In spite of long standing mistaken Western views that all saturated fats are bad, coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils on the planet. It is far richer in medium chain triglycerides (MCT) — which contain medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) — than any other naturally occurring oil. MCT oils digest faster and easier than other types of fats and metabolize quickly in the liver. This is in contrast to the the long chain triglycerides which are much more common in the Western diet. Coconut oil health benefits are numerous diet, skin and hair care.
Coconut Oil Benefits: Diet
In the 1940’s, farmers tried fattening their cattle with coconut oil as a means to save money. It backfired and they ended up with very lean, active cattle. Coconut oil is easily absorbed and digested, unlike many other fats. Studies of traditional island cultures, where this all natural native oil is a significant part of the diet, generally find the natives in good health, at optimal weights, and with a low occurrence of heart disease. When used as part of an overall healthy diet or even as a substitute for more traditional cooking with vegetable oil, it can help you achieve your optimal healthy weight.
Coconut Oil Benefits: Skin
You are what you eat. A beautiful complexion begins with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Some sources indicate that good, clear, healthy skin reflects a healthy gut and that poor skin indicates poor gut health. Coconut oil supports and encourages a thriving gut ecology of pro-biotics (friendly germs, like those found in yogurt, necessary to proper digestion) and has a well established track record of helping to heal a damaged gut. Additionally, it can be applied topically to the skin for more direct skin benefits as it has antimicrobial properties, which aid in treatment of some skin infections.
Coconut Oil Benefits: Hair
As with skin, hair benefits enormously from balanced nutrition, and a healthy head of hair is primarily rooted in overall optimal health. In the case of hair care, Coconut oil is recommended as a topical treatment. Some people massage it into their hair and head to prevent lice, nourish the hair follicle (root), and ensure a generally healthy scalp. It is widely used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care and can be found as an ingredient in some commercial hair products here in the West.
For the biggest health and beauty benefits, most sources highly recommend organic coconut oil. Because it is a saturated fat, it tends to harden at room temperature or when refrigerated. If stored in a natural warm spot, like the kitchen counter top next to the stove, it typically stays warm enough to remain conveniently in liquid form. If it does harden, do not worry about it. It will readily melt with the warmth of your hands or when added to a warm dish.
– The Alternative Daily