Health & Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil
By mindbodywell on November 13, 2012
Ostracized by the medical community for it’s saturated fat content, it looks like coconut oil may finally be making a comeback in the mainstream health & wellness community.
One of the few plant sources of saturated fat, coconut oil contains lauric acid (said to possess antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties) and medium-chain triglycerides (said to speed up metabolism and promote weight loss). Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a “functional food” because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content.
Solid at room temperature like butter and does not break down in heat or light nor become rancid like many oils, not to mention it has a wonderful tropical smell. Incorporating coconut oil into your diet is a great way to increase the amount of healthy fats and is helpful in assimilation of fat soluble vitamins.
Health & Beauty Benefits – if you are new to coconut oil, here are a few ways to incorporate this nutrient packed powerhouse into your lifestyle:
- Immune booster: Studies have shown that intake of coconut oil can help the body mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can cause illness.
- Improves thyroid function: Coconut oil can also positively affect hormones for proper thyroid and blood sugar control. People who take coconut oil also tend to have improvements in how they handle blood sugar, for coconut can help improve insulin use within the body. Coconut oil can also boost thyroid function helping to increase metabolism, energy and endurance. It increases digestion and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
- Cooking: Coconut oil is a stable oil that does not break down easily at high temperatures. It doesn’t go rancid easily and has amazing nutritional properties. Works well in everyday cooking and baking including eggs, stir fries, grain free baked goods, etc.
- Anti-fungal: helps prevent fight off yeast, fungus, candida, athlete’s foot and thrush.
- Moisturizer: Coconut oil is my favorite moisturizer. Not only does it absorb quickly but it does not leave an oily residue. I use it daily on my growing baby bump to keep my skin moisturized and prevent stretch marks. It leaves my skin silky smooth and has beneficial antibacterial/antimicrobial properties.
- Eye Make Up Remover: This versatile oil works great to remove stubborn eye makeup in one swipe, improves the appearance of wrinkles and helps to restore skin elasticity.
- Dandruff Remedy: Coconut oil can effectively get rid of dandruff when rubbed into the scalp a couple times a week. While it does make hair oily, massage into scalp prior to bed, leave on overnight and rinse out in the morning. It also helps strengthen hair and add shine.
- Hair Conditioner: rub a dime size amount of coconut oil from ends to mid-length for and leave on for up to an hour, rinse and style as usual. If your hair is despearate need of TLC, leave it in overnight and rinse out in your morning shower.
Coconut oil can be purchased at most natural-foods stores. When selecting a coconut oil, remember to look for organic, non-GMO coconut oil. Stay away from hydrogenated oil or oil that has been treated with heat, solvents, or bleach. Opting for extra-virgin oil ensures that the coconut oil product has not been refined, bleached, or deodorized. In addition, extra-virgin coconut oil tends to offer a richer flavor than refined coconut oil.
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