In the present time when most of the foods and health care products available are over-processed, filled with chemicals and unhealthy, coconut oil is one of the best items to use for a healthier life.
Although it is heavy in saturated fat, coconut oil is completely cholesterol free. A small percentage of the oil is made up of unsaturated fats, which can be further classified into groups of monounsaturated (oleic) fatty acids and polyunsaturated (linoleic) fatty acids.
The fatty acids (medium chain triglycerides or MCTs) in coconut oil help to improve health and wellness in several amazing ways that make it widely known as a “superfood”.
Coconut oil contains a high percentage of lauric acid (40%) with the balance made up of lower percentages of capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid.
Polyphenols (also known as gallic acid or phenolic acid) are the compounds responsible for the way coconut oil smells and tastes.
Coconut oil also contains fatty acid derivatives such as betaines, ethanolamide, ethoxylates, fatty esters, fatty polysorbates, monoglycerides and polyol esters, as well as fatty alcohol derivatives such as fatty chlorides, fatty alcohol sulphate and fatty alcohol ether sulphate.
Virgin coconut oil is the richest and healthiest source of these beneficial compounds along with essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin E and vitamin K.
There are many health benefits associated with using coconut oil, which include:
- Powerful Medicinal Properties
At one point in history medical professionals recommended that patients avoid using coconut oil because of its extremely high level of saturated fat (approximately 90%).
However in the present time, studies have shown that the saturated fat in coconut oil does not clog arteries or harm health. The fatty acids in the oil are healthy because they contain medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that the body processes more efficiently than long-chain fatty acids. These MCTs turn into ketone bodies and enter the digestive system as soon as they are metabolized by the liver.
- Better General Health
While the coconut is regarded as an exotic health food by many individuals in the Americas, it is an important factor in the daily diet of many people in other areas of the world.
These populations include the South Pacific Tokelauans, who eat the highest levels of saturated fat and whose diet is 60% coconuts, and the Kitavans.
Both populations have no form of heart disease or poor health as a result of getting the majority of their calories from saturated fat.
- Natural Weight Control
An important benefit of eating coconut oil is natural weight and body fat control. The oil contributes to a healthy body mass in several different ways, which include controlling insulin, burning fat and suppressing hunger, reducing abdominal fat and curbing sugar cravings.
- Burns Body Fat
Eating coconut oil causes the body to burn more calories and body fat because of the MCTs it contains. A study revealed that consuming between fifteen and thirty grams of medium chain triglycerides a day helps the body to burn five percent more energy (approximately 120 calories) than normal with no changes in diet or exercise.
- Suppresses Hunger
Coconut oil helps to reduce hunger levels because of the effect it has on the metabolism. The ketone bodies produced when MCTs are processed through the liver act as a natural appetite suppressant.
Several studies have revealed that participants who consumed high levels of MCTs ate significantly less calories during the day than participants who did not, leading scientists to believe that the long-term results of continuing the regimen would lead to dramatic changes in physical composition and body fat levels.
- Reduces Abdominal Fat
Coconut oil helps to reduce the harmful visceral (abdominal) fat that collects in and around vital internal organs, which can lead to serious disease. Having a large waist circumference usually indicates an accumulation of visceral fat in the abdomen.
Studies revealed that men and women consuming one ounce of coconut oil each day significantly reduced their body mass index and waist size after four to twelve weeks without changing their diet or adding any exercise.
- Stops Sugar Cravings
Losing weight and sticking to a diet is hard while battling sugar cravings. However eating a teaspoon of coconut oil provides healthy fats that curb carbohydrate cravings and nutrients that leave the body feeling satisfied, keeping blood sugar levels even and reducing the desire for foods that provide quick energy (sugar).
Consume one teaspoon of coconut oil each day, increasing to four teaspoons daily for maximum weight and body fat loss.
- Better Immune System Health
The medium chain fatty acid content of coconut oil, includes compounds such as capric acid, lauric acid (with the highest concentration, at 75%) and caprylic acid, which all have a positive effect on the immune system due to their antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Once digested by enzymes in the body, the lauric acid (12 carbon) and monolaurin (monoglyceride) in coconut oil help to heal conditions such as cytomegalovirus, helicobacter pylori, candida albicans (yeast overgrowth), herpes and influenza, while eliminating harmful bacteria, fungi, viruses and pathogens such as staphylococcus aureus.
Coconut oil also helps to strengthen the immune systems of individuals suffering with cancer or HIV so they are less likely to contract viral illnesses.
- Seizure Reduction
The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil produce ketone bodies when they are metabolized by the liver. This puts the body into a state of ketosis, which is beneficial for dramatically reducing the amount of seizures in individuals (particularly children) that suffer with epilepsy, but are resistant to treatment with pharmaceutical drugs.
