Coconut Oil Health Benefits

coconut oil health benefits

Let me tell you about coconut oil health benefits.  I am so glad I discovered this some years ago.  And even better is that coconut oil itself has begun to take center stage among healthy food enthusiasts. Its renewed discovery has come during a time when our world contains more environmental and food toxins than ever before.

Coconut oil and its health benefits are being hailed as a super ingredient, superfood and lately as a super beauty aid as well. Add that it can be consumed by all ages and it becomes a must–have in anyone’s natural health kit.  I keep my jar right where I can reach it in a moment’s notice.

Remember, organic on the label will insure 100% non-GMO. It is best consumed in its unprocessed form.  Look for extra virgin that has not been hydrogenated, bleached, refined or deodorized. Using anything less makes it harder on our liver.

A Dozen Coconut Oil Health Benefits

1 Brain Health:  This one aspect of all the coconut oil health benefits is my overall favorite. If none of the other benefits applied, I would still use coconut oil because of what I know about the blood-brain-barrier (BBB).

It was thought for years that the tissues of the brain served as a barrier to keep damaging substances from reaching the neurons of the brain. Thus, the nickname blood-brain-barrier. But instead of a barrier, it would be more accurate to consider it as a filter.

Most medications are unable to directly affect the brain: the blood-brain-barrier filters most chemicals in the blood, blocking them from entering the brain. The light, small molecules in coconut oil are different: able to cross over the BBB, they are used therapeutically to help those with memory loss or other brain disorders, Alzheimer's, depression, and more.

“Considering that the medium-chain triglyceride found in coconut oil known as caprylic acid does cross the blood-brain-barrier, and has recently been found to have anti-convulsant properties (in addition to ketogenic effects), coconut oil likely does have a neuroprotective effect.” In plain English…It’s brain protection against the likes of Alzheimer’s! I want to protect my brain. I use coconut oil daily! Read "How Coconut Oil May Rescue Brain from Alzheimer's Disease" for more information on this topic.

2 Brain Food: Similar to brain health, but with a twist; there are only two types of fuel your body can convert into energy: carbs/sugar, or fat. Again, ketones are what your body produces when it converts fat (as opposed to glucose) into energy. And a primary source of ketone bodies are the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) found in coconut oil. In fact, coconut oil contains about 66 percent MCTs.

While your brain is quite happy running on glucose, there's evidence suggesting that ketone bodies may actually help restore and renew neurons and nerve function in your brain, even after damage has set in. Interestingly, the mechanism of this MCT-ketone metabolism appears to be that your body treats MCTs as a carbohydrate and not a fat.  This allows the ketone energy to hit your bloodstream without the normal insulin spike associated with carbohydrates entering your bloodstream. So in effect, coconut oil is a fat that acts like a carbohydrate when it comes to brain fuel.

3 Metabolism: Coconut oil is composed of medium-chain-length fatty acids, or triglycerides (MCT’s). These are shown to have many health benefits, including raising the body’s metabolism. Naturally, as we get older, we find our metabolism declines and organs become increasingly strained. Plus, blood sugar imbalances can become more frequent leading to pre-diabetic conditions. The healthy fat properties within the oil are known to be effective in stabilizing blood sugar and boosting metabolism.  This ensures the negative fat doesn't get stored.

4 Weight Loss: Hand in hand with a smoother running metabolism is weight loss.  When choosing a fat to speed up weight loss, limit the use of olive oil and other predominantly monounsaturated fats like peanut oil.  Coconut oil for weigh loss is the far better choice. 

Coconut oil solidifies at 76 degrees Fahrenheit. It is best to liquefy it in hot water before consuming as a weight loss aid.  Twenty minutes before a mealtime is the best time to take your coconut oil. This will drastically decrease appetite and help you satisfied quickly with smaller portions.

To liquefy, mix 1 or 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil in a mug and add hot water or herbal tea. Coffee is not suggested. Stir to melt and drink.  Use the following guidelines to determine how much oil to consume before a meal.  Start out gradual so your body gets used to the oil.  You can work your up to the suggested amounts over time.

  • If you are between 90 - 130 pounds, use 1 Tablespoon coconut oil before each meal for a total of 3 Tablespoons per day.
  • If you are between 131 - 180 pounds, use 1.5 Tablespoons coconut oil before each meal for a total of 4.5 Tablespoons per day.
  • Over 180 pounds, use 2 Tablespoon coconut oil before each meal for a total of 6 Tablespoons per day.

If you don't want to drink it, simple eat the coconut oil and let it melt in your mouth before swallowing.

5 Skin: The best thing for your skin is to replace your commercial, petroleum-based and water-logged products with coconut oil. Try it as sun protection, salve, moisturizing lotion, non-irritant deodorant, make-up removal, shaving cream, diaper rash protection, age spot removal, stretch mark reduction and as a massage oil for easing both surface and muscular tension and pain. 

6 Immune Booster: Coconut oil has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. As a bonus, it has lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid.  These agents will significantly boost your immune system if taken daily. 

Want to fend off a cold or flu; replace cooking oil or butter with coconut oil.  Try adding a bit to your morning smoothie or hot tea before bed. It’s the perfect ingredient to help get rid of congestion, sore throat and/or pain in your joints, bones, head and ears.

Lauric acid in coconut oil in combination with oregano oil has even been found more effective in fighting the staph bacterial than antibiotics.  Lauric acid has also been shown to be preventative against some cancers. Coconut oil is over 40 percent lauric acid, the richest source naturally available.

  • Dosage suggestion: For every 50 pounds of body weight, consume 1 teaspoon of coconut oil a day.  Work your way up to 1 tablespoon per day if using to treat joint pain, fibromyalgia or arthritis.

More Good News on Coconut Oil health benefits can be found on the The Weston A Price Foundation website.

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