Adding coconut oil to your daily diet can have a number of positive benefits on your health. It is easy to incorporate the oil into your eating routine. Simply take a teaspoon or two everyday on an empty stomach, or substitute coconut oil for vegetable or olive oil in your favorite recipes. This will add a subtle nutty flavor to your dishes, in addition to encouraging the health benefits listed below.
Coconut oil has moisturizing properties that make it an ideal treatment for the skin. The oil can be rubbed directly onto the skin to combat dryness. It can also help delay the onset of wrinkles and sagging by preventing premature aging of the skin. It can also treat a variety of skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema. Because coconut oil has anti-microbial properties, it can also be an effective solution for infections or to help speed the healing of cuts and scrapes.
Coconut oil can improve the health of your hair with regular use. Healthy hair starts from the inside out, so try adding a teaspoon or two of oil into your diet each day. Coconut oil added to the outside of the strand can leave a glossy shine. When applied topically, coconut oil is an ideal conditioner. When massaged into the scalp, coconut oil will combat dryness and dandruff. By repairing and strengthening the hair from damage, it can prevent split ends and encourage growth.
Increased Immune Defense
Because of its antimicrobial lipids and acids, such as lauric acid and capric acid, which are antibacterial and anti-fungal agents, coconut oil can have a strengthening effect on the immune system. Besides strengthening the immune system against future attacks, adding coconut oil to your diet can also combat current infections caused by bacteria or viruses, like influenza or the herpes virus.
Although it seems paradoxical, coconut oil when consumed on a regular basis can actually lead to weight loss. The fatty acids in the oil help the body metabolize energy and draw on the stores of fat, leading to a reduction in weight. Also, the oils will coat the stomach, leading to a full feeling that will reduce the appetite. As a side benefit of taking coconut oil internally, the oil can also aid the functioning of the digestive system.
Although coconut oil contains saturated fat, it actually can be beneficial to heart health. The saturated fats, unlike those found in vegetable oil or canola oil, do not increase LDL levels, or "bad" cholesterol levels. This is because it contains lauric acid, which has been prove to actually reduce a number of heart conditions and reduce the possibility of cholesterol, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis.