In recent years, the humble coconut has skyrocketed from its lazy days as a poolside beverage infuser or curry improver to a leading superfood in the alternative health industry. Most people interested in natural health have a jar of the stuff in their kitchen or bathroom, and they probably don’t even know about all of its amazing uses.
Since I invested in my first jar of virgin, cold pressed, organic coconut oil, I’ve never looked back. In fact, the more I use coconut oil, the more my love affair with this glorious substance intensifies. Why the love affair, you ask? Well, it probably has something to do with the fact that coconut oil has a multitude of uses. I can think of few other products that are simultaneously good for your health, good for your skin, good for your hair, good for your tastebuds, good for cooking and baking, good for your teeth, and good for the environment.
To put it into context, let’s look at an average morning with my friend, coconut oil: I wake up, take a shower, dry off, and immediately rub coconut oil into my skin to lock in the moisture. This keeps my skin hydrated and protected from the sun during the day. I rub coconut oil into my hair to style it and keep it shiny. I then brush my teeth with coconut oil, and use it as a deodorant in combination with certain essential oils. I cook my organic free-range eggs in coconut oil, and also put some in my organic shade-grown coffee to make it thicker and creamier. And that’s just the morning!
The point is, coconut oil can bring untold wonders to your life. And if you haven’t already run out and bought yourself a jar, here are five more reasons to start using coconut oil ASAP.
- It supports cardiovascular health
Coconut oil is an excellent source of saturated fat. Now, if that sounds like a bad thing to you, there’s something important you need to know: It turns out saturated fat is a good thing! Saturated fats, rather than clogging up your arteries and increasing your risk of heart attack (like your doctor always used to tell you), actually promote healthy cholesterol by increasing the ratio of HDL (good) to LDL (bad) cholesterol.
So, if you’ve recently been told by your doctor that you’ve got cholesterol concerns, eating coconut oil might be a good choice, as it helps to lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Check with your doctor to see if coconut oil is a good option for you.
- It’s antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal
In essence, it’s anti-anything bad. Coconut oil is loaded with lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that fights bad bacteria, helps put candida back in its place, and prevents the spread of viruses. For this reason, it can be consumed during times of sickness to reduce symptoms, during times of health to reduce your risk of getting sick in the first place, and can be rubbed onto areas of the skin, hair or nails which are under bacterial or fungal attack.
- It’s fillin
Coconut oil is a calorie-rich source of nutrients and vitamins. Far from being a bad thing (more on that here), this means that it provides your body with what it needs to function properly and fills you up in the process. Coconut oil keeps you satiated for longer and prevents you from snacking on unhealthy processed foods. For this reason, eating a healthy calorie-rich food such as coconut oil can actually help you lose weight, in direct contrast to an unhealthy low-calorie food
- It’s anti-inflammatory
The typical Western diet and lifestyle tends to promote inflammatory foods and practices. Coconut oil contains high concentrations of antioxidants that are strongly associated with the lowering of inflammation. In fact, research has found that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action of coconut oil can effectively reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
- It improves digestion and nutrient absorption
Coconut oil is an excellent source of saturated fat. Consuming saturated fat allows the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, as well as minerals such as calcium and magnesium, in the diet. For example, adding a dollop of coconut oil to a salad dressing will help your body absorb the vital nutrients contained in the salad
The same rule applies for omega-3 fatty acids. Eating omega-3 sources such as coldwater fish or grass-fed beef (or even taking a fish oil supplement) along with coconut oil can improve their bioavailability, as your body is much better equipped to break down the proteins and utilize them. Well played, coconut oil. Well played.
The health-promoting power of coconut oil doesn’t stop there. Read on to discover the magical powers of coconut oil here.