So you’ve purchased a jar– now, what can you use coconut oil for? Here are the top 20 reasons to use coconut oil, accompanied by tips for doing so.
While coconut oil might still be considered ‘exotic’ in the Western world, there is good reason it’s becoming so widespread. Coconut oil is incredibly useful and versatile, with applications as a cooking ingredient, beauty product, and more. It’s known to have a multitude of health benefits, including stress relief. Consisting of healthy saturated fat, specifically medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), coconut oil is easily digestible, as well as antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral.
Populations in tropical countries have been consuming and thriving on coconut for generations; on average, the people are extraordinarily healthy and heart disease is nearly inexistent. The question is: why?
One reason may be coconut oil. What are the benefits? And what can you use coconut oil for?
Coconut oil can help combat the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS), especially bolstering the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response, our body’s system of self-regulation that works to protect us from excessive stress. Here are the specific reasons why to use coconut and tips for doing so effectively.
Contrary to outdated beliefs that “fat makes you fat,” coconut oil can actually help you lose weight and stay healthier in multiple ways.
It speeds up your metabolism, increases your energy levels, reduces hunger by keeping you fuller for longer, and aids in overall fat reduction and weight loss. In fact, coconut oil has been found to be particularly effective in decreasing the amounts of harmful belly fat.
Unlike other plant-based oils, which contain long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs), coconut oil contains MCFAs (caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid), which are quickly converted into fuel, helping your body to burn fat for energy.
Permanent lifestyle and diet changes are required to lose weight– it doesn’t just happen overnight. Coconut oil can be instrumental in achieving such goals, however, especially when combined with other changes.
Including coconut oil in your diet can help to curb sugar cravings, which are often caused by Adrenal Fatigue, by keeping you fuller for longer. Fats are high in calories and stay in your system longer than carbohydrates do. As such, they can be a good way to balancing your blood sugar.
Consuming coconut oil can benefit your gut by helping your body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and vitamins. If you consume omega-3 fatty acids simultaneously with coconut oil, the omega-3s will be doubly effective.
The MCFAs also help to destroy harmful gut bacteria and fungi, aiding in prevention of digestive conditions such as ulcerative colitis, stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome. Such ailments can wreak havoc on your life, particularly when already struggling with Adrenal Fatigue.
In addition to killing harmful microorganisms inside your body, coconut oil is also beneficial when topically applied to wounds. The oil forms a protective chemical layer that shields the wound from dust, air, fungi, viruses, and bacteria, thereby preventing infection.
One of the best natural skin products around (and a common ingredient in skincare products), coconut oil is superb as an everyday moisturizer, facial cleanser, massage oil, or even sunscreen. In fact, it can be a safe remedy for a plethora of skin conditions, including dry and sensitive skin, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, and burns.
With its antioxidant properties and ability to reduce inflammation, coconut oil can also help to decrease signs of aging by delaying the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin.
And because it is all natural, it is a great way to moisturize your skin as well.
Many people utilize coconut oil to improve the health and general appearance of their hair. Protect your hair from sun damage with coconut oil: it can block up to twenty percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Furthermore, it’s an excellent conditioner, reduces protein loss, promotes a shiny quality, and can aid in the regrowth of damaged hair.
Regularly rubbing the oil into your scalp not only helps to relieve stress but also prevents dandruff and lice. Try the following regime:
Mix one tablespoon of coconut oil with ten drops of rosemary essential oil and massage the mixture into your scalp for three minutes and then wait for half an hour. Follow this with a shower and use straight coconut oil as a conditioner. Finally, after blow-drying and styling as you wish, apply small amounts of oil to the ends of your locks for a polished finish.
It’s no secret that health problems are caused by overgrowth of harmful bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses within the body. The fatty acids in coconut oil are antimicrobial lipids which are known to fight against bacteria and viruses, working to strengthen the immune system.
When you get a cold, cut out sugar (as it can feed the growth of harmful bacteria), consume plenty of fluids, and take one tablespoon of coconut oil three times daily. Not only will this help kick start your immune system, it will also give you an energy boost to get you through the day.
This is vital in adrenal fatigue, where your body is already tired, and your immune system may be compromised.
Ingesting coconut oil can help improve the absorption of nutrients within the body, including calcium—which is essential for strong and healthy teeth.
To achieve optimal gum health, you can also use a method called “oil pulling”, known to decrease rates of plaque formation, tooth decay, and gingivitis. The high concentration of MCFAs in coconut oil make it particularly effective in oil pulling. The oil denatures any bacteria and sticks to your teeth, helping to simultaneously heal your gums of any harmful bacteria, improve overall dental health, and freshen your breath.
The recommended oil pulling method involves swishing a large spoonful of coconut oil around in your mouth for approximately twenty minutes, three times per week.
Again, coconut oil helps to promote the absorption of minerals like calcium and magnesium in the gut, both of which are essential for optimal bone health.
Antioxidant properties of coconut oil also help to fight against free radicals, providing a natural remedy for osteoporosis. The oil not only helps to enhance bone density and structure, but also benefits those who already suffer from bone density loss as a result of osteoporosis.
Failure to properly regulate and suppress excessive inflammation can wreak havoc in your body due to imbalances and overuse of the NEM stress response system.
