Health Benefits of Coconut Oil: Hair, Skin, Weight Loss, Cholesterol, and More
Coconuts are delicious in smoothies and on desserts, but did you know that coconut oil can be great in many other ways as well? Firstly, coconut oil can moisturize dry skin: it can penetrate to tissues of the skin that other moisturizers do not touch and improve the elasticity of skin, thoroughly rejuvenating it. Furthermore, coconut oil can condition your hair, repairing damaged hair, sealing in moisture, create beautiful shine, and strengthening the strands. Furthermore, coconut oil is fantastic for weight loss and for health in general. It can reduce your waistline without added exercise or change in diet. It can improve cholesterol, and helps your brain.
Coconut oil does not come from Hawaii as some probably think. The largest exporter of coconuts in the world is Indonesia, followed by the Philippines, and then India. There are two types of coconut oil. One is made from the copra, the low grade dried flesh of the coconut, and is bleached, de-odorized, and treated with chemicals to preserve it. Needless to say, this is not the kind you should use. Try looking for Cold Pressed Virgin Certified Organic coconut oil instead which isn't treated with chemicals, dyes, and other harmful products.
Homemade Coconut Oil Moisturizer Recipe
Here is an easy way to incorporate coconut oil into your skin care routine. This moisturizer is easily personalized in scent with the essential oil flexability. If you like vanilla scents, use vanilla extract, if you prefer lavender, use a lavender extract. It's best to use organic ingredients, and since these products are going on your skin, go ahead and splurge: Your skin is ipmortant and deserves the best.
To make this lotion, combine these ingredients in a jar and the jar into a pan of water over medium heat. Occasionally stir until ingredients are combined. Store in any tin or jar you prefer.
Homemade Coconut Oil Moisturizer
- 1/4 cup almond or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons beeswax
- 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
- Optional: 1 tablespoon cocoa butter or shea butter
- Optional: 1 teaspoon essential oils: vanilla, rosewater, almond, lavender, tea tree...so on
Coconut Oil for Skin: Rejuvenating and Moisturizing
Coconut oil is a fantastic moisturizer for the skin: allaying dryness and rejuvenating the skin are only a few of the benefits of this miraculous oil. First of all, most store-bought moisturizers are water based.
What does this mean for your skin?
When these water-based products are put on your skin, you may feel an immediate improvement in the smoothness or dryness. However, after a few minutes, the water dries, and your skin is even drier than when it first started. Oil-based moisturizes are rare, and often expensive. Therefore, using coconut oil as a natural moisturizer for your skin is cheaper and a lot more effective.
Furthermore, commercial moisturizers contain petroleum-based products which suffocate your skin cells. The moisture that coconut oil provides is very different, it penetrates to underlying tissues and provides real moisture that won't dry in only a few minutes. Rejuvenating and strengthening underlying tissues, and removing excessive skin cells on the surface of the skin thus diminishing roughness, coconut oil can provide a tangible difference in your skin as well as a deeper harder-to-see difference that is even more valuable.
Coconut Oil for Hair: Strengthen, Shine, De-Frizz, and Repair
It may seem scary to put an oil in your hair, especially if you have hair that tends to be greasier. However, coconut oil is an amazing repairing agent for your hair. It has innumerable benefits, and will not make your hair greasy once you wash your hair. If you put the oil on your hair as a treatment, you can leave it on for about an hour, then wash your hair as usual, and your hair won't feel greasy, only healthier. However, make sure that the oil is placed on the ends of your hair, not as much on your scalp.
What are coconut oil's benefits for your hair?
First of all, coconut oil works great for damage control on hair that has been destroyed by heat, breakage, and so on. Coconut oil works great for de-frizzing your hair too and can be a great de-frizzing product when used sparingly. Coconut oil is anti-fungal naturally which means that it is an all-natural anti-dandruff treatment. So next time instead of using Head and Shoulders, try giving yourself a coconut oil treatment. The oil is also preventative of dandruff.
Furthermore, coconut oil serves as a great conditioner if your hair tends to be on the drier side: It locks in moisture and thus makes your hair much shinier. Finally, it also is a light protein treatment for your hair, adding proteins, the very building blocks of your hair strands, to your locks thus affectively strengthening them.
All in all, coconut oil is a FANTASTIC treatment for your hair for many reasons.
Homemade Coconut Oil Hair Mask
Recipes That Use Coconut OilClick thumbnail to view full-size
Coconut Oil for Weight Loss: Burn More, Eat Less, and Slim Down
Coconut oil contains saturated fats. Yes, you read right, saturated fats. Oh no, doesn't that mean it's like a poison for your body, like a proverbial Locknesse Monster of health?
No! Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which are metabolized differently than the long-strand saturated fats in foods like steak and cheese. So these medium chain triglycerides have been shown to increase energy expenditure.
What does this mean?
It means that you burn more calories when you have a daily intake of coconut oil. Studies show that energy expenditure increased by 5% in a period of 24 hours, i.e. around 120 calories more were burned simply by having coconut oil.
Furthermore, coconut oil can decrease your hunger, which can be a great aid in weight loss endeavors. This probably has to do with how the fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized by the body.
In a study where 6 men were given differing lengths of saturated fats, those given the fats that were all medium strand, the ones found in coconut oil, ate an average of 256 less calories in a period of 24 hours.
Finally, coconut oil is especially effective in reducing abdominal fat, which is the most dangerous fat in our body. This fat, the fat that plagues us with muffin tops and pot bellies surrounds your internal organs and is directly correlated with countless Western diseases as well as shorter life spans.
In a study of 20 obese men, simply by eating 1 ounce of coconut oil daily, WITHOUT EXERCISE OR CHANGES IN DIET, the men noted a reduction in waist circumference of 1.1 inches after 4 weeks. Can you imagine losing 1 inch off your waist without changing your diet or exercising? Imagine the loss of abdominal fat that could be achieved with moderate exercise and a healthy diet!
Other Health Benefits
Good for Your Cholesterol
Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, although different from those in steak and cheese. Unlike it was previously thought, saturated fats actually do not harm the blood lipid profile. However saturated fats DO raise HDL cholesterol, the good kind, and change the LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype.
Helps with Various Diseases
Alzheimer’s patients have been found to have a reduced ability to use glucose for energy in certain parts of the brain. The ketones found in coconut oil have been found to be an alternate source for the malfunctioning cells in Alzheimer's patients, thus reducing their symptoms. Ketones have also been found to DRAMATICALLY decrease seizures in epilepsy patients.
Fights Infection and Bacteria
Lauric acid and monolaurin, both found in coconut oil, can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi. For example, coconut oil can kill the yeast Candida Albicans, a common source of yeast infections in humans, and the extremely dangerous bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus.