The coconut is a very nutritious and functional food because of the several health benefits that it provides. It is the staple diet of the populace that lives on islands and near the seashores and so is also known as the ‘Tree of Life’. While the coconut is considered a particularly good food, its oil holds special importance. There are many health benefits of coconut oil because of the inherent healing properties which are not found in any other dietary oil.
The coconut oil is highly beneficial for the skin and hair. In addition, it aids weight loss and digestion. You can keep your cholesterol and blood pressure levels down with the use of coconut oil. The presence of lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid in coconut oil gives the oil the capability to bring relief from kidney problems, increase the immunity and help in providing other benefits like strengthening the bones and teeth. Coconut oil has antifungal, antimicrobial, soothing and antibacterial properties making it highly regarded dietary oil.
Here are the health benefits of coconut oil explained under different categories.
Coconut oil is topically applied on the hair to provide them nutrition. The oil helps in nourishing the hair roots and shafts and is particularly beneficial for people who have a dry scalp. The oil aids in the re-growth of the hair that might have been damaged due to dandruff. The proteins in the coconut oil give the hair the required nourishment making them soft and shiny.
Skin – Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is highly beneficial for the skin as well. Regular massage with coconut oil moisturizes the skin making it soft and supple. The oil is beneficial in treating skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and other skin ailments. Coconut oil delays the sagging and wrinkling of the skin due to the antioxidants that it possesses. Skin care products like soaps, lotions and creams use coconut oil as their main ingredient to provide the said benefits.
Digestion and Weight Loss
Contrary to the belief that oils are harmful for the health, the coconut oil aids in reducing weight. Being easily digested, the oil increases the metabolism of the body which in turn helps in burning more energy resulting in weight loss. In addition, the fatty acids that are present in short and medium chain in the oil do not let it accumulate at one place. Easy digestion of the oil by the body helps in clearing several digestive problems such as the irritable bowel syndrome. The anti-microbial properties of the oil help in eradicating the parasites, fungi, bacteria, and other infection causing microbes. Consumption of coconut oil aids in better absorption of nutrients like the minerals and vitamins.
Heart Diseases and Cholesterol – Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
The presence of lauric acid in coconut oil gives it the capability to prevent several problems related to the heart such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. When compared to other dietary oils, coconut oil contains saturated fats that are not harmful for the body. The HDL levels are maintained at a safe level while the LDL levels are kept under check.
Besides these benefits, coconut oil works wonders for the immune system. It even has the properties to heal and protect from infections. Renal and diseases of the liver and gall bladder are controlled by coconut oil. The ability to absorb other nutrients helps in keeping the bones and teeth strong and healthy. As a breakthrough benefit, coconut oil has been found to strengthen the immune system of the cancer and HIV patients who are otherwise very susceptible to viral infections.