Surprising Health Benefits & Uses of Coconut Oil
You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of coconut oil, but do you know how to use it for the best results? Check the amazing health benefits and uses of coconut oil.
Coconut oil has rapidly become a staple of every health-conscious household. It is filled with all sorts of benefits and can be used in so many different ways. It can be used in skin care routines, it can be a substitute for butter and other fats in recipes, and more. The possibilities are endless!
Today, we’ll be taking a look specifically at the health benefits of coconut oil, and how it can help you to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Many of these health benefits can be achieved through small changes throughout your everyday routines. You don’t have to make a huge leap to start making your way down the path to a healthy life. Let’s jump in and see what some of these benefits are and how to achieve them.
Is coconut oil really good for you?
Because coconut oil is a source of fat, some people automatically consider it to be “bad” or want to avoid it. It is made up of 90% saturated fat. That percentage is higher than butter, lard, and lots of other fat sources. The reason that we commonly try to steer clear of saturated fat is because too much of it can increase LDL cholesterol levels. High LDL can lead to a higher risk of heart disease. While coconut oil is raising the LDL, it also boosts the HDL, which is good.
In addition to the HDL cholesterol boost, coconut oil is filled with even more benefits. It contains vitamin E and lauric acid. It helps to absorb amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, especially calcium. Coconut oil is a great way to give yourself a boost of energy. It can reduce the accumulation of fat. It also contains no cholesterol!
Coconut oil also contains carotenoids, which may prevent some cancers, increase immune system functions, and reduce inflammation.
Coconut oil and probiotics
As we’ve learned, coconut oil has plenty of health benefits. It also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. This is great news for those who want to treat infections and viruses naturally, but it does raise some questions about its effects on probiotics.
Probiotics can be used for weight loss, just as coconut oil can, so there has been speculation about how the two interact with each other. At first thought, it would make sense for the effects of each to cancel out. If probiotics are putting bacteria into the system while coconut oil is killing that bacteria, the effects should be neutral. This would then imply that there it would only be worthwhile to take one or none instead of both.
While coconut oil kills some disease-causing germs, it does not kill all microorganisms. There should not be any issues with taking both probiotics and coconut oil. As a precaution, it is advised that you should take them a few hours apart.
Coconut oil fights cancer
In one study using rats, it was discovered that the rats who were given coconut oil did not develop as many tumors as the ones who did not consume coconut oil. In addition, these rats were also injected with cancer cells. The ones that were given coconut oil were better at fighting off the cancer cells.
There is some question as to whether or not studies using rats accurately translate to human reactions to drugs and medicine. Nonetheless, adding coconut oil to your diet is a small way to potentially prevent cancer while giving yourself some other great health benefits!
How to use coconut oil to boost your energy
At this point, it may seem like there can’t possibly be any more health benefits. We briefly mentioned that coconut oil can play an important role in the increase of energy, but now we’ll dig in a little bit deeper.
Coconut oil works to increase the amount of sustainable energy within the body. This energy can be sustained and used over time. Some energy sources will give you a quick burst of energy for 30 minutes or an hour, and then you just crash. Because coconut oil is easy for the body to digest, it lasts a lot longer.
Here are a few simple ways to add coconut oil to your diet to boost your energy:
- Add a spoonful to a smoothie or juice.
- Cook meat or vegetables in coconut oil.
- Swap out the cream or milk in your coffee for coconut oil.
There are plenty of other ways to incorporate coconut oil into your everyday meals, but those are some of the easiest switches to make! As coconut oil is high in calories and saturated fat, use it sparingly. Instead of increasing your current intake of saturated fat, you should use coconut oil in place of other less healthy fats.
Overall, there are countless ways to improve your health with one simple ingredient. The LDL increases are minor compared to all of the great things that coconut oil can do for you and your family. It is a great substitute for other types of oils when it comes to cooking and baking. You can use it for skincare as well, and it’s a natural alternative to many chemical-filled products. Moreover, it is safe to use around children and babies, so you don’t have to worry about your little ones getting into it!
- Ask the doctor: Coconut oil and health. Harvard Health
- How to Eat Coconut Oil, and How Much Per Day? Healthline