Anything that becomes a trend, usually does so for one of two reasons. 1. It’s got a great sales team or someone who’s been paid off to say that this miracle food/drink/vitamin etc. is the latest greatest thing to happen to modern man, or 2. It actually works but hadn’t been extensively tested until now, and used mostly by peoples indigenous to the area it hailed from. One of the latest regards coconut palm derived products like oil and sugar. This article will cover the benefits of the oil, which are surprisingly numerous, and fits into the number 2 reason for trends.
In Southeast Asia, the coconut palm tree has been called “the tree of life” by the locals dating back 5000 years. Also historically used in India, the Philippines, and nearly every tropical tribal culture, this tree has provided numerous nutrients to the local populous before we even knew to test just how much good it was really doing. Today, there are over 1500 studies (1), (2), (3), (4) that prove the health benefits of coconut oil. What the indigenous people of the area knew was instinctual, and they felt it and saw it in their own bodies. When the Western world discovered it, our curiosity led to testing and the testing led to a huge boom in coconut oil sales.
Top benefits of coconut oil include
- Burns Fat
- Kills Candida Bacteria
- Balances Hormones
- Improves Digestion
- Reduces Cellulite
- Decreases Wrinkles and Age Spots
- Balances Blood Sugar
- Improves Energy
- Improves Alzheimer’s
- Increases HDL and Lowers LDL Cholesterol
Though those are just the biggest of the best, there’s so many other uses for coconut oil that it’s staggering. There’s blogs aplenty out there with info-graphics and even more uses for the oil, whose list only seems to keep growing.
The reasons for this (for those who don’t want to read pages upon pages of scholarly articles) is this: coconut oil contains short-term medium chain saturated fatty acids – which means it’s a healthy form of absorbable saturated fat. Our bodies metabolize these fats in our liver, unlike trans-fats which we cannot use for energy, and it provides us fuel for our brains and muscle functions rather than storing it as fat. Trans-fats are not only directly stored as fat, but they are linked to health issues like heart problems, depression, and high cholesterol. It also helps with abdominal obesity, particularly in women, and protects from insulin resistance.
The fatty acids in coconut oil aid in digestion also, containing anti-microbial properties in trace amounts that have a soothing effect on bacteria like candida or parasites that can cause poor digestion. It also supports the immune system by providing healthy fats like lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid whose properties boost immunity functions. Our bodies convert the lauric acid into monolaurin which helps to heal viruses like herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus and helicobacter pylori. Lastly, it helps to stop sugar cravings by replacing the hunger urges the body sends out from metabolic sugar spikes, due to a high concentration of usable, long-lasting energy abundant in the oil.
Not just for internal uses, it’s also got long reaching benefits for the skin. It keeps connective tissues strong, hydrates the skin and can be a great treatment for dry hair or splitting ends. You can even make a toothpaste out of it, to capitalize on the anti-microbial properties it carries by adding 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda and mixing well. If you prefer your tooth paste to have a bit of flavor, you can always add things like vanilla or mint extracts to the mixture as well. What follows is a list of even more proven uses for the oil, which is also capable of being used for cooking at high temperatures, and you use much less than traditional oils, meaning that it helps with budget-friendly meals.
- Softens cracked heels
- Treats fungal infections like Athlete’s Foot
- To improve living with Parkinson’s Disease
- To remove eye makeup – it’s perfectly harmless to get into your eyes and works much better than any chemical makeup remover that is on the market.
- Can relieve the itchiness of bug bites
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Enhances the ability for nutrient absorption by enabling you to gain more from the foods you cook in oil, making certain minerals digestible.
- Improves Osteoporosis
- Improves cognitive functioning, even among pre and post-Alzheimer’s patients
- For relief of persistent hemorrhoids
It can also help remove stretch marks, be used to make soap and laundry detergents (in the same way that toothpaste works) as an alternative to hair gel and leave-in conditioners, as shaving cream for both pre-shaving and after-shave, in salt and sugar scrubs, to help soothe sore throats when heated and mixed with honey, as a homemade deodorant, for cuticle oil, and to help control nose bleeds. As science continues to delve into the world of coconut oil and its many uses, we will likely find plenty more things it can be used for, and this article doesn’t even begin to cover them all. For good health, and to add to a healthy diet – there’s little better to have as a staple in your household than coconut oil.