The caprylic and lauric acids that are found in coconut oil are proven to lower inflammation both in your gut and externally on your body. Its anti-inflammatory properties give your adrenals a break from producing cortisol, an anti-inflammatory hormone.
A study in India found that the antioxidant properties of coconut oil can help to heal arthritis naturally. In some cases, coconut oil worked even better than the recommended medications, further evidence that it might be one of the most effective natural remedies on the planet.
Hormone health is especially important when recovering from AFS. Healthy fats are an integral part of hormone regulation, and coconut oil may help in the balancing act.
Menopausal women can especially benefit, as it is said to have positive effects on levels of estrogen. Coconut oil can also help to increase your production of milk if you are breastfeeding, which may help your baby’s healthy development.
Along with the healthy fats obtained from coconut and foods like avocado, ghee, and flaxseed, reducing consumption of grains and sugar can also aid in proper hormone balance.
The brain is composed of roughly 60% fat. Eating good fats such as coconut oil can help increase concentration, focus, and memory.
A study published in the journal of Neurobiology of Aging in 2004 found that the fatty acids in coconut oil helped to improve memory. All patients had enhanced memory recall upon ingesting coconut oil, particularly the older subjects, who saw improvements with memory problems.
The MCFAs in coconut oil increase the production of ketones in the blood, which have been found beneficial in decreasing seizures as well as countering the detrimental effects of Alzheimer’s.
A healthy brain creates its own insulin to process glucose, which fuels brain cells; however, the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s has lost this ability. Ketones can provide an alternative energy source for brain cells. This extra energy can contribute to the repair of brain function, naturally relieving symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
What’s more, coconut oil might also mitigate the effects of epilepsy. “Ketogenic” diets, which involve eating lots of fat and very few carbohydrates, have been found to help epileptic children (who aren’t benefitting from medications) significantly reduce their rate of seizures.
Coconut oil can help you optimize your overall heart health and blood pressure. Saturated fats such as those in coconut oil have been found to not only promote levels of healthy cholesterol (HDL) in the body but also decrease levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).
Coconut oil has also been found to reduce the risk of damage to your arteries and improves blood coagulation factors, encouraging a healthy blood lipid profile.
Systemic Candidiasis, a condition better known as Candida, is a result of excessive and uncontrolled yeast growth within the stomach. Coconut oil has been found to be beneficial as a natural remedy for Candida, gradually reducing inflammation.
To rid your body of Candida and yeast infections, consume one tablespoon of coconut oil, up to three times per day. It’s also important to remove sugar and refined grains from your diet.
Overgrowth often goes hand in hand with adrenal fatigue, so to have a supplement that can help both is truly outstanding.
Coconut oil works as a natural antibiotic to eliminate the bacteria that cause kidney and urinary tract infections. The fatty acids disrupt the bacteria’s lipid coating, killing the harmful cells to help naturally heal these uncomfortable infections.
Studies have also proven that coconut oil directly protects the liver by reducing its workload and inhibiting fat accumulation.
Liver congestion is a central component of Adrenal Fatigue, so any load that can removed from the liver will likely ameliorate your AFS symptoms as well.
Long-chain fatty acids found in foods like vegetable oil can stress the pancreas. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil, however, are easily digested, not requiring pancreatic enzymes to be metabolized..
Furthermore, this super oil is known to promote gallbladder health, likely due to its ease of digestion.
A person’s viral susceptibility to HIV and certain forms of cancer could be decreased by the role of coconut oil in the diet. The previously mentioned “ketogenic diet”, rich in coconut oil, may be particularly effective in helping cancer patients with recovery. Tumor cells are dependent on glucose and unable to access the energy in ketones.
The fatty acids in coconut oil also kill harmful bacteria like Helicobacter pylori, an infection of which can increase your risk of developing stomach cancer. Studies and preliminary research have shown that when cancer is induced chemically, coconut oil can stop the cancer from developing. It can also reduce the viral load of patients living with HIV.
If you are currently living with cancer, consider consuming coconut oil and incorporating natural, non-toxic modalities into your recovery.
The fatty acids in coconut oil help to improve cellular reactions involving insulin, control blood sugar levels, and promote general digestive health.
Insulin-resistance, which characterizes type 2 diabetes, is when cells no longer respond to insulin or have difficulty processing glucose as energy. Since MCFAs ease the strain on the pancreas, and ketones provide an alternative energy source in the absence of glucose, coconut oil can relieve the entire system and be effective in maintaining or preventing type 2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance and other problems regulating blood sugar are also frequently experience by those suffering from Adrenal Fatigue.
Coconut oil is becoming increasingly available in Western supermarkets. If your local grocery store doesn’t have it, try your local health food or supplement store.
There are six variations of coconut oil: pure, refined, virgin, organic, fractionated, and extra virgin. Virgin and organic varieties are great options all around, as they are optimal for health and weight loss.
Try to choose brands that are well-known and reputable to ensure quality. While coconut oil doesn’t go rancid like other cooking oils, only buy enough to consume with a few months—the fresher it is, the better.
Coconut oil is a superfood that will help you to achieve optimal health, recover from Adrenal Fatigue, and provide an endless stream of other benefits. Now that you know what can you use coconut oil for, it's time to explore the ways the remarkable coconut can help you!
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