Nutrition and Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
What is Coconut Oil?
If you’ve been in a grocery store or health food store lately, you might have seen coconut oil products bursting from the shelves. Coconut oil might be rising in popularity, but its benefits have been around for centuries.
Coconut oil is not that complex. In fact, it is simply coconut meat that has been pressed to make oil after the coconut milk is separated from it. If the meat pressed is fresh, it is considered virgin coconut oil. However, if the meat was dried, it is then considered refined coconut oil. Each product can be used for different purposes, but they generally share the same benefits.
What Kind of Health Benefits Does Coconut Oil Have?
Many think of coconut oil and immediately think that it’s food-related. However, this is actually quite far from the truth since it has many topical benefits.
For starters, coconut oil has been used for years as a method to clean your mouth. In some cases, with a few added ingredients it has replaced toothpaste altogether. However, the method we wanted to outline is called oil pulling.
Oil pulling is when you swoosh a tablespoon or so of coconut oil in your mouth for ten minutes or longer. Coconut oil contains fatty acids that can kill harmful pathogens and microorganisms. When you swoosh the coconut oil in your mouth, it absorbs and collects all the harmful bacteria that might have otherwise lingered throughout the day. If you don’t like the harsh chemicals or the strong taste and smell of mouthwash, oil pulling is a great alternative
You might wonder why you are constantly finding hair and skin products with coconut oil – the answer is quite simple. Coconut oil is effective when used topically as it can moisturize the skin. Those who suffer from eczema have found relief in applying coconut oil a few times a day. It can also protect your skin against the sun. Coconut oil has been shown to block around 20% of the sun’s rays. While this isn’t the best, it can be a lifesaver when you forgot the sunscreen.
While this all sounds amazing, it doesn’t stop there. These fatty acids are even more powerful when you ingest them. When they get digested, they form another strong substance called monolaurin that can also be used to kill pathogens. On the other hand, these fatty acids can reduce seizures and treat epilepsy by increasing the blood concentration of ketones while still allowing the children to consume some carbohydrates.
If you are looking to improve your heart health, this is the magic ingredient you’ve been looking for. There have been a few studies that prove coconut oil can raise the blood levels of HDL cholesterol. This can drastically reduce your risk of heart disease by improving your metabolic health.
What Nutritional Benefits Does Coconut Oil Have?
When it comes to nutritional benefits, coconut oil is rich in them! Coconut oil is one of the most concentrated sources of energy on the planet.
One of the main nutritional benefits of coconut oil is saturated fats. A large portion of these fats are considered medium-chain triglycerides such as Lauric and Capric acid. When you digest the coconut oil, the Lauric acid and other medium-chain triglycerides are absorbed into the bloodstream. They are immediately turned into or stored as energy.
Additionally, they make you feel fuller faster. Over time, this can help you lose weight. The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil will also increase the overall number of calories you have burned in a day.
Cold-pressed coconut oil contains some vitamin-E which is a very underrated vitamin. While most praised in skincare, it provides a lot of benefits to your body. For starters, vitamin E can drastically reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, the number one killer in America.
Additionally, it can improve and support your immune function to help reduce the number of colds you get. Coconut oil has also been proven to prevent inflammation which can help some people, especially if they suffer from an inflammatory-based disease.
How to Incorporate Coconut Oil into Your Daily Routine
Coconut oil is one of the easiest ingredients to incorporate into your daily routine. You can pretty much use it throughout the day while still being frugal with it. Coconut oil has a very long shelf life so you can buy a huge jar of it at a good price and use it sparingly throughout the year.
When you first wake up in the morning, one of the best things you can do with coconut oil is oil pull. Swoosh all that terrible bacteria out of your mouth before you brush your teeth so you can not only feel fresh but your mouth will feel clean at a deep level.
Depending on what you’re having for breakfast, coconut oil can be incorporated. If you are making a smoothie, coconut oil can be blended in to create a velvety smooth consistency. If you are making scrambled eggs or scrambled tofu, coconut oil has a high smoke temperature and can be used for frying. Try frying your breakfast up with a little bit of coconut oil to get in some health benefits without setting off the smoke alarm.
To finish off your day with coconut oil, you can massage your skin with pure coconut oil or a moisturizer that contains it. This will help your skin heal from all of the stress and environmental factors that might have damaged or dried it out throughout the day.
Consider infusing your coconut oil with vanilla bean or pumpkin spice. You can then add this to your tea or coffee instead of creamer and end your night with a warm drink.
For 52+1 other reasons to love coconut oil read the blog here by Alice Webster at Alice’s Kitchen.