Coconut oil is a key nutrient in maintaining a ketogenic diet (which consists of mainly high fat foods and very few, if any carbohydrates).
- Healthy Blood Cholesterol Levels
The saturated fats in coconut oil help to balance cholesterol ratios in the body to optimal levels to improve heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
It does this by reducing harmful LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, turning them into benign subtypes, while increasing beneficial HDL (good) cholesterol and boosting antioxidant status and factors associated with blood coagulation.
- Lower Heart Disease Risk
The high saturated fat content of coconut oil makes many individuals not want to use it as part of their daily diet. However studies show that the high lauric acid levels in the oil (50%) make it very heart healthy and effective for treating problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Unlike vegetable oils, coconut oil does not cause a spike in bad (LDL) cholesterol or an increase of buildup in arteries (atherosclerosis). Instead it actually reverses and prevents damage and injury to the heart, improving its health and strength.
- Healthier Skin
Coconut oil is an effective natural skin care ingredient, which is why it is added to a wide range of products such as creams, lotions and soaps.
The oil is filled with antioxidants that hydrate, strengthen and tighten dry skin while stopping it from sagging, wrinkling and developing the fine lines associated with the aging process.
- Use virgin coconut oil to moisturize and condition skin all over the face and body, or as a soothing massage oil.
- Healthier Hair
Used as a staple hair care product in India and as an ingredient in many hair care products, coconut oil hydrates, softens and conditions hair while relieving dry scalp and dandruff conditions.
Coconut oil helps to keep hair healthy and growing strong while protecting it from damage and protein loss. The oil also reduces hair damage by preventing hygral fatigue while providing protection from the sun’s ultra violet rays and supporting the re-growth of lost hair.
- Better Brain Function with Alzheimer’s Disease
In Alzheimer’s disease, which is the leading cause of dementia in the world, the brain does not utilize glucose efficiently, causing the cells to malfunction.
Studies reveal that the fatty acids in coconut oil help to enhance brain function and reduce symptoms in individuals (usually elderly) suffering with mild Alzheimer’s. It works because the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil produce ketone bodies which are an alternative source of energy for cells of the brain.
- Better Digestion
The antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil along with its fatty content help to ease digestive problems by soothing the stomach and eliminating harmful candida, parasites, bacteria, fungi and other microbes that contribute to poor digestion and disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Coconut oil also boosts the levels of beneficial bacteria in the system while eliminating leaky gut and improving the way the digestive tract absorbs vital nutrients.
- Control Type 2 Diabetes
Studies reveal that coconut oil is effective for controlling insulin resistance, balancing blood sugar levels and lowering the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The medium chain fatty acids in the oil absorb and metabolize quickly in the body, which prevents them from being stored in fat cells, while also boosting insulin sensitivity and optimal pancreatic secretion.
- Candida Control
Use coconut oil to treat and prevent candida (systematic candidiasis), which is caused by a yeast (candida albicans) overgrowth in the stomach. The oil controls and relieves the internal and external symptoms of candida inflammation gradually, and allows the body to manage the Herxheimer reactions associated with removing the excess toxins and fungi from the system.
- Consume coconut oil on a daily basis, starting with a small amount and increasing the dose gradually to a maximum of four tablespoons a day to control and eliminate candida.
- Healthier Liver
Coconut oil contains fatty acids and MCTs that metabolize quickly in the liver and prevent it from becoming diseased. This cuts down on how hard the liver has to work, while reducing the amount of fat that builds up in and around it.
- Healthier Kidneys
Consume coconut oil on a regular basis to eliminate and dissolve kidney stones and to prevent the kidneys and gallbladder from becoming diseased.
- Pancreatitis Relief
Use coconut oil to treat and relieve the symptoms of pancreatitis.
- Relieve Stress
The soothing properties of coconut oil make it effective for reducing stress levels.
- Get rid of mental fatigue and stress by gently massaging the head with coconut oil.
- Better Bone Health
Coconut oil helps the body to absorb calcium and magnesium and other important minerals from foods while reducing the occurrence of oxidative and free radical stress, which builds stronger and thicker bones. Because of this fact, the polyphenol and antioxidant rich oil is beneficial for middle-aged women who produce less estrogen and are prone to osteoporosis.
- Consume three tablespoons of virgin coconut oil every day.
- Better Dental Health
Coconut oil helps the body to absorb more calcium to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay.
Uses of Coconut Oil
The following are some of the main ways to utilize coconut oil for health and wellness.
