Benefits of Coconut Oil

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For a few months now I have been using coconut oil and cannot believe how much my skin has  benefited from this. Coconut oil or 'white gold' is the only thing I will apply to my face every night, I can't live without it. In this post I will tell you why using coconut oil is one of the best things you can do for your health.

The benefits of coconut oil include increased immunity, hair care, skin care, weight loss, maintaining cholesterol, stress relief, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, dental care and bone strength.

There are medium chain fatty acids present in coconut oil - lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. This type of fatty acid refers to the length of the fat molecule which can make an enormous difference in our bodies. Coconut oil contains at least 40% lauric acid, this is also found in breast milk. Lauric acid is then converted into monilaurin in the body and provides our bodies with antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties. This is why breast milk is the best source of food for babies and coconut oil is a great food for everyone else.

Skin Care

Coconut oil easily absorbs into the skin, making it an excellent non-greasy moisturizer. Use it right after coming out of the shower, while your skin is still a little damp. It can also be used as massage oil. Coconut oil has high moisture retaining capacity. When applied to your skin this is what prevents it from drying out and cracking, providing significant improvement in skin hydration and water content.

The Lauric acid gives it its anti microbial properties. Using a small amount is supposed to reduce breakouts by reducing skin bacteria. Wash your skin first with a mild cleanser, and then apply a very small amount of coconut oil to the affected area.

Coconut oil can also be used to treat sunburn. The antioxidants in the oil can help reduce redness and limit some of the damage done to the skin by sun exposure. One of the ways that the sun damages your skin is through free radicals. Coconut oil is full of antioxidants that protect the skin from free radicals. Make sure that you are using pure unrefined virgin coconut oil, this form is the safest on your skin. it has a low melting point so it will not solidify on your skin and clog up your pores.

Weight loss

A lot of people are put off using coconut oil because it is a fat. Coconut oil is actually used to promote weight loss. 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 enzyme systems. The oil works by increasing the bodies metabolism so it can burn more energy and reduce weight. Coconut oil slows down the digestion of food, which helps you feel fuller after a meal. Many people notice that after adding coconut oil to their diet, they are less prone to snacking. Coconut oil slows down digestion which helps prevent blood sugar fluctuations after a meal by slowing the rate carbohydrates are broken down into glucose. Coconut oil helps cleanse the body, balances the digestive tract and nourishes all cells in the body.

Hair care

Coconut oil is amazing for your hair! It helps in healthy growth of hair providing a shiny complexion. It reduces the protein loss for damaged and undamaged hair. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair.  I apply it to dry hair before going to bed and wash it out in the morning, you can also apply it during the day for two hours and then wash it out.

Cooking

Coconut oil is one of the few oils that is not damaged when heated to temperatures used in cooking, baking and frying. When you chose a cooking oil you want to choose one that wont be damaged under heat. Oils such as corn, sunflower, canola and soybean are damaged by heating and can cause health problems. You can use coconut oil at very high temperatures and even leave it at room temperature for months without it going rancid.

Immunity

Coconut oil is great 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. These antimicrobial properties can kill a variety of disease-causing bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites, yet they do not harm friendly gut bacteria or contribute to antibiotic resistance.

My favourite Coconut oil is available from The Coconut Oil Shop. I purchase the 'White Gold Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil' which is produced from organic coconuts harvested in Sri Lanka. The Coconut Oil Shop also sell fermented coconut which helps support gut health (Julia is a big fan of this).   The Coconut Oil Shop deliver free within New Zealand.  You can also check out their Facebook page.

You can add coconut oil to smoothies, herbal teas, baking, popcorn, breakfast oats, salad dressing, saute over vegetables and use as a cooking oil.

Libby x