By now most of us are familiar with the coconut oil craze. Everyone is talking about the benefits of coconut oil, as it is known as one of the healthiest foods on the planet and here’s why: Coconut oil is composed of three main healthy fats, caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid. These fats are also known as medium chained fatty acids. These fatty acids have powerful medicinal properties and they metabolize differently than other fats.  They are easier to digest, not readily stored as fat, antimicrobial and antifungal, and they provide immediate energy!  Here’s ten reasons to add more coconut oil to your diet.

10 Benefits of Coconut Oil

  1. Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure- Coconut oil works to increase HDL, which is the “healthy cholesterol,” and helps convert LDL, the “bad cholesterol,” into good cholesterol.  Raising HDL cholesterol will help promote heart health and lower your risk of heart disease.
  2. Alzheimer’s Disease- The digestion of medium chained fatty acids by your liver creates ketones. Ketones are readily accessible energy for the brain, without the need of insulin to produce glucose into energy.  As the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient has the ability to create its own insulin, the ketones from coconut oil could create an alternate source of energy to repair brain function.
  3. Urinary Tract Infection- Coconut oil has been known to clear up UTI’s. The medium chained fatty acids work as a natural antibiotic by disrupting the lipid coating on bacteria and killing them.
  4. Cancer- The fatty acids in coconut oil digest the lipid walls of bacteria and can also kill helicobacter pylori bacteria which is known to cause stomach cancer.
  5. Inflammation and Arthritis- Coconut oil contains high levels of antioxidants that reduce inflammation.
  6. Immune System- Coconut oil has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. Many diseases are caused by the overgrowth of bacteria, fungus and viruses.
  7. Memory and Brain Function- A 2004 study published in the Journal of Neurobiology of Aging found that the fatty acids in coconut oil improved the memory problems in the elderly. Your brain gets its main fuel from glucose. Your brain can’t store energy, but needs energy to survive! If your brain doesn’t get the energy needed, your brain cells start to die.  The medium chained fatty acids are broken into ketones by the liver and cross the blood brain barrier to provide instant energy to the brain.
  8. Skin- Because of the anti-microbial properties in coconut oil, it can be used as an excellent face cleanser and moisturizer. The anti-microbial properties balance fungal conditions that are known to cause many skin disorders.
  9. Weight- Coconut oil helps to burn fat and decrease your appetite. Several studies have shown that adding coconut oil to your diet can help you lose the dangerous type of fat, found around your abdominal cavity. One important property of coconut oil is that it is “thermogenic”, meaning that eating it will increase energy expenditure (fat burning) compared to the same amount of calories from other fats. In one study, 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day increased energy expenditure by 5%, totaling about 120 calories per day.
  10. Hair- Coconut oil can cure dandruff issues. Rub coconut oil into roots and leave on for 30 min.

How to Take Coconut Oil

Make sure you purchase extra virgin coconut oil. Take 1 to 3 tablespoons per day.  Add to smoothies or use for baking.

By Kylla Olsen, LifeChoices® at Bethany Advocate