Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a "superfood." Its unique combination of fatty acids can have positive effects on your health. This includes fat loss, better brain function and various other impressive benefits. To date, there are over 1,500 studies proving coconut oil to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Coconut oil benefits and uses go beyond what most people realize. Here are the top evidence-based health benefits of coconut oil.
1. Prevents Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure
Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol (known as HDL cholesterol) in your body, but also help convert the LDL “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols. By increasing the HDL in the body, it helps promote heart health and lower the risk of heart disease. Coconut oil also benefits the heart by lowering high triglycerides.
2. Coconut Oil Can Kill Harmful Microorganisms
The 12-carbon lauric acid makes up about 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil. When lauric acid is digested, it also forms a substance called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.
3. Coconut Oil Can Reduce Your Hunger, Helping You Eat Less
One interesting feature of the fatty acids in coconut oil is that they can reduce your hunger. This may be related to the way the fats are metabolized, because ketones can have an appetite reducing effect. In one study, varying amounts of medium and long chain triglycerides were fed to 6 healthy men. The men eating the most MCTs ate 256 fewer calories per day, on average .
4. Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Coconut oil has two qualities that help it fight cancer: one, because of the ketones produced in its digestion. Tumor cells are not able to access the energy in ketones and are glucose-dependent. It’s believed that a ketogenic diet could be a possible component of helping cancer patients recover.
Two, as the MCFAs digest the lipid walls of bacteria, they also can kill the helicobacter pylori bacteria that has been known to increase the risk of stomach cancer. Even in studies where cancer is chemically induced, the introduction of coconut oil prevents cancer from developing.
5. Improves Energy and Endurance
Coconut oil is easy to digest and also produces a longer sustained energy and increases your metabolism. When taking a quality unrefined coconut oil, you can get the most coconut oil benefits as its MCFAs are sent directly to the liver to be converted into energy.
6. Improves Skin Issues (Burns, Eczema, Dandruff, Dermatitis and Psoriasis)
Coconut oil is wonderful as a face cleanser, moisturizer and sun screen, but also it can treat many skin disorders. The fatty acids (caprylic and lauric) in coconut oil reduce inflammation internally and externally and moisturize, making them a great solution for all types of skin conditions.
It protects the skin and has many antioxidants that make it ideal for healing the skin. In addition, the antimicrobial properties balance out the candida or fungal sources that can cause many skin conditions. There’s so much unrefined coconut oil can do for skin.