Over the years, coconut oil has fallen into the vast line of supplementary ingredients and has been deemed to provide multiple health benefits. Despite the fact that the results are variable, tons of products highlight the significance of coconut oil and therefore, has captured an extensive wedge of the market today. No wonder that even your local store is all piled up with a wide selection of food, beauty products, and health products and supplements that contain coconut oil.
Although countless advantages have been proven and some are believed to be factual, questions do arise about the effects of coconut oil. Some think that it can boost one’s health while some people think the other way around. But if you are still wondering what it can really do and how it can affect you, we have sifted through a lot of information that unfolds the benefits and downsides of using coconut oil.
The Benefits of Using Coconut Oil
If you are planning to stack your shelves at home with products that contain coconut oil, here are some of the known benefits you might want to check out.
1. You can use it as an additional ingredient when cooking.
Coconut oil has paved its way to a lot of households and has become a staple ingredient in the kitchen. It can be used for cooking in high heat due to its saturated fats that keep the oil well-regulated even when it reaches high temperatures.
Some use it for baking to keep the pans non-stick with just a quick grease. It can also be an alternative when you want to prevent the food from sticking when frying, especially the eggs. If you want to skip from dairy products but want to keep your coffee creamy and sweet, a dash of coconut oil will do the magic. It is a natural sweetener and creamer!
2. It promotes weight loss.
Those who have been working out to trim a few pounds can include coconut oil in the diet. Unbeknownst to many, coconut oil has the type of saturated fats known as medium-chain triglycerides or medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that do not usually get stuck inside your body as fat, unlike carbohydrates. The metabolism effects are potent and hence, converts these saturated fats to energy.
Therefore, you can mix it in your diet regularly. Just remember not to ingest too much, especially when you’re trying it for the first time. Ingesting small amounts like 1 teaspoon will do until your body gets used to it. Once it does, you can gradually increase your intake up to 2 tablespoons daily.
Taking the advantage of the benefits of coconut oil for losing weight also depends on your diet. Take note that coconut oil is still fat. Consuming together with high-calorie food may result in weight gain than loss. Hence, it implies that adding coconut oil isn’t the key but rather replacing some of your other cooking fats with it.
3. It can boost your immune system.
Coconut oil showcases nutritional benefits that can boost the immune system. It contains lauric acid that forms monolaurin, a component that prevents the common cold, influenza, flu, shingles, herpes, and other infections in the body. It fortifies the body’s shield against diseases and infections. The capric acid and caprylic acid also have antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that strengthen the body’s immunity. It also works on infections and bruises and speeds up the healing process.
4. It can increase the density of bones.
Coconut oil promotes better absorption of calcium and magnesium, the nutrients that are highly significant in maintaining strong and healthy bones. Stronger bones can prevent osteoporosis and bone loss. Consuming 3 tablespoons daily can provide the ideal results.
5. It helps keep the thyroid healthy.
Due to the healthy saturated fats, medium fatty acids, and lauric acid, this powerful combination promotes better metabolism where it becomes beneficial to the function of the thyroid. Coconut oil soothes inflammation and enhances tissue regeneration.
6. It contains anti-cancer properties.
The unique content of coconut oil has the ability to fight off certain diseases such as cancer. Through a research, it showed the activity of medium chain fatty acids, capric, and caprylic acid which are all found in coconut oil, that can potentially deter and/or treat cancer.
7. It can combat high blood pressure and heart diseases.
There have always been misconceptions about the saturated fats of coconut oil. Some have believed that it increases cholesterol and that it can be harmful to those patients who have high blood pressure. However, a 2015 study has unfolded the positive effects of coconut oil which can aid hypertensive patients and lower high blood pressure due to medium-chain fatty acids. It has also noted that the healthy saturated fat content can actually boost good cholesterol.
8. It can stabilize blood sugar and prevent diabetes.
The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil has been medically proven to be beneficial for deterring the peripheral insulin resistance and hence, stabilize sugar levels, according to a research conducted in 2009.
9. It soothes the digestive system.
If you have an upset stomach, coconut oil can also be the solution. Unlike other kinds of fats, coconut oil is easy to digest and fosters the development of probiotics. As it is considered as an anti-inflammatory food, it alleviates the symptoms of gastrointestinal issues and provides a soothing sensation.
10. It enhances your hair for smoother and softer texture.
If you’re struggling with a frizzy and dry hair, you should probably fill out your bathroom shelf with a coconut oil. It is a natural hair conditioner that moisturizes the hair and keeps it naturally smooth, shiny, and soft. With its potent ingredients, coconut oil can also diminish dandruff and keep your hair healthy and full of volume. The amount you need depends on the length of your hair. It may range from 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons.
11. It helps fight acne.
You may also want to leave a spot in your beauty shelf for coconut oil. This is especially recommended for those who have acne issues. As mentioned, coconut oil contains lauric acid that can eliminate bacteria including the acne-causing bacteria. If you have sensitive skin, you may try a little amount before using it as a part of your skin care routine.
12. It moisturizes the skin.
After cleansing your face, a pea size will suffice. Rub it smoothly on your face and leave it on for about 5 minutes. Coconut oil works as a natural skin moisturizer that enhances the moisture retention of the skin and leaves it plump, soft, and smooth. If you have dry skin, this might do the trick on you.
13. It improves your pet’s coat and eliminates the unpleasant smell.
Your furry companions can also benefit from using coconut oil. Certain hygiene products, such as shampoos or soaps, have used coconut oil as their primary ingredient. It has the ability to improve your pet’s coat and make it much softer or shinier. It also contains properties that can get rid of the unpleasant smell from your their coat.
The Bad Effects of Using Coconut Oil
When there is something good, the bad also comes up. Using coconut oil may also manifest adverse effects depending on the consumption, the type of coconut oil, and one’s health condition.
1. It can cause allergic reactions.
Coconut oil may seem a beneficial ingredient but it may not be suitable for certain people. It may cause allergic reactions that can lead to itching, redness or swelling, particularly on topical products. If you have sensitive skin or you are quite unsure whether you have serious allergic reactions from coconut oil, you can try a small amount on your skin like on your wrist or hand and check if there will be any reactions within 24 hours.
2. Excessive intake may cause digestive issues.
Direct application on the skin can easily let you know if it something you need to use or not. However, if you are going to ingest coconut oil as a food supplementation, you have to make sure you are taking the correct consumption. Otherwise, it may cause digestive issues. Although it has been known to provide health benefits, boost the immune system, and improve your overall wellbeing, it is essential to take precautionary measures.
Do not take large amounts of coconut oil if you haven’t tried it before. It may cause diarrhea, upset stomach, and gastrointestinal stress. You should start with small amounts until your stomach gets used to it. Once it does, you can increase the intake gradually.
If you are suffering from a health condition and considering taking coconut oil as an alternative treatment, consult your doctor first.
Too much of everything is undeniably bad. The same thing applies when using coconut oil. Using an ample amount can provide beneficial effects on health, beauty, pets and for home use. If you’re going to use it as an addition to your beauty regimen or recovery and healing, make sure to consult your dermatologist or doctor first to know the safety precautions and prevent any adverse effects.
Although it has been reported to deliver a lot of benefits particularly in health, the results may still vary from one person to another. It also depends on the type of coconut oil included in the product. Not everything that’s labeled with coconut oil can deliver the benefits mentioned above. That’s why when you see this ingredient on the product you’re buying, make sure you opt for the right kind. Unrefined organic coconut oil and organic virgin coconut oil are the best options.