Extra virgin coconut oil offers a variety of health benefits. Keep reading to learn all about them!
9 Reasons to Use More Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
What is extra virgin coconut oil? It’s a cold-pressed oil from fresh coconut meat. The cold-pressing process doesn’t usually use any chemicals, so it naturally keeps most of its nutritional components.
1. Repairs Skin
Extra virgin coconut oil has skin-nurturing properties. It has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and wound healing properties.
On top of that, it’s also a great source of antioxidants. One literature shows that the nurturing properties of this oil are especially helpful because, unlike other oils, it can penetrate through several layers of the skin.
The same literature also shows that it provides additional UV protection and improves the skin’s barrier function. A study shows that topical application of the oil can help reduce inflammatory compounds and promote wound and scar healing.
Tip: One way to use this oil on your skin is by applying a thin layer of it on your skin (especially the dry areas of your body) at night.
2. Promotes Hair Health
Did you know that you can use extra virgin coconut oil for hair? It helps protect against protein loss.
Unlike other oils, it contains lauric acid, which can deeply penetrate into the hair shaft. One study also shows that it may help reduce split ends.
Applying oil on your scalp can help fill the gaps between cuticle cells and prevent follicle damage. It also helps increase shaft lubrication which prevents hair breakage.
Tip: You can use this oil as a pre-wash agent, conditioner, styling aid, or a hair mask.
3. Boosts Oral Health
Not only is the antimicrobial properties of this oil beneficial to the skin, but you may also find it useful for your teeth! One study shows that this oil can fight against many of the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Lauric acid is rich in antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat gingivitis and plaque. So if you’re looking for an inexpensive dental aid, you may want to consider extra virgin coconut oil.
Tip: To help improve your oral health, you can try oil pulling with organic extra virgin coconut oil. Simply swish around a tablespoon of the oil in your mouth for 10-15 minutes, spit it out, and finish off by rinsing your mouth with water.
4. Supports Weight Loss
It may seem counterintuitive to add oil to your diet to help lose weight, but unlike other culinary oils, extra virgin coconut oil has a combination of medium-chain fatty acids and long-chain fatty acids, which are easier to absorb and transform into energy.
Diets which include consumption of oils containing medium-chain fatty acids lead to more weight loss than other types of culinary oils. So if you’re looking for new ways to lose weight, you may want to try cooking with coconut oil.
5. Fights Against Yeast Infections
The antimicrobial property in coconut oil is an active agent against Candida, the type of fungus that often causes yeast infections in women. Lauric acid can breakdown the microbial cell walls to help fight the infection.
100% coconut oil concentration has been found more effective against the infection that fluconazole, an antifungal medication. So if you’re dealing with a yeast infection, ask your doctor if you can use this oil as an alternative form of treatment.
Tip: Once you get your doctor’s go signal, simply apply the coconut oil on the affected area.
6. Helps Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Virgin coconut oil can help prevent insulin resistance, one of the risk factors of type two diabetes. Once cells become insulin resistant, they become unable to use insulin to turn the glucose into energy.
Over time, glucose levels increase in the bloodstream and the body will keep producing more insulin creating an unnecessary surplus. The medium-chain fatty acids in the oil can provide a non-glucose energy source for cells so they won’t need the body to create more insulin to satisfy their energy needs.
Tip: You can use extra virgin coconut oil as a culinary oil. Try using it when you’re sauteing vegetables or as a substitute oil in dips, dressings, and sauces.
7. Helps Regulate Thyroid Function
Coconut oil can help increase metabolism which, in turn, may improve energy and stimulate thyroid function. If you liken your body to a car, thyroid hormones would be the gas and the metabolism would be the ignition.
You need to ignite the engine to get it to use the gas. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil can help improve metabolism, so they may impact thyroid functioning as well.
If you’re looking for other ways to improve thyroid function, you may want to consider taking a supplement. Dr. Seed’s Thyroid Support System helps optimize thyroid function.
8. Improves Cholesterol Levels
Extra virgin coconut oil in itself is cholesterol-free, but it provides other cholesterol benefits! Several studies show that it can increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
HDL cholesterol is often referred to as “good cholesterol” that helps the body remove the “bad” cholesterol. High levels of this type of cholesterol can protect you against heart disease.
Tip: Add extra virgin coconut oil to your coffee and turn it into bulletproof coffee!
9. Improves Cognition in Alzheimer’s Patients
The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil can serve as an extra source of energy for your brain. In fact, there’s preliminary evidence showing that it can boost cognitive functioning among people with Alzheimer’s disease.
What is Alzheimer’s disease? It’s a type of dementia that impairs memory, information processing abilities, and behavior. Symptoms may develop slowly and they generally worsen over time.
In one study, patients with Alzheimer’s were given 40 ml of coconut oil every day for 21 days. They were asked to answer cognitive tests before and after drinking the oil.
Patients performed better in the tests after they drank the oil. On top of that, at the end of the study, the researchers noted a significant improvement in the patient’s orientation and language-construction skills.
You can take in extra virgin coconut oil as a substitute for culinary oil or as a supplement. It offers a lot of potential health benefits, but it’s important to talk to a health professional before you use it to treat any medical conditions.
Which of these extra virgin coconut oil benefits are you excited about? Let us know in the comments section below.