5 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil for the Body and Skin
- Coconut oil contains potent antioxidants: Phenolic compounds found in coconuts are powerful antioxidants that can protect cells from damage. These compounds include gallic acid, salicylic acid, caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid. Hence, it can prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation and decrease the risk of heart disease. Also, antioxidants found in coconut oil can protect cells from oxidative stress and chemotherapy.
- Coconut oil is a source of healthy fatty acids: Saturated fats, found in coconut oil, can encourage fat burning and provide energy to the brain and body. It also raises good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood, reinforcing heart health and reducing disease risk. Unlike most dietary fats, coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that are shorter fatty acid chains than the common long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). These go straight to the liver, and then the body utilizes them as a quick energy source and turns the surplus into ketones, which have impactful benefits for brain health.
- Coconut oil is rich in antimicrobial properties: When the body digests twelve-carbon lauric acid that makes up almost half the amount of fatty acids in coconut oil, it develops a substance known as monolaurin. Monolaurin and lauric acid can eliminate harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses. It is also believed to benefit oral hygiene if used as a mouthwash.
- It can encourage weight loss and reduce hunger: Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are a great source of healthy fatty acids, as mentioned before. It can also encourage fat burning by increasing calorie burning and energy expenditure when consumed in moderate amounts. Another benefit of MCTs is that they may help reduce appetite, which can aid in weight loss over the long term.
- Coconut oil has many benefits for skin: Coconut oil improves antioxidant status, which can help ease inflammation, a sign of many different types of skin disorders. By stabilizing free radicals in the body, coconut oil can work as an anti-inflammatory. It also has moisturizing properties that can help improve skin hydration effectively.
How to Use Coconut Oil
There are many ways to incorporate coconut oil into your diet or beauty routine to make the best out of its benefits. Here are different ways to use coconut oil:
- Coconut oil is one of the best high-temperature cooking oils since it’s rich in saturated fats. It can be used for frying, baking, stir-frying and sauteing.
- Coconut oil can be used in healthy homemade salad dressings.
- It is ideal for use as a natural lip balm for dry and chapped lips.
- Coconut oil can work as an anti-inflammatory, hydrating moisturizer or a gentle sunblock for the skin.