Health Benefits and Other Uses of Coconut Oil

coconutoilI’ve been on the Paleo diet for a long time now and I’ve noticed that coconut oil is the main source of calories in my diet. I can’t help it.. I love the stuff.

I find myself wondering if having as one of your main caloric sources is such a great idea…

In a nutshell, I discovered that coconut oil is mostly composed of saturated fat. But what makes it extra special is that it is cholesterol-free, compared to the saturated fats that we get from animal sources. I also learned that people who use it consider it is a “super food.” This alone was enough for me to try it out on my own.

There are numerous health benefits and other uses for coconut oil aside from those in my Paleo diet. I never would have guessed that an uncommon food product could be so healthy. Apparently, it really is a super food!

Coconut Oil Health Benefits

Good for the Heart

The oil from the coconut is fantastic for the human heart. Coconut oil is composed or 50% lauric acid, which prevents high cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Although it contains saturated fat, it isn’t harmful to the human heart because of its low LDL levels (bad cholesterol).

Boosts Immune System

Our immune system is practically our first line of defense from diseases. And if there’s anything that will boost my immune system’s health, then count me in! Coconut oil boosts the immune system through its antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. When the body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, harmful diseases and bacteria are effectively fought off by the immune system. Therefore, we can enjoy the benefits of a much healthier body.

Weight Loss

Admittedly, I started my Paleo Diet to lose some weight and now, I’m very confident that I’m on my way to a thinner, sexier body. The oil helps with weight loss because its fatty acids assist in shedding pounds. Your metabolism will increase and more fat will be burned for energy.

Improved Stomach Health

Coconut oil, when used as cooking oil, helps improve digestion as well as irritable bowel syndrome. This is attributed to the oil’s anti-microbial properties that deal with bacteria and parasites responsible for hindering proper digestion. Including coconut oil in one’s diet improves the absorption of vitamins and minerals. It’s no wonder why my stomach feels better these days!

Hair Nourishment

The human hair benefits greatly from this product. Coconut oil makes the hair shiny and promotes healthy hair growth. It also helps reduce the loss of protein in hair to maintain its health. The oil provides the hair natural nutrition as it contains essential proteins that hair craves. Moreover, it can be regularly massaged into the scalp and hair for the prevention of dandruff. The oil prevents the scalp from drying, which is a common cause of dandruff. This is awesome news for me as my damaged hair really needs a natural conditioner right now (no thanks to my perm!).

Skin Moisturizer

If you suffer from dry skin like me, then you’re always on the lookout for natural moisturizers. Unlike mineral oil, you won’t experience any side effects from using coconut oil. It’s absolutely perfect for people who have dry and flaky skin. The best part, in my opinion, is that you can save a ton of money on skin creams just by replacing them with coconut oil. Stop buying expensive products that claim to reverse winkles and sagging. The oil from a coconut does it all naturally thanks to its inherent antioxidant properties. You can even use it to treat dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis!

Other Uses of Coconut Oil

Here are a few of the lesser known users for this amazing coconut by product.. It seems like it never ends!

  • It can help in healing skin bruises and infections.
  • It has the ability to kill bacteria and viruses on our skin as well as inside our bodies.
  • Coconut oil can help in treating pancreatitis.
  • With its medium-chain fatty acids, it can help in the prevention of liver diseases and liver fat accumulation.
  • Coconut oil can help prevent diseases in our gall bladder and kidney. It’s been proven to dissolve kidney stones in a few cases.
  • Enjoy improved bone health through the easy absorption of calcium and magnesium. Older people can benefit from as well because the oil will delay or prevent the onset of osteoporosis. This also means stronger teeth for us younger people!
  • Diabetics can use the oil to control their blood sugar levels.
  • Use the oil to relieve stress and mental fatigue. Just massage a little on your forehead.

I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with all the different uses of coconut oil. Can you blame me?.. The truth is that it’s not just for people on a Paleo diet. Just about anyone can improve their quality of life by including this health, all-natural oil in their lives. With all of the unhealthy food products being released every day, it’s refreshing and encouraging to find something that benefits my health, and can be used in a bazillion different ways! All while being affordable, available, and delicious.

Coconut oil is an absolute staple of my personal Paleo diet, and should be a component of everyone’s diet.. Paleo or not.

Do you have any experience with coconut oil? Please let us know in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Shane Dark says:

    Sure, Vikki..

    Ideally, you want to get cold-pressed, unrefined, virgin coconut oil.

    Most all coconut oil products in health food stores fit the bill, but recently, I’ve seen the LouAna brand in major super market chains, and after a bit of research.. I think I’d avoid it. While it is tempting due to it’s price point.. The ingredients, and the way in which the ingredients are processed.. produces are far inferior product. Not to mention.. it simply doesn’t taste that great.

    I’ve had pretty much all of the different brands of coconut oils and a good middle ground for price and quality is Nutiva. It’s delicious, and while there are products that claim higher quality at a higher price point.. For my dollar, Nutiva is it.
    http://www.amazon.com/Nutiva-Organic-Virgin-Coconut-15-Ounce/dp/B001EO5Q64/ref=sr_1_2?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1374075219&sr=1-2

    If you want to spend a little less, then Nature’s way has a good product for quite a bit cheaper..
    http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Way-Organic-Virgin-Coconut/dp/B003B3OOPA/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1374075219&sr=1-1

    I will say that the Nutiva wins the taste test for sure, but Natures Way is certainly more affordable. I say buy one small container of each and compare the two, to see if the extra cost of the Nutiva is worth it to you.

    Or compare those prices to the prices of unrefined, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil at your local Whole Foods..

    Either way.. Hope that helps, Vikki!

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