Health benefits

Boosts immune system

The human body carries normal levels of a substance called monolaurin. This substance assists in increasing our immune system by warding off many harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses. Monolaurin levels in coconut oil help improve a compromised immune system while also increasing the body's proper nourishment and energy levels. Monolaurin derives from our body's natural production of lauric acid. Coconut oil's main component is lauric acid, which is among a group of medium-chain triglycerides in the saturated fat group. Unfortunately, because of the negative publicity of saturated fats, the superior benefits of coconut oil have been widely overlooked.

Reduces appetite and supports thyroid function

A common misconception of coconut oil is its association with weight gain when in fact the opposite is true. Coconut oil consists of 50% lauric acid, which is a medium-chain triglyceride. Also included is myristic, caprylic and palmitic acid. The presence of these acids helps to reduce appetite while increasing proper function of the thyroid. This does not mean they are an appetite suppressant rather they allow a healthy level of food consumption and provide longer time durations of feeling full. The increase in metabolism and thyroid function assists in our body burning fat calories rather than storing them. The presence of medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil allows the rapid digestion of these acids before they reach the intestinal tract whereas other oils contain slow digesting long-chain triglycerides. These particular long-chain triglycerides also trigger the body's fat storing function ultimately resulting in weight gain.

Hair and skin

Hair and skin reap coconut oil benefits by receiving high levels of antioxidants, which effectively combat free radicals. Free radicals promote the bodies aging process by weakening skin tissue whereas antioxidants work to combat free radical levels. In addition, a natural derivative of coconut oil is Vitamin E. This vitamin strengthens skin tissue and hair follicles while retaining skin and hairs optimum condition. The antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties in coconut oil (lauric and caprylic acid) ward off skin infections such as acne and blemishes as well.

Combats free radicals

The presence of high free radical levels damages the body's artery walls. Once damage occurs, walls of the arteries start collecting cholesterol or plaque buildup. If left untreated this build up causes life threatening artery blockage resulting in hardening of the arteries, strokes and heart disease. The healthy acids provided in coconut oil help to heal the damaged artery walls while reducing harmful free radical levels. In addition, a healthy level of coconut oil promotes good cardiovascular health benefits.

Aids absorption of calcium and magnesium

Coconut oil increases our body's absorption of many beneficial substances such as calcium and magnesium. When these substance levels increase, they promote strong bones and healthy teeth conditioning. Healthy teeth ward off cavities, which cut down on tooth decay while strong bones ward off osteoarthritis. In addition, the medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil help the effects of arthritis by increasing our body's' absorption rate. Microorganisms in the bodies system create infection and secure themselves deep within joint membranes causing damage and creating arthritis. Antibiotics are unable to penetrate deeply enough into joint membranes making these microorganisms immune to antibiotics. However, the deep absorption rate of healthy fatty acids reaches these joint membranes destroying the infection-causing microorganisms. The healthy acids in coconut oil help to correct the joint damage of arthritis while fighting and warding off further infection.

How to use

Setting a container of oil in warm water will sufficiently melt coconut oil as it comes in solid form. Recommendations include starting with one tablespoon of organic/virgin coconut oil daily while increasing to three tablespoons daily; one tablespoon taken after each meal. For individuals unable to stand pure doses, including it in drinks or recipes requiring oil will help. Hair treatment involves massaging two tablespoons into hair and scalp and leaving on overnight followed by a shampoo in the morning. Skin treatment involves massaging the oil onto your face and body as you would a daily moisturizer.

Not all individuals may tolerate coconut oil and temporary side effects may include bouts of diarrhea. It is important to start by consuming small doses while slowly increasing to the daily-recommended three-tablespoon dosage intake. This allows your body time to become properly acclimated to virgin or organic coconut oil. Many individuals should be aware of allergic reactions as well.