We’ve all heard it. Friends tell us, medical professionals, it’s all over those healthy living websites: coconut oil is brilliant for you – use it! But we’ve also heard those very same things about all the fads out there; and boy, are there many. We get it, it’s just too hard to keep track. There’s a reason coconut oil keeps popping up on our radar, however. All over the world, there are various types of cultures and societies that integrate coconut oil into their every day. It provides both nutritional and therapeutic value, which is why many countries use it in all forms of treatment. What about you, though? Should you start using it? We’ve got the scoop on some truths about coconut oil that you should know.
Your Skin Will Love You
Dermatologists everywhere sing the praises of coconut oil for a pretty good reason. The chemical makeup of the oil includes saturated fatty acids, which at first glance you probably think means harmful properties. It’s the other way around! The saturated fat is used as a source of energy for the body and combined with the short-chain acids inside coconut oil inherently promotes wound healing. These chemicals also mean high levels of skin nourishment. So, lather on that coconut oil to give your skin the love it deserves.
Your Hair Will, Too
Shiny, durable hair is something everyone – and I mean, everyone – strives for. Nothing can beat that healthy hair glow, and how vibrant it makes you feel. Coconut oil is a little magical when it comes to bringing this sheen out, thanks to its ability to get through the hair shaft and efficiently reduce protein loss. This knowledge is something hair companies have been profiting off of for years now. Check those shampoos, conditioners and other products to see if coconut oil is included in the make-up. You’d be surprised by how many of those have the property as a leading ingredient. Lather up, rinse and repeat!
It Works as a Dairy Substitute
These are the times of the dairy-free lifestyle. Ever since the bad qualities within milk fat were exposed a few years ago, people have been swearing off of milk like it’s a disease. Unfortunately, avoiding milk also means your dairy-free food and drinks probably aren’t going to taste that great. Introducing…coconut oil! Throw it in place of milk in all of your recipes, and it tastes just as good as the real thing. Missing ice-cream? Be sad no longer. Many who have substituted coconut oil for milk in the delicious treat testify that it’s pretty satisfying.
Say Goodbye to Harmful Things
Thinking back on what we said about the promotion of healing properties, it makes sense that coconut oil is an acceptable method to treat harmful bacteria or organisms. Thanks to its chemical makeup, the substance is used in a variety of ways to fight off negative properties. Bugs are averse to it, for one. It repels mosquitos and smells a lot nicer than bug spray. Coconut oil is also used in combination with other products to treat head lice and sand flea disease.
Scientists in India have discovered that coconut oil used as a massage oil for newborn babies is a definitive positive for the baby’s health. Due to its healthy properties, the oil encourages healthy weight gain, along with natural growth. They found this out through a study where they analyzed measures like thermo-regulation and a baby’s weight gain within the first 31 days of a child’s life. The researchers conducting the survey discovered that within the sample group where the newborn was massaged with coconut oil four times a day demonstrated significant growth and weight gain in that period.
The Chemical Properties Help You Lose Weight
…but in a healthy way! Don’t worry; you read that right. The properties of coconut oil are magical, remember? Not only that but backed by science. Clear wins. A few studies have proven that regular consumption of it decreases waist-size in individuals at risk of heart disease. Now the key here is the fact that using coconut oil while you cook reduces appetite. It also provides more energy to help speed up your metabolism, in turn burning off those extra calories. Honestly, these are things of weight-loss dreams.
It Reduces Your Risk of Disease
Now, this is merely a theory that is being backed by ongoing research, but one that has some merit, nonetheless. A few recent studies conducted in at-risk populations have found that use of coconut oil reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease progression. Again, as this is developing research, we’d say take the discovery with a grain of salt. However, what’s not new study is that plant-based oils like coconut oil have been connected to reducing the risk of other neurodegenerative diseases.
It’s Not Heart Healthy, Though
The American Heart Association recommends a limited amount of saturated fat every day. Well, one tablespoon of coconut oil takes up more than half of that recommended amount. Put plainly, while the saturated fat in coconut oil isn’t necessarily bad, everything needs to be taken in moderation. Coconut oil has a high amount of saturated fatty acids, which similar levels have been proven to increase your total cholesterol. Disclaimer: there has been some contrasting research regarding whether or not coconut oil increases, “the good,” or the, “bad,” cholesterol. Still, as that research is developing, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be careful with the amount you consume.
Alternative Dental Health Encourages It
Probably should start by saying the dental uses have not been adequately researched but are still used often. A traditional method of oral hygiene is the practice of oil pulling; which is basically when you substitute out your standard mouthwash for coconut oil. This swishing of oil in your mouth for 15 minutes a day is a method of dental care used in Ayurvedic medicine. The coconut oil is supposed to attack the bacteria in your mouth and reduce the risk of tooth decay. It’s also used for teeth whitening.
The Healthiest People Use It
For parts of the world where coconut is a standard part of the diet, the people are among the healthiest groups in the world. The Tokelauan are a people who live in the South Pacific. In their food, they consume more than 60% of their calories from coconuts. Researchers have thoroughly analyzed the people in this population and found that they have zero evidence of heart disease. The Kitavans are another community with a similar diet and exemplary health. Nuts, huh?