Coconut oil has a high smoke point, which makes it excellent for cooking foods that require very high heat such as grain free baked items, stir fried foods and eggs. The stability and nutritional value of the oil, along with the fact that it does not become rancid as quickly as other oils, make it suitable for a variety of cooking applications.
- Skin Lotion
The antibacterial properties of coconut oil, along with the fact that it soothes, hydrates and absorbs quickly without feeling greasy make it a natural and healthy skin care lotion.
Coconut oil leaves skin soft and smooth while also acting as a sunscreen, protecting it from damage. Use it plain or add several drops of essential oils to make it smell even better.
- Apply coconut oil over the entire body, including the hands and feet, immediately after stepping out of the shower while skin is still damp.
- Healthy Smoothie Ingredient
Coconut oil adds healthy fats and other important nutrients, a nutty and sweet flavor, extra creaminess and a smooth texture to smoothies.
- Homemade Mayo
Make a healthier mayonnaise filled with monounsaturated and saturated fats, but free of harmful ingredients and additives by using a combination of olive and coconut oils.
- Blend four egg yolks, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and half a teaspoon of dried mustard together until thoroughly combined.
- Melt one cup of coconut oil and add half a cup of olive oil to it.
- Keep the blender on and slowly pour the oils in until a smooth emulsion forms.
Note: If the mixture is not thick enough, add a tablespoon of tahini and continue blending until it comes together.
- Make Healthier Snacks
Use coconut oil as a replacement for butter and vegetable oils while baking or making healthy snacks. The oil adds vital nutrients and makes food more satiating.
Coconut oil works well for no bake recipes made in the freezer or fridge because it is solid at low temperatures.
- Use frozen coconut oil in recipes that require cold butter such as pie crust and biscuits.
- Grease cake pans and baking sheets with coconut oil to make (linoleic) it easy to remove backed items.
- Healthy Granola
Use coconut oil to make a healthy and crunchy granola snack.
- In a large bowl, mix together three cups of old-fashioned oats, one cup of chopped almonds, two teaspoons of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of salt, one third cup of honey (or maple syrup) and one third cup of coconut sugar.
- Use one third cup of melted coconut oil to drizzle over the mixture before spreading it onto a cookie sheet.
- Bake for approximately six minutes at three hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit, then rotate the pan and bake for another six minutes before turning the oven off.
- Let the granola cool for half an hour before breaking it into small clusters.
- Eye Makeup Remover
Use coconut oil to remove eye makeup while protecting the delicate area from developing fine lines and wrinkles.
- Control Dandruff
Used twice weekly, coconut oil helps to get rid of dandruff and dry scalp.
- Before going to sleep, massage a generous amount of coconut oil into the scalp.
- The following morning, wash the hair and scalp to remove flakes and excess oil.
Reduce irritation and make skin smooth and soft by using coconut oil as a shaving cream.
- Apply a generous amount of coconut oil to skin before shaving.
- Massage Oil
Use coconut oil as a fragrant and soothing massage oil that conditions skin and leaves it silky while relaxing sore and stiff muscles.
- Massage skin with coconut oil infused with essential oils such as peppermint or lavender.
- In Coffee or Tea
Add coconut oil to coffee or tea (green or herbal) as a replacement for creamer and to include healthy fats and beneficial nutrients in the diet and provide an energy boost.
- Combine a tablespoon full of coconut oil with a cup of hot coffee and enough natural sweetener to taste.
- Blend for several minutes until rich and creamy before drinking.
- Healthy Spread
Instead of using butter and sugary jams and jellies, use coconut oil as a healthy spread alternative for toast and crackers.
- Making Popcorn
Use coconut oil to pop organic popcorn instead of vegetable oils or butter. Drizzle melted coconut oil over popped corn before adding sea salt for a tasty and healthy treat.
- Non-stick Cooking
Coat frying pans with coconut oil to make them non-stick and very easy to clean while preparing eggs.
- Before adding the eggs, melt a teaspoon of coconut oil in the frying pan, making sure it coats the entire cooking surface.
- Lip Balm
Instead of using commercially made lip balms that are filled with toxic and unhealthy ingredients, use coconut oil to heal and nourish the lips safely while providing natural SPF protection.
- Add two tablespoons of coconut oil, two tablespoons of beeswax, and one tablespoon of shea butter to a saucepan (nonstick) and melt over a gentle heat.
- Pour the melted mixture into lip balm containers using a funnel before allowing them to set for a minimum of six hours.
- Add small amounts of beetroot powder, turmeric, cinnamon and cocoa powder to the melted lip balm mixture to make an all-natural tinted lip gloss.
