11 Evidence Backed Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil!

coconut oil health benefits
Written by Dr Prachi Garg
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Coconut is one of the healthiest foods. The benefits of Coconut oil are much more than you can even imagine! A truly rich and highly nutritious superfood, this oil can be used for hair care to skincare and from treating infections to improving digestion. Coconut oil plays a vital role not only in India but also finds acceptance amongst Europeans, Canadians, Australians and Americans.

Coconut Oil Nutrition Facts:

Coconut oil contains 99% fat, out of which 82% is saturated fat. Half of the saturated fat content of coconut oil is lauric acid while others are myristic acid, palmitic acid and caprylic acid. It contains only 6% monounsaturated fats and 2% polyunsaturated fats. Coconut oil also contains phytosterols.

Some Health Benefits of Coconut Oil Are:

  • Anti-microbial :

Fifty per cent of the saturated fat present in coconut oil is Lauric acid. Lauric acid has anti-microbial properties and effectively kills bacteria, viruses and fungi.[1]

Caprylic and Lauric acid present in coconut oil are fungicidal in nature. So, coconut oil effectively destroys Candida albicans.[2]

  • Treatment of Arthritis:

Polyphenols present in Coconut oil are strong antioxidants. They help reduce swelling and inflammation in patients with arthritis.[3]

  • Stress Buster:

A hot coconut oil massage provides instant relief to aching knees and joints. Applying slightly warm coconut oil to the hair eliminates mental fatigue and offers immediate relief from a headache.

Read More: 7 Different Relaxation Techniques That Help You Fight Stress

  • Good Skin & Hair:

Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer, cleaner, and sunscreen. Its fatty acids help reduce inflammation, thereby doing wonders for almost all skin types. Along with this, it also helps to reduce the symptoms of eczema.[4]

Regularly massaging our hair with coconut oil, ensures a dandruff-free scalp as it nourishes the scalp. It also helps to keep the hair free from lice and its eggs.

  • Good For Oral Health:

Swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in our mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes, known as Oil Pulling, draws out toxins from our body. This ancient method of coconut oil pulling effectively reduces plaque and gingivitis and helps in maintaining good oral health.[5]

  • Improves Satiety:

Coconut oil contains a high concentration of MCTs. MCTs improve satiety, thus giving a feeling of fullness. This, in turn, reduces our food intake.[6]

  • Deals with Osteoporosis:

Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants fight free radicals and thus help in the treatment of osteoporosis. Coconut oil also decreases bone loss that occurs in osteoporosis.[7]

  • Increases HDL cholesterol & Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease:

Daily consumption of coconut oil increases HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol levels in our body.[8]This increase in HDL levels decreases the risk of a variety of cardiovascular disorders.

Read More: What Are The Side Effects of High Cholesterol?

  •  Treatment of Epilepsy & Alzheimer’s Disease:

Coconut oil contains MCTs. When coconut oil is consumed, these MCTs are quickly absorbed by our body for energy and ketones are produced.

Ketones are proved to be highly beneficial for our brain and help in the treatment of Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.[9][10]

  • Wound Healing:

Coconut oil is rich in powerful antioxidants. Topical application of virgin coconut oil on wounds promotes wound healing by increasing fibroblast proliferation and neovascularization.[11]

  • Reduces Abdominal Fat:

Coconut oil is healthy, though it has a very high saturated fat content because it contains medium-chain triglycerides(MCTs) which are shorter fatty acid chains as compared to long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) which are present in most dietary fats. Having MCTs in the diet was shown to reduce body weight.[12]

MCTs were also found to be more effective in reducing abdominal fat compared to LCTs. MCTs are harder for the body to convert into stored fat and easier to burn off than LCT.

How to consume coconut oil and how much?

  • Organic virgin coconut oil should be used for consumption.
  • Coconut oil can be used for cooking or you can have it along with hot drinks.
  • Start with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per day and gradually increase to 2 tablespoons per day.

Side Effects of Coconut Oil:

Consuming too much coconut oil may lead to side effects like nausea, headache, dizziness, swollen glands, loose stools, chills, rashes, etc.

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

About the author

Dr Prachi Garg

A Gold Medallist Physiotherapist from the Maharashtra University
of Health Sciences (MUHS), and also a qualified Dietician who later
went on to establish the “Mera Health Genie Wellness, India” in 2009
with a vision to offer the best remedies possible through the medium
of alternative medicines.
Effectively used Physiotherapy, Diet and Nutrition, Yoga, and
Acupressure to help numerous people recover from an injury or
manage a long term problem, achieving fitness goals, managing
weight and well being.

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