The popularity of coconut oil has boomed in recent years due to the stunning health benefits it possesses. Some people may perceive coconut oil to contain large amounts of unhealthy saturated fat, but in fact, this superfood provides vital, healthy fats and many health benefits.
But isn’t saturated fat bad?
You might think of saturated fats as being the enemy to your health due to the highly researched link between saturated fat and heart disease, but the truth is that particular types of plant-based saturated fats are excellent to promote optimal health. Coconut oil is one source of plant-based saturated fat that can provide stunning health benefits, especially for heart health. One research study has shown that coconut oil can actually increase the “good” HDL cholesterol and convert “bad” LDL cholesterol into a less harmful form.1
Coconut oil might also be a good digestive aid. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) contained in coconut oil can be easily absorbed in your digestive tract compared to fatty acids in vegetable oils. Additionally, coconut oil does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream. MCTs are also readily available to be used for energy directly, not stored as fat. They can even cross the blood-brain barrier to supply your brain with sustained energy.
Healthy benefits for teeth, hair, and skin
In addition to healthy benefits inside your body, coconut oil has some excellent topical uses. Oil pulling (the method of swishing and rinsing your mouth with oil) is particularly good with coconut oil which has been found to cleanse your mouth and flush harmful bacteria away. The antibacterial nature of MCTs in coconut oil make them ideal for oil pulling and can sometimes even help to naturally whiten your teeth.
Your skin and hair can also benefit from nourishment with coconut oil. Slather the oil on dry and cracked skin areas for instant relief and softness. You can also use it as an antibacterial facial cleanser, lip balm, or natural makeup remover. Try applying a generous amount of the oil to dry hair before shampooing to help restore moisture and shine. Coconut oil can help exfoliate dead skin cells to give you a beautiful complexion with smooth, supple, and moisturized skin.
What type of coconut oil is best?
The source of your coconut oil really matters so you can get the best results. Avoid refined and deodorized coconut oil. Instead, go for raw, unrefined, organic coconut oil that is minimally processed so it contains all of its natural MCTs and healthy fats. Stock up on luscious organic coconut oil and nourish your body from both the inside-out and outside-in this winter!