The coconut tree is aptly considered “the tree of life” throughout Asia and several other tropical vistas. The coconut oil derived from coconuts is edible oil that has almost limitless uses. It’s so awesome and versatile it could probably be traded as global currency. It’s definitely the renaissance man of the oil family. And because of its numerous great health benefits, and food and household uses, it’s gaining more popularity worldwide, especially in the US.
Why Include Coconut Oil in Your Diet
Because coconut oil helps burn fat so easily, and because it doesn’t store as body fat, it is an ideal healthy fat to use a lot of while on the keto diet. Plus, it tastes delicious! Coconut oil complements the keto diet perfectly because it supports the body systems the keto diet improves as well. Let’s look at how coconut oil improves health.
Major Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains what’s known as medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs for short. MCTs are part man-made, part naturally occurring fats. That long-winded name refers to how carbon atoms are organized in their chemical structures. MCTs are made, usually, by processing coconut and other oils in a lab. Conversely, usual dietary fats contain long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and minor dietary fats contain short-chain triglycerides (SCTs).
Those MCTs, unlike the other two fatty acids, help you increase ketone production, which is the goal of the keto diet. MCT’s also help because they satisfy you so you don’t get as hungry as you do on other diets. Plus, they provide the body and brain with tons of energy!
Among other perks, coconut oil helps with digestion. The antimicrobial elements in it help break down bacteria and even alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, among other digestion issues. To further explain, coconut oil contains fungi- and virus-fighting lipids (or fat) and three different acids: lauric, capric and caprylic. Once you eat coconut oil, those four components work to strengthen the body’s immunity by directly attacking viruses, just like medicine. Not only does it work for big problems, it also works very effectively against a regular cold. So if you feel the sniffles coming on, reach for the coconut oil. At the same time, coconut oil also helps your body absorb even more vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and other nutrients.
At this point, it may not come as a surprise that coconut oil is also great for your heart. The high count of lauric acid in coconut oil helps protect your heart from serious problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
And, of course, the might that is coconut oil does not stop there. Coconut oil, according to several current studies and reports, can even help with the prevention of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, and HIV. Let’s take a closer look at how coconut oil can back up those claims:
- Coconut Oil as Cancer Prevention. Cancer cells are simple cells. Cancer cells cannot produce the extra organisms that metabolize ketones and convert fat into energy, so a diet high in fats like coconut oil help to thwart cancer growth. Basically, when there are no simple sugars for the cancer cells to use as energy, they are starved out; they can’t reproduce.
- Coconut Oil as Alzheimer’s Inhibitor. Studies have shown that boosting ketones can improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients. Mary Newport, a renowned neonatologist from Florida is a leading expert in the field of study in this area.
- Coconut Oil as Diabetes Destructor. Did you know that consuming just 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil can lower your blood sugar in just 30 minutes? The science behind that lays in the fact that coconut oil can enter cells much like glucose can, but while regulating your body’s blood sugar levels. It allows the cells to absorb healthy good energy without necessarily producing more insulin. Here is the true wonderment of taking coconut oil daily as a type 1 or type 2 diabetic: you could actually replace your body’s insulin dependency by using a coconut oil supplement, according to several studies.
- Coconut Oil as HIV Warrior. Fifty mL of coconut oil contains lauric acid, as discussed, which has anti-viral qualities. In one recent study, an infant who tested positive for HIV was fed an infant formula high in coconut oil and subsequently tested HIV negative due to the coconut oil helping boost the production of viral busting monolaurin in the body. In short, the monolaurin byproduct in coconut oil—which is also found naturally in breast milk—is an all-natural, organic anti-viral substance that boosts the body’s autoimmune system.
If you were stranded on a desert island, you’d definitely want to pack this miracle substance or hope to have a fresh supply! In addition to it being a wondrous “cure all” to many illnesses, it can also eliminate more bothersome maladies like head lice (it smothers them!) and significantly reduces the signs of aging on the skin.
Really, is there anything coconut oil can’t do?
Let’s get back to that age-old quest for a beach-ready bikini bod for a moment. Don’t forget that because of those healthy saturated fats, coconut oil doesn’t store as fat in our bodies. In fact, it actually acts as a fat burning supplement. That is one reason why nutritionists highly recommend that you use it on the keto diet.
Now here are some more reasons why you should use coconut oil on the keto diet:
- It provides stress relief. Everyone gets stressed. Thankfully, coconut oil is there to pick us up when we’re down. And because virtually everyone can use coconut oil, it’s safe to give to kids of all ages too.
- Lowers blood pressure. Because virgin coconut oil is high in antioxidants, it lowers blood pressure and destroys any cells that contain negative oxidants. Basically, scientific talk aside, coconut clears the mind and gives you more energy to boot.
- It boosts your immune system. Those coconut oil acids that we’ve mentioned a few times really come in handy for immunity strength. They have great antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties that say “no!” to viruses and bacteria. Those acids work as fast-acting agents that target the “bad things” quickly. Coconut oil works well topically too. For rashes, abrasions, sores, and other skin issues, coconut oil works gradually to heal. It has been proven in several studies to work very effectively against candida, a devastating fungal infection.
