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.Â 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.Â 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,Â 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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This is great information and I applaud you for educating people on the many wonderful benefits of coconut oil.
I would like to provide one small point of clarification. There is no such thing as “virgin” or “extra virgin” coconut oil. No standards have been set by any governmental agency or industry trade group that clearly defines “virgin” coconut oil. This is very different than the established standards for olive oils.
For a coconut oil using “virgin” to define their product, there is no verified process that they are adhering to. They are just using it as a marketing term and co-oping olive oils’ standards to give themselves a premium image.
There’s a newly released e-book on amazon.com we’ve discovered called, “The Coconut Oil Health & Beauty Book” by M.D. Fry, PhD. We’ve seen many books on the topic of coconut oil, this one, however, is particularly simple, practical and one of the more compete books we’ve found…You may want to check it out
while researching this topic I came across one that said there are contradictions on this. one study said that coconut oil does not raise bad cholesterol and one said it does. so the jury is still out. anything that solidifies at room temp is risky so the article said the healthiest is canola until more tests are done. I drink coconut milk instead
Disagree on canola! Olive oil is a much healthier choice than canola given how many Americans have an improper balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3. Also canola is mechanically processed using hexane – toxic. Olive oil also is more nutritious. Remember, years ago traditional medicine also recommended margarine over butter – look how wrong they were!
Canola oil has been hampered by the GMO industry, so it is no longer an option, for me anyway. Do the research. Organic coconut oil is by far superior, addressing health issues both internally and externally. People with Dementia and Alzheimer are finding remarkable improvement by taking coconut oil internally, daily, quite amazing and more as you have read. A tsp. of coconut oil in the mouth for 20 min. moving the liquid around the mouth with remarkable results! I was wonderfully surprised! Don’t swallow and spit into garbage can and not down drain, as it turns solid and is not good for plumbing. Guaranteed good results. I cook primarily with coconut oil, also.
Good luck, experiment!
Do some research and read on canola oil. Fields of canola are genetically modified and is the worst oil in the market along with vegetable oil.
Hey well that depends on your skin, is it very dry? and flkaey? Mine is and I find that after applying coconut oil it just kind of sinks into the skin because it’s so dry. It’s abit shiny when I first apply it but after about 30 mins it settles. Hope that’s answered your question
The evidence of coconuts in general is all positive. Try to keep in mind that, lots of professions don’t want us to follow this information because it’s a large loss of money for their practices. The proof is in the pudding
well I cant find the article but this says it isnt recommended http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2012/05/heart-healthy-cooking-oils-101/
Amazing… Maybe the coconut oil can make well all other diseases. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing this informative information with us. Basically I used coconut oil for my dental problem. Somebody told me to use Lavender Oil. So I am searching for that, but I found Coconut oil for dental problem. So I used it and now I am happy with coconut oil. My tooth is getting better and better day-by-day.
What was your dental problem? How did it help?
While all this info is great, no one ever says what the appropriate doses are for each of the methods of taking it! Obviously to lather your hair down with it means no real harm but as far as ingesting it, how much should we take?? And what is the recommended method of ingestion?? Thanks!
I read that I should be consuming 3.5 tbls of coconut oil. The oil I purchased is in solid form so I’m unsure how to actually consume it. Do I heat it up? Just use it to cook? Someone said they put it in their coffee… Could you help? Oh I live on hawaii so should I refrigerate the oil?
Thanks for your guidance.
No need to refrigerate coconut oil.The best way to consume is to use it for cooking.i use coconut oil for my cooking & hair care. I live in Mangalore, India. We have plenty of coconuts & coconut oil available.Most people in coastal Karnataka and Kerala use coconut kernel, milk and oil for their cooking and enjoy good health..it is the best oil for frying too. But use it in moderation. Some doctors are too busy to update their knowledge about the benefits of coconut and its oil and recommend other oils .
The dosages for consuming coconut oil will vary depending on your age, weight, health, etc. Many articles suggest 1-3 tablespoons, but again, that can vary. I found some resources that have some use and dosage suggestions that may be helpful: http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/80-uses-for-coconut-oil/ and/or http://wakeup-world.com/2012/03/02/160-uses-for-coconut-oil/
A lot of people use coconut oil when cooking foods, especially as a substitute for margarine or butter; replace it when you are baking, frying, sautéing, etc. If you like smoothies, heat up the coconut oil and pour it in the blender. I’ve also read that some people use it directly from the jar as a snack. Because this oil is naturally aromatic and flavorful, you may enjoy eating it by itself–especially if you like the taste of coconut in general
Thanks for you’re sharing of ideas guys, now I only go to the doctor for check-up because of this solution.
This article has a lot of good information. I swear by coconut oil. I use it in baking instead of butter with great results, even in scones. There are some foods/recipes you probably will not want to use coconut oil in. It does have a strong coconut flavor. As for health benefits: I have used coconut oil to make old fashioned kettle soap, face creams, lotions , etc. for many years and people are amazed when I tell them my age. When they ask what products I use on my skin, they always have a shocked look when I tell them that I avoid the retail beauty products do to the chemical compounds used in them, and that I make my own. We as consumers trust to much when it comes to not only what we are putting into our bodies, but what we are putting on our bodies!
DO YOU SALE THE SOAP ON A WEB SITE THAT CONTAINS COCONUT OIL?
Hi Karla, many natural bar soaps are made with coconut oil – here’s a brand we sell for instance – http://www.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/thorne-research.html#/?_=1&filter.type=Soap&page=1
check it out! But you can also search for bar soap with coconut oil on the top left of the Natural Healthy Concepts website. Hope that helps!
Great write-up! Coconut oil has many great uses. It is amazing.. I use it for skin, skin infections, hairs, cuts, burns and rashes, it works wonders each time.
I use for all preventative dental. Look up oil pulling. This can be done with any oil but why would you want to? Coconut oil is a staple in my bathroom cabinet. I use it to remove my makeup, followed by witch hazel for an astringent and them coconut oil for a moisturizer. All over body moisturizer. Way better for you then all those chemical filled products we use.
Jeez, thanks so much for posting this! It is going to help when I get Coconut Milk at the store! Outstanding!
I used coconut oil for a week to remove my makeup as well I used it for my face as a wash and to condition my skin with really bad results my eyes swelled up and my skin broke out in the little blisters I’m guess but I maybe allergic to coconut oil though I never had an issue eating coconut strange hun