Benefits of coconut oil
Coconut oil isn’t just for the kitchen. Keep a tub of this handy oil in the bathroom, too. Soon, you’ll find yourself using it for head-to-toe skin care.
Coconut oil has incredible moisturising properties. Rub it on your hands, legs or anywhere else that could use a boost of hydration. Plus, coconut oil may help keep your skin healthy thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Coconut oil has many nutrients that can contribute to your health and to a good diet. It’s full of fatty acids that your body needs and may help improve cognitive function, metabolism, and hair and skin health.
One serving of coconut oil (1 tablespoon) contains the following:
- Calories: 117
- Total fat: 14 grams
- Saturated fat; 12 grams
- Trans fat: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 grams
- Sodium: 0 grams
- Total carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
Virgin coconut oil may have antioxidant properties. In a rodent study, it appeared to reduce stress resulting from exercise and chronic cold. Researchers believe that virgin coconut oil could be useful in treating some kinds of depression.
Helps weight loss
Coconut oil offers the greatest quantities of lauric acid in a natural source. Lauric acid is a type of saturated fat present in coconut oil. According to studies, lauric acid flows to the liver and is turned into energy rather than being stored as fat, which could help with weight loss. More research is needed, however, to show that coconut oil contributes to weight loss and enhanced metabolism.
It kills bacteria
Lauric acid makes up around half of the fatty acids in coconut oil. Lauric acid is extremely effective in killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi, therefore it’s ideal for preventing infections when applied externally. According to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, virgin coconut oil, rather than refined coconut oil, has the most effective antibacterial characteristics.
When you consume coconut oil, however, it combines with enzymes to generate monolaurin, a monoglyceride. What’s more, guess what? Monolaurin is also effective against dangerous infections. Both of these compounds have been found to kill the bacteria and very hazardous pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, as well as the yeast Candida albicans, which is a common source of infection.
Some people apply coconut oil to their hair to increase shine and protect it from damage. It may penetrate the scalp better than mineral oils.
However, one study of people with similar hair types found no difference in hair condition between those who used coconut oil and those who did not.
Boosts Good Cholesterol Levels
Not all cholesterol is bad. Coconut oil has been found to increase levels of HDL cholesterol, also known as “good cholesterol,” in some women, while lowering the bad type, LDL cholesterol.
Improved Brain Function
More research is needed to fully link consuming coconut oil to better cognitive function. However, the chemicals found in the oil, particularly ketones, have been associated with reducing Alzheimer’s disease symptoms by providing other energy sources for damaged brain cells.
Coconut oil for skin
- For a close shave, replace your traditional shaving gel with coconut oil. Your legs have never felt this smooth before!
- Exfoliate naturally by stirring together 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil. Use this scrub on hands, arms, legs and feet to slough away dead skin.
- Dab liquefied coconut oil on a cotton pad. Wipe this over and around your eyelids to remove eye makeup.
- After applying makeup, swipe a bit of coconut oil over your cheekbones for an all-natural highlighter that will give you a dewy glow.