Coconut oil is garnering a lot of great press lately as one of the healthiest foods on the planet. More than 1,700 studies profess the benefits of consuming coconut oil. The secrets of this unique fruit (it is classified as both a fruit and a nut) are its medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), 90% of which are healthy saturated fats that include lauric, caprylic and capric acids.
MCFAs are significantly easier to digest than the other fats we consume ‒ requiring a 3-step process vs. a 26-step process ‒ and are not as readily stored as fat. They are smaller in size, which allows for easy cell permeability; and because they are processed by the liver they provide an immediate source of energy.
Here are a few of the many ways coconut oil benefits your body:
1. Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
Because it is high in natural saturated fats, coconut oil increases healthy cholesterol (HDL), while helping to convert LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterol. This promotes heart health by lowering the risk of heart disease.
2. Prevents Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
The ancient practice of oil pulling, conducted with coconut oil, helps to remove oral bacteria and significantly reduces the risk of gum disease. Try it yourself by swishing about a tablespoon of oil around in your mouth first thing in the morning for up to 20 minutes. Then spit the oil out, rather than swallowing it, because it acts like a magnet to collect the bacteria in your mouth. That’s how it helps heal gums and teeth.
3. Proven Natural Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease
When MCFAs are digested, the liver creates ketones that are easily accessible energy for the brain. Ketones don’t require insulin to supply energy to the brain. Alzheimer’s patients lose the ability to create insulin in the brain, so having this readily accessible energy source can encourage brain function repair. Coconut oil can also improve memory function in older adults not suffering from Alzheimer’s.
4. Boosts Energy, Endurance and Contributes to Weight Loss
The easily digestible nature of coconut oil creates long-lasting energy and can increase metabolism. Studies show that it decreases appetite and promotes the burning of fat, especially stubborn belly fat.
5. Heals Skin Disorders
If you deal with skin issues such as eczema, dermatitis, dandruff, burns and psoriasis, using this wonder oil topically can help. It also serves as a facial cleanser and moisturizer.
6. Lowers Inflammation and Improves Arthritis
Working as both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, coconut oil’s high levels of antioxidants help heal arthritis and reduce inflammation.
7. Boosts Immune Function
The lauric acid in coconut oil is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. That means it fights bacteria, reduces candida, and creates an inhospitable environment for viruses.
8. Cures UTIs and Kidney Infections
Because it’s a natural antibiotic, coconut oil has been known to clear up and heal urinary (UTI) and kidney infections. How? The oil’s MCFAs disrupt the bacteria’s lipid coating and kills them.
Your Daily Dose of Coconut Oil
So how much of this miracle oil should you eat per day? Studies show about two tablespoons per day will produce health benefits. Start with one tablespoon per day and work up to two over the course of two weeks. And take note: each tablespoon contains 130 calories, and although it boosts metabolism, you still need to account for the extra calories consumed.
You can eat it plain, sauté vegetables in it, substitute it for butter 1:1 in baked goods, or use it as a drizzle over popcorn. You can even add it to your morning coffee or tea for an energy boost! As always, we recommend a high-quality organic coconut oil for maximum health benefits.