Coconut oil has become a popular health and beauty product, but the hype over its uses might have gone too far. While there may be some benefits to using coconut oil, they are limited in scope. Before you start slathering it on everything, read these eight surprising health benefits of coconut oil and make sure you know the facts before jumping on the coconut bandwagon.
1) Absorbs better than other oils
Most oils are composed of long-chain fatty acids, but coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids. This difference means that coconut oil is absorbed and metabolized differently than other oils. In fact, studies have shown that coconut oil can increase levels of good cholesterol while reducing levels of bad cholesterol. It’s also been found to protect against heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Coconut oil has also been found to be a great skin moisturizer which helps prevent aging and wrinkles.
2) Lowers cholesterol
One of the most interesting health benefits of coconut oil is that it can help lower cholesterol levels. In a study published in the Journal of Lipids, researchers found that participants who took coconut oil had lower total and LDL cholesterol levels than those who didn’t. Coconut oil can also help improve HDL cholesterol levels, which is the good kind of cholesterol that helps protect against heart disease.
3) Improves immune system
Your immune system is your body’s defense against infection and disease. Coconut oil can help improve your immune system by killing harmful bacteria and viruses. Additionally, coconut oil can help reduce inflammation, which can further protect you from illness.
4) Fights infections and colds
Coconut oil has been shown to be effective in fighting off infections and colds, thanks to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. When applied topically, it can also help speed up the healing process of wounds.
5) Helps with digestion issues
If you’re struggling with indigestion or other digestive issues, coconut oil may be a natural remedy worth trying. The fatty acids in coconut oil can help to kill harmful bacteria and yeast in the gut, which can improve digestion and prevent indigestion. Coconut oil also helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and minerals from food, which can further aid in digestion.
6) Stimulates weight loss
Coconut oil is composed of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which are a type of saturated fat. Unlike other types of saturated fat, MCFAs are metabolized differently and can actually help promote weight loss. One study showed that those who consumed 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day lost more belly fat than those who didn’t. Coconut oil can also help increase energy levels, which can further aid in weight loss.
7) Heals skin conditions
Sufferers of psoriasis, eczema, and other irritating skin conditions can find relief by applying coconut oil to the affected area. The oil can help to soothe inflammation and moisturize the skin.
8) Protects against cancer
It’s no secret that coconut oil can help to keep you healthy, but did you know that it can also help to protect you against cancer? That’s right – this natural oil is packed with antioxidants that can help to fight off free radicals, which are known to cause cancer. Coconut oil can also help to improve your immune system, making your body better able to fight off infection and disease.