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What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut Oil is one of nature’s best superfoods! In many tropical locations, the coconut tree is considered the “tree of life”. It is so versatile & can be used for cooking, beauty, skincare, natural medicine & much much more. It is made up of medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs) which is a type of fat that can be burned as energy. It is very popular in the Ketogenic diet.
Coconut Oil is made by using either a “dry” or “wet” method to extract the oil by pressing it from the meat of the coconut.
It is made up of lauric acid, capric acid, caprylic acid & antimicrobial lipids, that are known for their antifungal, antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It also contains linoleic acid, oleic acid, phenolic acid, myristic acid, vitamin E, vitamin K, and iron.
Coconut oil has a firm texture below 78 degrees and liquifies above 78 degrees. It can be heated to higher temperatures, unlike olive oil, and the antioxidants are not lost through the heating process.
Coconut Oil is easier to digest than other oils & is simply one of the healthiest oils we can consume.
Types of Coconut Oil
Virgin Coconut oil or Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil is the healthiest form & least refined. It’s made with dried coconut meat, that’s been removed from its shell then pressed to extract the natural oils. Virgin Coconut Oil has a slightly sweet/nutty taste & smell.
Refined Coconut Oil
Refined Coconut Oil goes through a refining process that bleaches and deodorizes the oil. It doesn’t have a noticeable coconut taste or smell but is not recommended because many of them are made with high temperatures and harsh chemicals. These processes can destroy the oil’s beneficial antioxidants.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
1. Prevents & Kills Candida and Yeast Infections
Coconut oil contains caprylic acid, which has anti-microbial & anti-fungal properties that can kill yeast and candida. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to your coffee or tea in the mornings, and apply pure coconut oil to affected areas twice a day until better. For best benefits, take 1 Tbs of Coconut Oil 3 times a day until symptoms disappear. It’s best to remove sugar (sweeteners, grains, potatoes, etc…) from your diet also. Remember sugar feeds yeast.
2. Reduces Inflammation and Arthritis
Virgin Coconut Oil has very high levels of antioxidants which have been shown to reduce inflammation and improve arthritis symptoms more effectively than prescription medications.
3. Prevents Osteoporosis
Coconut Oil Increases Collagen Production in the bones & is effective in maintaining bone structure and preventing bone loss. It is recommended to take 3 Tbs. of Virgin Coconut Oil daily for best results.
4. Prevents & Treats Cancer
Cancer is dependent on sugar (glucose) to grow. Coconut Oil has ketones which the body will use for energy instead of sugar (glucose). By reducing sugar intake & increasing healthy fats such as Coconut Oil, the cells are unable to access as much sugar (glucose) as before. This helps stop or slow down the growth of tumors.
5. Improves Memory and Brain Function
Studies have shown that the MCTs in coconut oil improved the memory problems in their older subjects. The studies show that the body can absorb MCTs easily and can enter the brain without the use of insulin. Therefore is able to fuel brain cells more efficiently.
6. Improves Energy and Endurance
Coconut Oil is very easily digested & increases metabolism. It also produces longer sustained energy. The MCTs in the coconut oil are sent directly to the liver & is converted to energy. Many athletes & especially triathletes use coconut oil as their source of fuel during training & races.
7. Improves Skin Disorders
Because of it’s antifungal, antimicrobial properties coconut oil helps balance out candida & fungal sources that cause a lot of skin issues such as Acne, Eczema, Dandruff, Dermatitis & Psoriasis. Its antioxidants & fatty acids make it ideal for healing the skin internally & externally.
8. Prevents Gum Disease and Tooth Decay
Coconut Oil has been used for centuries for oil pulling. This process of swishing with 1 Tbs of coconut oil works to detoxify the mouth by depriving the bacteria in the mouth. Due to its high concentration of antibacterial MCT’s it is one of the most effective oils for oil pulling. This greatly reduces your risk of periodontal disease by removing the oral bacteria that cause gum disease.
You should do this at least 3 times per week for about 20 minutes for the most benefits. As a bonus, it is a natural teeth whitener.
9. Improves Type II Diabetes
The MCTs in coconut oil help to balance insulin & promote healthy digestion. They give the body a consistent energy source that isn’t dependent on glucose. They also reduce stress on the pancreas which can prevent insulin resistance and Type II Diabetes.
10. Balances Hormone Levels
Because of Coconut oil’s natural lauric acid & saturated fats, coconut oil naturally lowers cortisol levels to balance hormones in both Men & Women. It also helps to increase testosterone in Men by reducing oxidative stress.
It helps to balance estrogen levels which makes coconut oil a great natural alternative for women experiencing hot flashes & mood swings associated with menopause. Coconut oil helps to support a healthy metabolism, by suppressing inflammation. This is essential for balancing hormones.
11. Helps with Weight loss & Building Muscle
According to research, the MCTs in Coconut Oil has also been shown to lower weight, decrease metabolic syndrome, reduce abdominal obesity and reduce inflammation.
Coconut Oil has zero carbs & increases metabolism which makes it a good source for burning fat & calories. No wonder it is very popular in the Keto diet.
