Coconut oil has enjoyed health food stardom for quite some time, with it being the perennial buzzword in healthy eating and all natural skin care. It’s high essential fatty acids content make it a staple fat source in the keto and paleo diets. Its healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) include: Caprylic acid, Lauric acid, and Capric acid. Coconut oil is so versatile it can be used not only for supplementing your diet, but for skin care, hair care, oral care, at home remedies, as a digestive aid, and as an immunity booster.
Coconut oil is derived from the meat of mature coconuts. There are two methods of extracting it. Dry processing is when the meat is dried and the oil is pressed out of the dried coconut meat (also known as copra). Wet method is when fresh coconut meat is used and then the resulting emulsion is separated into coconut oil and coconut water.
Due to the one of a kind combination of fatty acids and medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which contain antioxidant properties, coconut oil can beneficially impact your health. Let’s take a look at some of its health benefits.
Coconut oil helps lower cholesterol levels because it is loaded with healthy fats that increase good HDL cholesterol levels and can actually turn the bad LDL cholesterol into a less harmful form thus, lowering your risk for heart disease. The presence of lauric acid helps prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Infection and inflammation
Coconut oil’s antioxidant properties can reduce inflammation and even be used to treat arthritis. Its lauric acid content makes it a potent treatment for fighting bacterial and yeast infection. It can work as both analgesic and anti inflammatory.
Aside from being high in antioxidants, coconut oil can also help in the absorption of other minerals such as Calcium. It helps fight oxidative stress and free radicals that are the top causes of osteoporosis and it also helps the gut absorb calcium better.
Skin, hair, and dental care
Coconut oil, when ingested, can result to a host of benefits, but that’s not the only thing it’s good for. Coconut oil can also improve skin by improving its moisture content and can also act as a weak sunscreen by blocking approximately 20% of harmful UV rays. In fact, coconut oil can be used as an after shower moisturiser and can even reduce symptoms of eczema and psoriasis. Coconut oil improves hair health by giving it a shine boost and strengthening the strands. It can also moisturise hair and protect it from damage. Some people also use it as a mouthwash in a DIY at home remedy called oil pulling which kills harmful mouth bacteria, improve teeth health, and reduce bad breath.