- Natural Deodorant
When combined with baking soda and essential oils (or used alone), the antibacterial properties of coconut oil make it an effective natural deodorant that prevents body odor.
- Cellulite Solution
Used before dry brushing, coconut oil helps to encourage cell detoxification, stimulate circulation and reduce the appearance of stubborn cellulite.
- Massage cellulite affected areas of skin with a combination of one tablespoon of coconut oil mixed with ten drops of grapefruit essential oil.
Coconut oil, which is a non-volatile herbal oil, naturally contains an SPF level of four to protect skin from harsh UV rays and sun damage.
- Apply coconut oil to skin throughout the day as needed.
- Apply a generous amount of coconut oil to sunburned skin to soothe discomfort and speed healing.
- Wound Salve
The antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil as well as its lauric acid content make it very effective for helping to heal cuts, open wounds and burns on the skin, while keeping them infection free.
- Combine coconut oil, melaleuca oil and frankincense to make a germ-killing wound salve.
- Insect Repellant
Instead of using DEET which can be harmful to heath, coconut oil is a safe and effective alternative that can be used all over the body.
- Combine one tablespoon of coconut oil with a few drops of tea tree, rosemary or peppermint oil to keep bees, gnats, flies and mosquitos away.
- Cold Sore Treatment
The lauric acid content of coconut oil along with its antiviral properties is very effective for eliminating the virus that causes cold sores and stops it from reproducing, which heals them faster without leaving discoloration and scars behind.
- Rub coconut oil directly into cold sores several times daily until they heal completely.
- Homemade Exfoliator
Use a coconut oil based exfoliation treatment twice a week to remove dull skin, blackheads and acne from the face and body while also leaving skin feeling smooth and silky.
- Mix ground coffee with coconut oil (or coconut sugar) to make an exfoliating solution.
- Hormone Balancer
Taken on a regular basis, coconut oil helps to reduce and eliminate the inflammation and high cortisol levels that cause hormone imbalances, while also keeping the metabolism healthy.
The fatty acids in coconut oil (especially lauric acid) work to maintain the health and function of the adrenal and thyroid glands, which helps to balance hormones naturally.
- Natural Energy Booster
Combined with chia seeds, the MCTs in coconut oil provide the body with a boost of energy during the workday or after hard exercise while also improving digestion and the metabolism.
- Combine one tablespoon of coconut oil with half a tablespoon of chia seeds before eating it as is, or spreading it onto bread or crackers first.
- Cuticle Oil
The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of coconut oil help to protect nails from bacteria and viruses on salon manicuring tools and equipment.
- Coat the nailbeds and cuticles with a generous amount of coconut oil before having a manicure or pedicure.
- Soothing Rub for Cracked Heels
Eliminate dry cracked heels and bacteria from the feet with coconut oil, infusing the oil with a few drops of essential oils for a nice fragrance, before applying it to the feet.
- Massage one tablespoon of coconut oil into each dry and cracked heal (use two tablespoons total) to help the oil penetrate deeply into the skin.
- Treat Ingrown Hairs
Kill bacteria and soften skin to prevent ingrown hairs and infection while allowing hair to grow out of each follicle freely.
- Apply coconut oil to skin affected by razor bumps, ingrown hairs or infected hair follicles.
- Remove Earwax
Remove excessive wax from ears with coconut oil.
- Place a small amount of coconut oil into a dish and microwave until it melts completely.
- After ensuring that the oil is only slightly warm, use a dropper to collect half a tablespoon of oil.
- With the head tilted to the side, place several drops of warm oil into the ear and let it sit for several minutes.
- Return the head to an upright position and rinse the ear thoroughly with warm water.
- Repeat the steps for the opposite ear.
- Fight Acne
Instead of using antibiotics, use coconut oil as an effective and natural antibacterial remedy for killing the Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria overgrowth that leads to acne and pimples.
- Apply coconut oil infused with tea tree oil to affected areas of the skin.
- Minimize Heartburn
Ease the pain and discomfort of acid reflux and heartburn and remove the taste of bile from the mouth with coconut oil.
- Swallow one or two teaspoons of coconut oil to coat the inside of the mouth and stomach.
- Heal Eczema and Psoriasis
Use coconut oil to ease the irritation, redness and discomfort associated with chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Massage coconut oil into the affected skin to kill bacteria, fungus and infections while also reliving itchiness, moisturizing the area and encouraging the growth of healthy cells.
- Eyelash Enhancement
Use coconut oil to add moisture to eyelashes to prevent them from getting brittle and breaking off, which can help them to grow longer.
- Apply a small amount of coconut oil to eyelashes every night before bed.
