Coconut oil has gained popularity in recent years, amid claims that it can do wonders from supporting weight loss to slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. People of today are health conscious and have switched to healthier options.
Manufacturers have recouped other oils with coconut oil in packaged products, and many households use it for cooking, especially in South India. It features in edible oil, shampoos, coffee, and smoothies.
It offers a distinctive taste, has many alluring health benefits, and is widely available.
It’s also extremely useful with a wide range of benefits we may not be aware of.
Not all coconut oils are the same, and some are healthier than others.
Partially hydrogenated coconut oil is just as noxious as other highly processed oils that consist of trans fats. These are not healthy.
Refined coconut oil is extracted from chemically bleached and pasteurized coconut meat.
Virgin coconut oil is extorted from the fruit of fresh and mature coconuts without using high temperatures or chemicals. It is considered unrefined, and it may offer myriad health benefits.
Here are 10 uses of coconut oil which can change our lifestyle:
1. Protect Your Skin from UV Rays
When applied to our skin, coconut oil may protect it from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which raise your risk of skin cancer and cause wrinkling and brown spots.
However, it doesn’t provide the same protection as conventional sunscreen, which blocks about 90% of UV rays.
2. Make Sugar-Free Dark Chocolate
Homemade dark chocolate is a delectable way to extort coconut oil’s health benefits.
Since coconut oil melts at 76°F (24°C), just remember to store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
It’s easy to find a recipe and get started. To keep things healthy, look for sugar-free ideas.
3. Cook Safely at High Temperatures
Coconut oil has high saturated fat content. This component makes it one of the best fats for high-heat cooking, including frying.
Saturated fats absorb their structure when heated to high temperatures, unlike the polyunsaturated fatty acids found in vegetable oils.
Oils such as safflower and corn are converted into toxic compounds when heated. These may have harmful effects on health.
Therefore, coconut oil is a safer substitute oil for cooking at high temperatures.
4. Improve Your Dental Health
Coconut oil can be a mighty weapon against bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria in your mouth that causes tooth decay, dental plaque, and gum disease.
In one study, swishing with coconut oil for 20 minutes — known as oil pulling — reduced these bacteria as effectively as rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash.
5. Relieve Skin Irritation and Eczema
Research shows that coconut oil improves convalescing dermatitis and other skin disorders at least as well as mineral oil and other conventional moisturizers.
In a study with children with eczema, 47% of those treated with coconut oil noticed major improvements.
6. Improve Brain Function
The MCTs in coconut oil are broken down by your liver and turned into ketones, which can act as an alternative energy source for your brain.
Several studies have found MCTs to have notable benefits for brain disorders, including epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.
7. May Reduce Belly Fat
Coconut oil may splendidly help reduce belly fat — also known as visceral fat — which is linked to increased health risks, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. You can have a spoonful of virgin coconut oil with your morning black coffee or mix it in your healthy smoothies.
8. Moisturize Your Skin
Coconut oil acts as a wonderful moisturizer for your legs, arms, and elbows, especially during winters.
You can use it on your face as well — though this isn’t recommended for those with very oily skin.
It can also help repair cracked heels. Simply apply a thin coat of coconut oil to your heels at bedtime. Put on socks to secure the moisture and continue on a nightly basis until your heels are smooth.
9. May Help Fight Infections
Virgin coconut oil has antibacterial properties that can help cure infections.
It also helps to fight yeasts — an effect generally attributed to lauric acid, the main fatty acid in coconut oil.
10. Protect Your Hair from Damage
Coconut oil keeps your hair healthy.
Only coconut oil significantly reduces protein loss from hair when applied before or after shampooing. Researchers concluded that the unique structure of lauric acid — the main fatty acid in coconut oil — can penetrate the hair shaft in a way that most other fats cannot.