What is coconut oil and what is it used for?
Coconut oil is an extract of coconut, also known as coconut butter, which is used both as an aesthetic product, moisturizer and for direct consumption.
It is an edible oil and in different communities it has been used since antiquity for its multiple health benefits. In fact, populations that consume coconut oil since its inception are among the populations with the highest health index on the planet. In some civilizations the coconut is part of the basis of food since ancient times, while for other cultures it may turn out to be an exotic, new food, of which we do not know enough.
Its uses are very diverse, from treatments for skin, hair, as a bactericide, to help us lose weight and reduce appetite, to improve cholesterol and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Myths about coconut oil
The virgin coconut oil is one of the most complete and healthy known, years ago its consumption was demonizadoba claiming that it was rich in saturated fats, but recent studies suggest that the use and consumption of saturated fats of vegetable origin is not harmful to health and it has also been shown that there is no relationship with their consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Also within saturated fats there are different types and those containing coconut oil are saturated fats of medium chain, different from those present in red meat or dairy products, which are triglycerides highly beneficial to health, in fact they are present in the breast milk that is so healthy.
The way the body metabolizes these fats is totally different from those unhealthy fats, passing from the digestive tract directly to the liver stored as the main source of energy or becoming ketone bodies which helps us lose weight; As we will explain later, and can also have positive effects on the health of our brain in diseases such as Alzheimer’s or even epilepsy.
What does coconut oil give us?
As we have said, coconut oil is composed of 90% saturated fatty acids (most of these are medium chain triglycerides) and other unsaturated fatty acids such as monounsaturated fatty acids such as oleic acid and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid.
Among the saturated fatty acids, the most beneficial are Lauric, Capric, Myristic and Palmitic acids.
It also gives us polyphenols, coconut contains gallic acid, also known as phenolic acid. It also provides vitamin E, K and minerals (the most representative, iron).
Benefits of coconut oil for health
Coconut oil is used in much of the world for hair care. Taking advantage of its nutritious function, the coconut helps the growth of healthy and quality hair, it also provides shine and is very effective in the repair of hair protein that is lost, thus damaging our hair.
It is an excellent conditioner, and can also be applied once the hair is washed in small quantities, especially at the damaged ends. It also eliminates dandruff, if you massage the scalp with coconut butter or coconut oil, ensuring its hydration. In addition, some civilizations use it to drive away lice. If you want to avoid hair loss, here is all the information.
In this other post we tell you all the benefits of coconut oil for your hair.
For the care of the skin, we can say that it is a very powerful moisturizer and that it is used for the care of desquamated skin, and that they react to chemical agents that the coconut; Being natural can not cause damage to the skin.
It is used for dryness, peeling and even for sagging skin and the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles. There are people who treat certain alterations of the skin with coconut oil, such as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema ; since the high moisturizing power of coconut oil causes the states of desquamation of the skin to be controlled and they notice a complete improvement of their symptoms. Here you can find other care for dry skin.
In the aspect of the immune system, the coconut is a good protector of it and strengthens it thanks to its content of antimicrobial lipids and other saturated fatty acids. It is for these acids that anti fungal and antiviral properties are attributed to it; that is to say that they protect us from fungi and viruses, in addition to being used as a natural antibacterial agent.
In this case it has been studied that it works in cases of influenza, herpes and some other viruses such as candida helping to fight against the bacteria that produce it. With an anti-inflammatory effect and that allows to keep the skin hydrated without cracking and without peeling.
It is used to cure infections by the properties described above, anti fungal and antiviral and antibacterial.
It is usually used in infections of the throat, urinary system, gonorrhea, diaper rash, athlete’s foot, etc. It helps to prevent liver diseases, prevents kidney and gallbladder diseases, as well as to dissolve kidney stones.
It facilitates the absorption of calcium and magnesium, which is why it is also used for dental health and bone problems, osteoporosis, etc.
It also acts as an antioxidant and slows premature aging and is very useful for degenerative diseases since it repairs structures that are usually damaged by the passage of time. Coconut oil also helps to lose weight, as we will explain below, since it accelerates the metabolism and controls the appetite.
Coconut oil to lose weight?
Coconut oil can help you lose weight, since it exerts an action of acceleration of metabolism since the medium chain triglycerides present in coconut oil increase energy expenditure and therefore lose weight more easily. It also reduces the appetite because the medium chain fatty acids that coconut oil possesses are transformed into ketone bodies that cause us a decrease in appetite.
The ketogenic diet is a diet low in carbohydrates and rich in proteins and saturated fats has been subjected to studies because it produces a rapid weight loss in the body due to the presence of ketone bodies, which cause the body to burn the fat accumulated in the body. organism. The same is produced by the consumption of coconut oil, since these saturated fatty acids increase the presence of ketone bodies that make us lose weight quickly and effectively, which is why it is recommended for weight loss, it also has a high satiating power.
Recommendations for consumption
- For hair care just apply coconut oil or coconut butter and let it act one hour before washing our hair, just do it once a week.
- For both skin care and hair we find multiple formulas in creams, lotions, shampoos, etc. But we can also apply directly on the skin or hair or even mix it in our usual cream so that it is not so much fat that we contribute to the skin, thus being able to favor problems of oily skin, if you want to know how to take care of your oily skin click here.
- You can consume it directly , as you prefer, as a dressing or a little diluted in a glass of juice, or as you like.
- You can do massages with him, if you do them on the scalp it will help to relax and maintain a state of tranquility, thus eliminating stress.
- You can also find it on the market in capsules and in combination with other oils such as borage oil and evening primrose oil.