The MCTs found within the fat in coconut oil helps to build muscle. In fact, The MCTs found in coconut are also used in popular muscle-building products.
12. Coconut Oil Benefits for Hair Care
Coconut Oil is a great natural Hair Conditioner. Since it is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties this allows the coconut oil to improve hair dryness, improve scalp health, fights infections & fungus, supports hair growth & adds volume & shine.
Coconut Oil also protects hair from UV exposure. Also, consuming coconut oil helps nourish your hair from the inside.
According to research coconut oil improves antioxidant levels and can slow down the aging process by reducing stress on the liver and lowering oxidative stress. Try adding 1-2 Tbs with your coffee or AIP “Herbal” Coffee with a bowl of berries to help boost the antioxidants in the berries.
I also use it in my skincare routines. I use it to remove my makeup & mixed with Frankincense Oil & Lavender Oil for night time moisturizer. Mixed with the essential oils it helps to smooth fine lines & help to reduce age spots.
14. Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
Since Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats it not only increases the HDL (the “good” cholesterol) in your body but also helps to convert the LDL ( the “bad” cholesterol) into good cholesterols.
One study found that daily consumption of 2 Tbs of Virgin Coconut Oil significantly increased HDL. This helps promote heart health & lower the risk of heart disease. Coconut oil also lowers triglycerides which is beneficial for the heart.
15. Reduces Alzheimer’s Symptoms
The MCTs digestion by the liver creates ketones. These ketones supply energy to the brain. Therefore, there is no need for insulin to process glucose into energy.
According to recent research, the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient loses the ability to create its own insulin therefore, the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy. This should help to repair brain function.
16. Heals Wounds Faster
Coconut Oil helps to heal wounds faster because it increases collagen production. The fatty acids in coconut oil help to reduce inflammation. That combined with the antioxidants in coconut oil make it ideal for healing. Mix it with Aloe Vera to rub on the wound.
17. Helps to lower Cholesterol Levels
Coconut oil is naturally high in saturated fats which help to increase the “good” cholesterol HDL & helps to naturally lower the “bad” cholesterol LDL. Studies have shown that taking just 1 Tbs. daily helps lower Cholesterol Levels.
18. Helps with Nutrient Absorption
According to research, MCTs is a dietary supplement and has been used along with medications for treating food absorption disorders including diarrhea, steatorrhea and liver disease.
19. Treats UTI & Kidney Infections
Coconut water has also been used by doctors by injecting the coconut water to clear up kidney stones. By drinking coconut water it helps to hydrate & support the healing process by flushing out the killed bacteria.
20. Boosts Immune System
Because of Coconuts Antibacterial, Antifungal & Antiviral properties & fatty acids Coconut Oil creates a hostile environment for viruses, fights bacteria & reduces candida. Since many diseases are caused by the overgrowth of yeast, bad bacteria, parasites & viruses. Coconut oil is a great addition to your diet to fight these commons causes of disease.
If you replace grains & sugar with coconut oil it helps to build your immune system & is a natural fuel source when you are sick.
21. Prevents Osteoporosis
Research has shown that coconut oil not only increases calcium absorption in the gut but also increases bone volume & structure. It has also been shown to decrease bone loss caused by osteoporosis.
22. Helps to Heal Thyroid Function
The MCTs in Coconut oil helps to regulate blood sugar and stress hormones which suppress thyroid function. It also protects cell mitochondria against stress and injury, both of which suppress thyroid function. Coconut oil displaces PUFAs (polyunsaturated fats which we know are quite thyroid suppressive on multiple levels) and their direct harmful thyroid suppressive effects.
Coconut Oil boosts metabolism, aids in weight loss, fights inflammation, relieves constipation, treats dry flaky skin, prevents hair loss, all of which are symptoms of Hypothyroidism.
23. Protects Against Macular Degeneration
According to research Coconut Oil’s many antioxidants can help to protect the retina. Read more about the study here.
24. Great for Pets
Because of Coconut oil’s strong antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiprotozoal functions, it can be used to prevent and treat infections such as yeast infections, giardia infections and infectious diseases such as canine influenza.
It is also used for weight control, joint & bone health, skin health (rashes), digestive health, hormonal control, cancer prevention & much much more.
I like to put 1 Tbs on my German Shepherds food daily. I recently noticed a rash on his neck. He had lost hair in the area & was very irritated. I mixed a few drops of Lavender Oil with a couple of Tbs. of Coconut Oil & put on the infected area twice daily. It was gone in a few days. He stopped scratching immediately.
25. Natural Sunscreen
Coconut Oil has a natural SPF of 4-6. Mix it with Red Raspberry Seed Oil SPF 28-50 (up to one tsp) or Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 38-40 (up to one tsp) for a natural sunscreen alternative. Read more about why you should rethink your sunscreen.
How to get more Coconut Oil in your Diet
- Add to Coffee or Tea in the Mornings. I add 1-2 Tbs. to my AIP Herbal “Coffee”.
- Use for cooking in place of other oils.
- Use in smoothies or protein shakes.
Disclaimer: NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.