Posted on 08 February, 2016

The 12 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

By Jacob Andreae in Lifestyle, Nutrition The 12 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

[Photo credit: Kamaljith K V]

Coconut oil is getting a good wrap at the moment but it’s nothing new. Coconut oil has been used since ancient times. From cleaning teeth to aiding digestion, people for millennia have been swearing by the many health benefits of coconut oil. It’s amazing what this simple ingredient can do.

Coconut oil can be considered a ‘superfood’ with a multitude of health benefits. There are probably some which even surprise you. 

I’ve had a plan to write a blog about the benefits of coconut oil for a few months now. Recently, my mother-in-law was looking after our kids and she brought her coconut oil in with her. I saw it sitting on the bench and asked about it. I was surprised at just how much she knew and it didn’t stop there. With passion, conviction and testimony, she backed that conversation up by sending me links to an abundance of resources and other personal stories.

Coconut oil can be considered a ‘superfood’ with a multitude of health benefits. There are probably some which even surprise you. For example, did you know that coconut oil can help you beat sugar cravings? There are many health benefits. Here are the top twelve.

The 12 Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

  1. Reduces the incidence of atherosclerosis.
    Coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid. Lauric acid actively prevents heart problems such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure by helping to maintain healthy levels of lipids in the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) carries cholesterol in the blood and is associated with atherosclerosis. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is also involved in the transport of cholesterol but is associated with a decreased risk of atherosclerosis. Coconut oil does not lead to an increase in LDL levels, which reduces the incidence of damage to the arteries, thereby helping to prevent atherosclerosis.
  2. Aids digestion.
    Coconut oil contains a large quantity of saturated fats. This leads to the misconception that it is not good for you. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests, saturated fats are in fact not entirely bad for you after all. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties, which help deal with bacteria, fungi and parasites that lead to indigestion. Coconut oil also aids in the absorption of other nutrients. 
  3. Prevents and cures candida.
    Candida is a disease caused by an excessive and uncontrolled growth of yeast in the stomach. Coconut oil provides relief from the inflammation caused by candida. The acids (capric, caprylic, caproic, myristic and lauric) found in coconut oil help to eliminate candida gradually. 
  4. Prevents disease of the liver.
    Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides, which are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver. This reduces the work load on the liver, preventing an accumulation of fat and liver disease.
  5. Increases weight loss.
    Because coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides, it’s easy to digest. This helps the thyroid, endocrine system and pancreas, increasing the body’s metabolic rate and therefore, burning more energy. 
  6. Treats pancreatitis.
    The pancreas is a gland that secretes the hormone, insulin. Insulin regulates the metabolism of sugar. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. Coconut oil is believed to be useful in treating pancreatitis.
  7. Prevents disease of the kidneys.
    Coconut oil helps to dissolve kidney stones, preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases.
  8. Strengthens the immune system.
    Coconut oil kills the bacteria that cause throat infections, urinary tract infections, ulcers, pneumonia and gonorrhoea. It eliminates the fungi and yeast that cause athlete’s foot, nappy rash, thrush and ringworm. It also kills the viruses that cause influenza, hepatitis, herpes, SARS and measles.
  9. Improves bone strength.
    Coconut oil enhances the body’s ability to absorb minerals such calcium and magnesium. These minerals are necessary for bone strength. No, you don’t need to drink loads of milk to get your daily quota of calcium. Calcium can be found in many vegetables such as bak choy and kale. 
  10. Improves oral health.
    As coconut oil aids in the absorption of calcium, it also helps to develop strong teeth. Coconut oil also reduces plaque formation. The technique of ‘pulling’ goes back to ancient times. This is the process of rinsing your mouth with coconut oil for 20 minutes in the morning on an empty stomach. It’s believed that this process draws toxins out from your body, which results, not only in oral health, but overall health too.
  11. Improves skin health.
    Massaging coconut oil into your skin prevents dryness and flaking. It also prevents wrinkles and sagging of the skin. It can be used to treat psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and other skin infections. 
  12. Improves hair health.
    Coconut oil prevents dandruff as it moisturises the scalp. It reduces the loss of proteins from hair and provides the essential proteins for healing damaged hair. Finally, coconut oil can also help keep your hair lice-free. 

Coconut oil has been used for thousands of years. There are many benefits of coconut oil. It can be used to overcome health problems and regular use leads to enhanced functioning of the body.

What other benefits do you know of?

My flexible weight-loss eating plan has over 30 recipes that can be made even more powerful and delicious by adding coconut oil. Get your copy of the ebook here

About Jacob Andreae

About Jacob Andreae

I write and speak about Fitness, Nutrition and Mindset. 

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The 12 Health Benefits of Coconut OilA quick start guide to losing weight and staying on track. Learn the strategies I use to eat and move for optimal health. Includes worksheets to enhance your motivation, commitment and discipline, along with a sample eating plan and exercise program.