and help keep your diet on track.