An Incredible Superfood: The Many Benefits of Coconut Oil
By Elizabeth Renter
If you haven’t noticed lately, the western world is on a bit of a coconut oil kick. It’s in all the popular blogs—from nutrition to hair care—and it’s no longer difficult to find a few different varieties of the oil in normal grocery stores. This is a good thing. Coconut oil should have never been demonized, as it was, and deserves a top spot in the natural health world.
Vilified Coconut Oil
Several decades ago, coconut oil was vilified. It was made to look like the “bad guy” in comparison with its competitors from the corn and soy industries. They were successful in their campaign to squash the coconut oil competition by highlighting it’s saturated fat content and tying that to heart disease. Now, however, coconut oil and its medium chain triglycerides (saturated fats) are back on top and being recognized for numerous health benefits.
The health benefits of coconut oil are amazing; the oil possesses antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties. The lauric, capric and caprylic acids within the oil are credited with many of these benefits. It’s the lauric acid, for instance, that is converted into monolaurin which in in turn fights the bugs associated with herpes, giardia, listeria, influenza, and even HIV.
Coconut oil benefits truly are many, and it doesn’t take much. Just a tablespoon or so a day could make significant differences in your health. Coconut oil for Alzheimer’s and dementia has been proven especially beneficial.
Coconut Oil Benefits – Topical Applications
Topically, coconut oil can be used on the skin and hair. For your skin, it’s great for soothing dryness and even irritation from rashes. It is also good for fighting wrinkles and signs of aging. Common skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema can be taken care of, along with simple chores like removing eye makeup without the use of chemicals.
Used on your hair, coconut oil can increase shine and reduce static electricity. It can also be used as a scalp massage to eliminate flaking and itchy dry scalp.
Most people use coconut internally. And it’s here we see the majority of its benefits. Potential internal benefits of coconut oil include:
- Alzheimer’s treatment
- Dental health including cavity prevention and reversal
- Diabetes management
- Weight loss aid
- Improved digestion
- Increased immune function
- Heart disease prevention
- And more…
Best of all, coconut oil is easy to add to your daily regimen. Use it in sautéing vegetables, raw in smoothies and juices, and in your baking and cooking. It’s flavor goes well with sweeter dishes but can temper a spicy dish just as well.