Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Organic Coconut Oil:

Coconut Oil has been all the rage recently—and for good reason. It’s nutrient-rich, full of healthy fats, and has countless uses in all facets of personal health! This news has recently spread like wildfire around the world, and there are millions of people now using it daily for everything from controlling weight to keeping skin and hair beautiful and healthy. Even the realm of dental hygiene couldn’t escape coconut oil’s healing powers! This chapter will cover all of these varied uses and the exact methods and dosages you need to make them work best.

Coconut Oil

What is Coconut Oil Exactly?

But first, what exactly is coconut oil? For thousands of years, inhabitants of South Asia and South America have long used parts of the coconut fruit as a refreshing, nutritious beverage and a healthy cooking staple. They have been well aware of the wealth of benefits coconut and its oil can provide. Even the coconut’s husk has been used as a versatile raw material for making brushes, ropes, and fishnets! The flesh, or coconut meat, however, is where the nutritious coconut oil comes from.

Although predominantly a saturated fat, scientists have discovered that coconut oil’s unique composition makes it quite different from other fats: it consists of over 62% medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs). In contrast to long-chain fatty acids, medium-chain fatty acids do not get stored as fat, and are utilized quickly for energy.

This is what makes MCTs fantastic for weight loss and the perfect oil for those with difficulty digesting fats, whether due to a digestive disorder or gall bladder removal. The two main MCTs found in coconut oil are lauric acid and caprylic acid, which provide coconut oil its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

For all the tips and recipes below, we strongly recommend you use virgin coconut oil. It’s expeller-pressed from dried fresh coconut meat, preserving its natural nutrients and other healing properties.

Refined coconut oil should be avoided where possible; it’s exposed to potentially harmful chemicals through the bleaching and deodorization process, and research has shown it to be inferior to virgin coconut oil in terms of its health benefits, and, in particular, its antioxidant status.

What is Coconut Oil Good For

Let’s say that you got a cut or fell and scraped your elbow or knee. What would you do in that situation? Maybe rinse out the wound. That’s good. What’s next? Apply an antimicrobial cream like Neosporin? Stop right there!

You’re on the right track—disinfecting and preventing infections are crucial steps in the healing process—but did you know that there are cheaper and more natural alternatives to the synthetic options found in stores?

Coconut oil is one of the best natural alternatives due to its ability to fight infections! In fact, there’s even a homemade, natural antibiotic ointment recipe featuring coconut oil right at the end of this section!

Few natural substances can singlehandedly relieve pain, moisturize, and kill bacteria
and viruses (everything from the flu to even HIV ) like coconut oil can Whether ingesting it or applying it topically, either method or a combination of the two is a recipe for success!

Regardless of the problem (and even if there isn’t a problem yet!) eating as little as 2 tablespoons 6 of coconut oil—or incorporating it into your cooking, if you aren’t a fan of eating oil by the spoonful, like some—can have immense healing and preventative benefits.

Coconut Oil Benefits

For Cold Sores:

Cold sores are actually caused by a virus (one related to the herpes virus) so the antiviral properties in lauric acid 7 help kill off this virus! Coconut oil can also help ease discomfort and heal the surrounding skin when applied directly to the sore.

For Cuts, Scrapes, Bruises, and Burns

A little coconut oil applied to any kind of damaged skin can work wonders for relieving pain and speeding recovery 8 . Simply cover the damaged skin with a thin layer of coconut oil to reduce inflammation.

For Candida Overgrowth & Yeast Infections :

Research has shown that the lauric and capric acids found in coconut oil are effective in killing the pathogen C. Albicans that causes candida. In fact, they were even more effective than the popular drug Fluconazole for treating yeast infections . Caprylic acid in particular works extremely well because it can penetrate the cell membranes of candida yeast cells and cause them to die off.

When it comes to diet, the best course of action is to eat foods low in concentrated sugars and to work coconut oil into your diet in any form each day.

For Dental Health

Alongside bathing, dental hygiene is one of the few healthcare concerns absolutely everyone will have during their life. And for many, the question of optimal routine or best practice starts and ends at childhood with a parent’s toothbrushing prescription. Are there even any alternatives?

You probably suspect there are. Would you be surprised to learn coconut oil is one? In fact, coconut oil has been proven to be as—if not more effective than—regular mouthwash 11 . Hundreds of thousands of people use it daily as part of their dental hygiene routine for everything from whitening to promoting cleanliness and gum health. In fact, the practice of oil pulling (one of the most popular methods of using coconut oil for improving and maintaining dental health) dates back thousands of years!

For Whitening Teeth

Who doesn’t love a set of pearly whites? When used in the form of oil pulling, coconut oil can be an effective substitute for store-bought whitening toothpaste and strips. Although most results to date are anecdotal, you can at least be sure that you are not unknowingly doing irreparable damage to your teeth. The added antimicrobial benefit of coconut oil will also help fight off plaque and prevent other possible future problems from arising.

Killing Oral Bacteria and Improving Breath

The research is in, and coconut oil has shown to be just as effective as mouthwash for improving bad breath (and much safer) thanks to its antibacterial properties.

For Preventing and Relieving Gingivitis

The antimicrobial effects of coconut oil extend to all kinds of unwanted bacteria, including those that lead to plaque-induced gingivitis . Research has shown that its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties even help relieve inflamed gums, stop their bleeding, strengthen them, and reverse their degeneration

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