5 Coconut Oil Health benefits
Coconut oil is a wonderful natural product that can be used for cooking, as a moisturizer, after sun cream, etc. Several studies have linked coconut oil with a number of health benefits. While in the past it’s been advised not to eat much coconut oil due to its high saturated fat content, new research is indicating that moderate saturated fat consumption is actually not unhealthy at all for most people. Coconut oil actually contains a different type of saturated fatty acids than the ones that have been demonized by many researchers, so-called medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which are metabolized differently than the saturated fats in red meats and cheese, which are long chain fatty acids. Medium chain fatty acids have been linked with positive health benefits such as the improvement of epilepsy and Alzheimer’s Syndrome symptoms.
The MCTs in coconut oil have been shown to be very efficient sources of energy for the body. A study performed in 2009 showed that women who consumed 2 tablespoons of coconut oil during 12 weeks had lost abdominal fat, a very difficult type of fat to lose.
While saturated fat consumption in the past has been linked with higher levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol, more recent studies seem to debunk this link. Recent research has shown that lauric acid, which is a type of MCT, increases the level of HDL cholesterol in the human body. Consequently, coconut oil’s high lauric acid content could help improve your body’s cholesterol ratio. Coconut oil also may help improve thyroid function, consequently helping keep LDL cholesterol levels lower (abnormal thyroid function has been associated with higher levels of LDL cholesterol).
Research is indicating that coconut oil consumption can help improve the body’s resistance to viruses and harmful bacteria.
Better Oral Hygiene
A recent study showed that coconut oil kills the main bug causing tooth decay. While more research needs to be done on coconut’s oral hygiene benefits, many people are actually already using coconut oil during their daily oral health routine when oil pulling. Oil pulling is a very old practice that’s been used throughout history to clean and detoxify mouth and teeth. This practice has become more popular again in the last few years, with devotees claiming it helps keep their gums healthy, teeth clean and even naturally whitens their teeth. Coconut oil is very popular for oil pulling because it doesn’t taste as bad as most pure oils and is antibacterial. To do oil pulling, just put a bit of oil into your mouth and start swishing it around for about 20 minutes. Then spit it out and rinse well.
Both the consumption and topical application of coconut oil may help improve skin health. When consumed, coconut oil improves thyroid function, which has been shown to be important for keeping the skin healthy. Applied topically it can help keep your skin hydrated. Just apply it to any dry spots you may have on your skin. Don’t use too much on your face if you are prone to breakouts however because it can block your pores.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at A Beautiful Smile at Lake Pointe, a Sugar Land dental office. Zane thinks that coconut oil is a great product.