- It regulates your metabolism. Many studies show that those MCTs can boost metabolism. MCTs can potentially increase energy expenditure by 120 calories per day. Need to get more stuff done during those brief 24 hours? Sounds like coconut oil might be your new BFF.
Now coconut oil has become a super food and a super oil.
Here are the 55 uses for coconut oil.
Cooking With Coconut Oil
- Use for baking, cooking, frying, etc. to replace liquid oils.
- Use for greasing pans and in pie crusts, etc. to replace butter and margarine.
- Melt and add to smoothies.
Personal Care Uses of Coconut Oil
- Toothpaste: Mix coconut oil with baking soda and some olive oil (to make it softer) and use that as your toothpaste.
- Makeup Remover: Put coconut oil on a cotton swab and wipe away your makeup.
- Moisturizer: Gently melt together 14 cup coconut oil, ½ cup shea butter, ¼ cup almond or jojoba oil, and 15 drops of essential oils. Apply that to the face. The essential oils differ depending on whether you have acne or you want deep moisturizing or you want to heal aging skin.
- Body lotion: Melt together gently, ½ cup coconut oil, ½ cup shea butter, ½ cup almond or olive or jojoba oil and a few drops of essential oil. Apply that to the whole body as a lotion.
- Eye cream: Apply coconut oil around the eyes to reduce puffiness, bags, and wrinkles.
- Lip balm: Gently melt together 1 tablespoon of beeswax, 2 tablespoons of shea butter, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 20 drops of your moisturizing essential oil.
- Deodorant: Mix coconut oil with cornstarch and baking soda. Apply that to daily.
- Preshave: Coconut oil protects the skin from damage during shaving.
- Aftershave: Coconut oil helps heal the skin after shaving without clogging pores.
- Hair Conditioner: Use as a leave in hair conditioner by applying a teaspoon of coconut oil to your ends and then running your fingers through your hair to distribute the rest!
- Deep hair treatment: Rub in a tablespoon of coconut oil onto your dry scalp and gently work through to the ends. Put a shower cap on to prevent transfer onto bed linens and leave on overnight.
- Hair Gel/Defrizzer: Rub some coconut oil between your palms and either scrunch into hair (for curly hair) or finger comb in through from scalp to ends (for wavy/straight hair).
16: Lubricant: Coconut oil is an all natural, perfectly safe personal lubricant but it not compatible with latex.
- Massage Oil: Add almond oil and a few drops of essential oil and you have massage oil.
- Sunscreen: Coconut oil is a natural sunscreen with SPF of 4-5. Mix ½ cup coconut oil with 1 tablespoon raspberry seed oil with SPF of about 25 and 2 tablespoons of natural zinc oxide. Essential oil is optional.
- Body scrub: Mix coconut oil and sugar together, rub all over and rinse off. Your skin will be super soft!
- Stretch Mark Cream: Coconut oil nourishes damaged skin and reduces the damage.
- Nipple Cream: Apply coconut oil on a cotton ball to cracked, sore, or dry nipples, and leave on your nipples between feedings.
- Diaper salve: Coconut oil is comforting and safe for the diaper area.
- Cradle cap: If your baby’s scalp is dry on the rub coconut oil.
- Healing: Coconut oil speeds up the healing of bruises, cuts and scrapes.
- Skin problems: Coconut oil relieves skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
- Bug Bites: Apply directly to a bug bite to stop the itching and burning sensation and hasten the healing process.
- Digestion: Coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties that help control, parasites, and fungi in the gut. It also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
- Stress Relief: The natural aroma of coconuts is extremely soothing thus helping to lower your stress level. Apply to the head in a circular massaging motion.
29: Milk supply: Breastfeeding moms can take 3 ½ tablespoonfuls of coconut oil daily to increase milk supply.
- Fitness: Coconut oil stimulates your metabolism, improves thyroid function, and escalates energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat, while increasing muscle.
- Weight loss: It controls cravings.
- Diabetes: it helps to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
Coconut Oil assists the Following Health Problems When Taken Internally
- Eczema: In addition to taking it internally, many have success applying it externally, some don’t.
- Toenail fungus.
- Hot flashes.
- Bleeding hemorrhoids (can also be applied externally twice a day).
- Flaky dry skin.
- Pain/cramps and heavy blood flow during menstruation.
- Migraines (with regular use).
- Alzheimer’s disease.
- Candida albicans.
- Acid reflux and indigestion.
- Gallbladder pain.
- Symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland, normalizing thyroid function.
- Adrenal fatigue.
- Herpes (applied topically and taken internally).
- Inflammation due to Crohn’s disease.
- Mental clarity.
- Immune system strengthened.
- Asthma, even in children.
- Cholesterol – improves HDL (‘good’ cholesterol) to HDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) ratio in people with high cholesterol.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Circulation/feeling cold all the time.
- Energy boost.