Coconut oil has until recently been considered a bad thing to include in your diet because of its saturated fat content.
However, times have changed and the latest research and school of thought tends to view the addition of coconut oil to the average balanced daily diet as quite desirable.
In fact, once seen as unhealthy, the oil from coconuts is now one of the hottest thing on the shelves in health food stores around the world and believed by many to be not only healthy, but a true superfood.
If you are wondering about the health benefits attributed to coconut oil, you might appreciate these 8 medically based reasons to consume coconut oil every day.
Eating Coconut Oil
#1 Coconut Oil Boosts Good HDL Cholesterol Levels
Although coconut oil contains a lot of fat, studies have shown that it actually increases “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
Any sort of healthy fat in your diet will nudge your HDL cholesterol levels up a bit, but coconut oil has been shown to raise these levels significantly.
Why is this a good thing? A higher HDL cholesterol level will be helpful in keeping bad LDL cholesterol from building up and blocking your arteries.
Blockage of the arteries from an accumulation of LDL cholesterol is a large contributor to heart disease, so having more good HDL cholesterol to help fight the effects of bad cholesterol can play a part in keeping you heart healthy.
#2 Coconut Oil Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is a worldwide health problem in these days of fast foods and eating on the run. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.5 billion people on the planet are overweight to some degree.
This means that about 10% of all the people living on this big blue marble are obese. Coconut oil to the rescue!
A 2009 study showed that coconut oil has special fats known as MCTs, or Medium Chain Triglycerides, that break down fats in your liver and help you burn energy.
The study found that women who consumed about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily for 3 months didn’t gain any weight and actually had less abdominal fat than when the study began. (Abdominal fat is notoriously hard to lose!)
#3 Coconut Oil Helps Treat Wounds
Coconut oil has been studied and shown to be helpful in the treatment and healing of wounds. Based on the results of a study conducted in 2002: “Coconut oil is particularly useful because of its biochemical structure: unlike olive oil and animal fatty tissue, it consists of short-chained and saturated fatty acids.
These qualities in coconut oil prevent it from becoming oxidized and rancid, thus making it suitable for the preservation of medicinal plants and for wound treatment.” So, when it comes to speeding up the healing process of a surface wound, natural coconut oil seems to be a safe bet!
#4 Coconut Oil Helps Fight Aging
Who isn’t concerned with trying to stay youthful longer? Thanks to the strides in modern medicine and a better lifestyle for most people, we humans are enjoying longer life spans than ever before.
But, what if there was a superfood that could help you even more to win your fight against aging? Results of a study published by the U. S. National Library of Medicine in 2013 showed that Virgin Coconut Oil plays a decidedly beneficial part in improving antioxidant status. Antioxidants help fight aging, so making coconut oil part of your daily diet is a good idea.
#5 Coconut Oil Reduces Fever & Acts as an Anti-inflammatory & Analgesic
Recent studies have shown that pure coconut oil acts as an antipyretic, meaning it can help reduce fever. It was also shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory.
Anti-inflammatory medicines are usually called NSAIDS or Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs.
NSAIDs are used by over 30 million Americans every day to help reduce pain for such things as headaches, arthritis, muscle sprains and a host of other ills.
They act by reducing swelling and blocking the enzymes that cause pain. An analgesic is also used to alleviate pain. Many pain sufferers use coconut oil as a safe, natural remedy rather than OTC or prescription drugs.
Or, if you have a cold or flu with an elevated temperature you might consider reaching for the coconut oil to get your fever down naturally.
#6 Coconut Oil is Antibacterial
Coconut oil has been scientifically shown to be effective against three Gram-positive cocci, including Staphyloccus and Streptococcus—two of the leading causes of bacterial infections.
Fatty acids were determined to help kill these bacteria by disintegrating the cell membrane. In fact, one study showed that not only could fatty acids eradicate harmful cocci bacteria, they can help you avoid getting an infection from them in the first place.
These types of bacteria are especially virulent and can cause such diseases as strep throat, pneumonia, meningitis and more. Adding coconut oil to your diet might be a case of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure.
#7 Coconut Oil is Beneficial to People with Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a heartbreaking disease that affects about 30 million people around the world.
Much research is being devoted to Alzheimer’s in an effort to unravel the mystery that surrounds its cause, as well as search for effective treatment and/or a cure.
The USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute has pioneered a 5 year clinical trial to measure the effects of coconut oil—versus a placebo—against this insidious illness.
Dr. Mary Newport, one of the institute’s researchers, said that she saw a marked improvement in her husband, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 51, when she began giving him 4 teaspoons of coconut oil every day.
Both Dr. Newport and a Canadian researcher, Stephen Cunnane, have found that ketones play a big part in providing the brain with fuel.
Coconut oil is easily converted into ketones by your body. These researchers believe that the brain may be “starving” as it begins to slide into Alzheimer’s and that ketones, and coconut oil, can help halt or even reverse the process.
#8 Coconut Oil Can Boost Testosterone & Help Balance Hormones
There has been a lot of research about coconut oil and whether or not it can help to boost testosterone in men and balance hormonal levels in both men and women.
As mentioned earlier, coconut oil is rich in fatty acids. Fatty acids perform all kinds of useful functions within your body and one of them is balancing hormone levels, including testosterone in men.
If you are the male or female half of a couple trying to conceive, adding coconut oil to your diet on a daily basis might prove tremendously helpful in getting hormone levels where they need to be for maximum fertility. So, to start a family or rev up a flagging libido, male or female—give coconut oil a try.
Coconut oil does appear to have all of the qualifications of a superfood, so you might consider adding it to your daily diet.