Did you know that one of the best personal care products you’ll ever find may be sitting in your kitchen cupboard? Along with its healthy cooking use, coconut oil can be very beneficial for your hair, skin, and overall health.
Because it contains saturated fats, believe it or not, coconut oil was once considered very unhealthy–and believed to be a contributor to high cholesterol, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and many more health issues. The fact is, not all saturated fats are created equal–the important word here is created. Some saturated fats occur naturally (like in coconut oil), and others are artificially formulated into a saturated state through hydrogenation. This man-made process manipulates seed and vegetable oils to produce a thickened saturated fat, also known as trans-fat, that really only benefits shelf life–and the profits of large food companies. In short, the once widely held belief that all saturated fats were bad for you was soon reversed when health professionals finally realized that different saturated fats behave and react differently in our body–especially coconut oil.
What makes coconut oil different?
While the scientific breakdown and process is quite long and complicated, in short, coconut oil works wonders because it contains lauric acid, a type of fat rarely found in nature, and other medium-chained fatty acids. Our bodies convert lauric acid into monolaurin, a compound that is highly toxic to viruses, bacteria, funguses and other microorganisms. The monolaurin can actually help destroy viruses such as HIV/herpes, measles, influenza virus, and more. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, the medium-chained fatty acids found in the medium chained triglycerides (MCTs) from coconut oil are smaller than other fatty acids, and:
….are easily digested and immediately burned by your liver for energy — like carbohydrates, but without the insulin spike. MCTs actually boost your metabolism and help your body use fat for energy, as opposed to storing it, so it can actually help you become leaner.
If you have a healthy diet and are not consuming other excess fats, these fatty acids not only boost metabolism, but can also:
- Support digestive function
- Lower the risk of heart-disease
- Decrease diabetes risk
- Increase blood circulation
- Help thyroid function
- Accelerate healing
- Improve overall immune function
- And Much More!
In contrast, long-chained fatty acids, found in most vegetable and seed oils (and trans-fat), are not healthy for you! Instead, they actually:
- Are harder for your body to break-down
- Put more strain on your pancreas
- Are stored in your body as fat
- Are also stored in your arteries–as cholesterol
Need we say more? Why yes, we do
Besides its internal benefits, coconut oil has been known to do wonders for the hair and skin. New studies show that coconut oil can be used for deep hair conditioning, which can add shine and luster, slow down hair loss, eliminate dandruff issues, prevent hair damage, seal and retain moisture, help treat head lice, and more. With its anti-fungal and medium-chained fatty acid properties, coconut oil can penetrate to the hair’s shaft and pass freely into the hair’s membrane–which makes it a valuable hair care product.
Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties, which helps protect against free-radical damage. When applied to the skin, coconut oil makes an excellent moisturizer, adds complexion, and helps protect against any environmental and free-radical damage. It can also provide sun protection by screening ultraviolet exposure. Check out the infographic below for some more great coconut oil benefits (thanks for the graphic Ashley!)
If you’re looking for some great coconut oil, we have a great selection with many excellent reviews! Check out some below or visit NaturalHealthyConcepts.com
- Premier Research Coconut Oil – 18 0z
- Jarrow Formulas Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – 16 oz
- Garden of Life Extra Virgin Coconut Oil 100% Organic – 16 oz
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