- Personal Lubricant
Unlike commercially available products, coconut oil is a safe and effective personal lubricant that keeps the flora in the vagina healthy while offering antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial protection.
Warning: Coconut oil corrodes latex, so it is not safe to use along with latex contraceptive products.
- Natural Mouthwash
Use coconut oil as an antibiotic mouthwash that whitens teeth, prevents tooth decay, freshens breath, and kills bacteria while keeping the gums healthy.
- Combine coconut oil and baking soda in equal parts before infusing the mixture with a few drops of peppermint oil.
- Use the mixture as a daily mouthwash.
- Homemade Toothpaste
Use coconut oil along with peppermint oil and bentonite clay to make an all-natural and healthy toothpaste with probiotic properties.
- Combine coconut oil and bentonite clay in equal portions before infusing the mixture with a few drops of peppermint oil.
- Use the paste to brush teeth twice a day.
- Healing Bath with Epsom Salt
Use coconut oil combined with Epsom salt to remove toxins while soothing and hydrating dry skin.
- Fill a bathtub with warm water before adding a quarter cup of Epsom salts, a quarter cup of coconut oil and several drops of essential oil.
- Relax in the tub until the water comes to room temperature.
- Natural Throat Lozenge
Replace store-bought throat lozenges made with artificial coloring and flavors with coconut oil to sooth the throat. Infuse the oil with honey, lemon or licorice root to fight colds and viruses while boosting the body’s immune response.
- Combine coconut oil and licorice root (or honey, or lemon) and swallow one half to one full teaspoon of the mixture two or three times daily.
- Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Use coconut oil mixed with apple cider vinegar (ACV) to cleanse hair thoroughly without using harsh chemicals that can leave hair looking dull, dry and discolored (yellow or orange), while also making hair shiny and soft and preventing color from fading quickly.
- Gentle Face Wash
The antifungal, antibacterial and moisturizing properties of coconut oil make it effective for cleaning the skin while treating symptoms of atopic dermatitis. Combine the oil with raw honey, tea tree and lavender oils for a gentle yet effective natural facewash.
- Apply coconut oil to the face and neck and massage it into the skin using gentle circular motions.
- Use a gentle skin cleanser to remove coconut oil residue.
- Natural Hair Conditioner
Strengthen and moisturize hair by using coconut oil as a conditioning treatment.
- Depending on hair texture and length, apply between one teaspoon and two tablespoons of coconut oil throughout the hair, from roots to tips.
- Diaper Rash Ointment
Use coconut oil as an effective treatment for diaper rash that reduces the itching, burning, swelling and redness associated with the condition.
- Rub one tablespoon of coconut oil into the baby’s skin before diapering.
- Natural Vapor Rub
Use coconut oil combined with eucalyptus oil as a natural vapor rub that clears congestion, opens up airways for deeper breathing, increases circulation and encourages restful sleep.
- Rub a mixture of coconut oil infused with a few drops of eucalyptus oil into the chest of children or adults.
- Stretch Mark Reducer
Use coconut oil to eliminate the discoloration, redness and dark marks associated with stretchmarks while moisturizing and speeding the healing process of the skin.
- Massage coconut oil into the skin of the stomach while pregnant and during the months that follow to reduce the appearance of stretchmarks and restore elasticity to the skin.
- Inflammation Fighter
Consuming virgin coconut oil on a regular basis helps to support the kidneys and liver while reducing the chronic inflammation that leads to disease with a powerful inhibitory effect.
- Sleep Aid
Add soothing essential oils such as lavender and roman chamomile to coconut oil to make a relaxing sleep aid that reduces stress and anxiety.
- Constipation Relief
Coconut oil coats the digestive tract and encourages healthy bacteria in the gut while eliminating harmful microbes, which helps to re-balance the system and heal chronic bloating and constipation.
- Consume a tablespoon of coconut oil once a day to keep the digestive system running smoothly.
- Homemade Soap
Coconut oil is an effective base for making hard soaps that remove oil and grease when combined with water and lye.
- Soothe Fly Bites
Use coconut oil to ease the discomfort caused by fly bites.
- Rub a small amount of coconut oil into the affected skin using the fingertips.
- Nipple Soothing Cream
Coconut oil soothes the chapped, cracked and painful nipples that occur typically with breastfeeding.
- After breastfeeding, dry the nipples and the area immediately surrounding them thoroughly before applying a little bit of coconut oil.
- Rash Soother
The anti-inflammatory properties in coconut oil help to reduce the swelling, itching and irritation caused by rashes on the skin.
- Bath Oil
Add coconut oil to bath water to enjoy the fragrant aroma while softening skin and making it healthy and smooth.