Both coconut and its oil have been used as medicinal ingredient for people in countries around the world for ages. But still, many people are unaware of all the health benefits coconut oil has to offer. Here are 7 facts about coconut oil that may come as a surprise to many people.
1. The Saturated Fat In Coconut Oil Is Actually Healthy
Many people see the saturated fat content on the coconut oil label and wonder how it could possibly be healthy. The fats in coconut oil are primarily comprised of medium chain fatty acids, which are actually health promoting and good for the heart. Lauric acid, the primary fatty acid in coconut oil “increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17180807)
2. Coconut Oil Makes For Healthy Hair
Coconut oil is used in a variety of hair care products. According to Dr. Group, this is because “with its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, coconut oil can effectively penetrate the hair shaft to reduce protein loss, leaving it nourished and healthy.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12715094)
3. Good For the Skin
Coconut oil is an incredibly nourishing moisturizer for the skin. Its antibacterial and antiviral properties are great for many skin conditions and it also helps with the healing of wounds. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19134433)
4. Fights Harmful Organisms
Candida, head lice, mosquitos, and sand fleas are all repelled by coconut oil. It’s also useful in fighting a variety of virus’s and bacteria. In fact, “the antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of the medium chain fatty acids/triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil have been known to researchers since the 1960s. Research has shown that microorganisms that are inactivated include bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17651080)
5. Can Be Used To Replace Milk In Ice Cream
Coconut oil can be used in place of milk fat and still offer the velvety, creamy consistency of regular ice cream, with a slight coconut flavor.(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21339169)
6. Baby Massage Oil
Coconut oil has been shown to promote weight gain and growth in babies who are massaged with it daily. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16208048)
7. Shows Promise as an Anti-Poison Remedy
A hospital in Iran reported that a man who tried to commit suicide by ingesting pesticide aluminum phosphide survived after being given a combination of charcoal, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium sulphate, and coconut oil. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15957538)
It’s clear that coconut oil provides many health benefits. Adding it to your daily diet not only tastes good, but may very well improve your overall health.