Coconut Oil Uses and BenefitsCoconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. Coconuts are an excellent source of nutrition and have healthful meat, juice and oil. The oil is arguably the most nutritious and has many health benefits. Coconut oil is over 90% saturated fat and has antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties and it helps in the absorption of other minerals. Coconut oil is used extensively in tropical countries especially India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Phillipines etc, which have a good production of coconut oil. The oil was also once popular in western countries such as United States and Canada; however, there was a strong propoganda in 1970s spread by the corn oil and soy oil industry against coconut oil.
Coconut Oil can be used in a wide variety of areas including cooking, gardening, personal use, and even in engines! It’s a great tool to have in your preparedness aresenal. Since it has so many uses, it can save you money and contribute to your overall natural health.
One of the great things about coconut oil is that it’s slow to oxidize. That means that it’s slower to turn rancid. This is due to the high content of saturated fats contained in it but also makes it very stable at high temperatures for cooking.
Health benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition for hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair providing them a shiny complexion. It is effective in reducing the protein loss for damaged and undamaged hair. Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. Most of the people in these countries apply coconut oil on their hair daily after bath. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. Regular head massage with coconut oil ensures that your scalp is free of dandruff, even if your scalp is dry. It also helps in keeping hair and scalp free from lice and lice eggs. It is therefore used as hair care oil and used in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Coconut oil is normally applied topically for hair care.
Coconut Oil For Skin Care
Coconut oil is excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Further, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin with the application of coconut oil. Coconut oil therefore is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Therefore coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions, creams, etc., used for skin care. Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.
Coconut Oil For Heart Diseases
There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for the heart. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetables oils. It does not lead to increase in LDL levels. It also reduces the incidence of injury in arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.
Coconut Oil For Weight loss
Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.
Coconut Oil For Digestion
Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Coconut Oil For Immunity
Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
Coconut Oil For Healing and infections
When applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil is most effective on bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.
Coconut Oil For Infections
Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, etc. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc.
Coconut oil is strongly recommended for other benefits which are given below. Usage of coconut oils mildly helps for the following:
Liver: The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids helps in preventing liver diseases as they substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing work load on the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat.
Kidney: Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones.
Pancreatitis: Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in treating pancreatitis.
Stress relief: Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue.
Diabetes: Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.
Bones: As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium which are necessary for development of bones. Thus coconut oil is very useful to women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.
Dental care: Calcium is an important element present in teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in getting strong teeth. Coconut oil also stops tooth decay.
HIV and cancer: It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients. Preliminary research has shown indications of the effect of coconut oil on reducing the viral load of HIV patients (Reference).
Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.
How to use coconut oil?
If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially hair care, just melt the oil (if it is solid) by keeping the bottle in the sun or warm water. You can also take some coconut oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame (do not use microwave). Then take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair. If you want to use it for internal consumption, simply replace butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your recipes. Remember, you need not switch to coconut oil completely, as you will miss the benefits of other oils and dairy products.
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