8 October 2021
Benefits and Recommended Uses of Organic Coconut Oil
Reminding us of our sunbathing at the beach during summer with its pleasant scent and delicious flavor, coconut is one of the most popular tropical fruits. From desserts and salads to bowls and soups, the versatility of this fruit is not limited to dining table. Similar to mango, coconut oil is extracted from this nutritious fruit and works wonders for the metabolism with its fat burning qualities, benefits for the hair and skin as moisturizer, and in dental health thanks to its antiviral abilities.
Having been used in Ayurvedic treatments for thousands of years, coconut became a popular choice in personal care and healthly living practices recently. Before beginning to list its benefits and uses, let's take a closer look at how the oil is rendered and the differences between organic and refined coconut oil.
Organic or Refined Coconut Oil?
Today, we can find coconut oil everywhere from stores to pharmacies. The oil must be solid in room temperature as it is a saturated fat like butter. One of the easiest way to discern organic coconut oil from the refined one is to check if its solid or liquid. The oil must preserve its fatty acids to provide maximum benefit. However, the refined oil loses most of these acids during its refinement process. This is why the organic coconut oil is solid on shelf while its refined counterpart is liquid.
Although the refined version is less nutritious compared to the organic one, neither one has harmful chemicals as there is no need for pesticides for coconut plants thanks to their hard shell. However, the production of refined coconut oil uses a chemical named hexane to render out more fat while the organic coconut oil contains none.
You can make the most of antioxidant and nutritious aspects of this superfood by choosing products with unrefined, virgin and/or cold-pressed statements on their labels.
Benefits and Uses of Coconut Oil
Supporting hollistic health across the body, coconut oil has a wide range of theraupetic uses in Ayurveda. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits and practical use tips:
Boosts Fat Burning
Coconut oil is rich in some saturated fats. The fatty acids in coconut oil promotes the use of fats, the nutrition type with highest energy and hardest metabolism. The increase in fat metabolism increases HDL (good cholesterol) and helps lower the risk of coronary diseases.
While most of its contents are saturated fats and long-chain triglycerides, coconut oil also contains shorter fatty acids and some medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). The MCTs go straight to liver after consumption to be used as energy source or are converted to ketones which promote brain health.
Usage recommendation: You can add coconut oil to your desserts and drinks to boost fat burning and increase metabolic rates. You can try the recently popular trend of adding two teaspoons of coconut oil to your hot coffee to boost fat burning. We are sure you will love its taste and smell!
Protects the Body from Microbes and Harmful Microorganisms
Lauric acid makes up approximately half of fatty acids in coconut oil. Your body creates a compound named monolaurine whine lauric acid is digested. The lauric acid and the monolaurine are both known to be effective in killing harmful pathogens like bacteria, virus and fungus. Thanks to its antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral qualities of beneficial fatty acids it contains, coconut oil has a wide tange of use in Ayurvedic medicine.
Usage recommendation: You can protect the health of your mouth and teeth, and protect your digestive and immune systems from harmful pathogens by oil pulling technique in which you swish oil in your mouth. Oil pulling is an Ayurveda practice that will help you achieve a whiter teeth by removing harmful bacteria, viruses and food stuck in your mouth. This is also a highly effective method to protect your body's health.
Place about 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth each morning before brushing your teeth and swish it around for 15 minutes. Then, spit it out and brush your teeth as usual. The oil you put in your mouth will clean bacteria and viruses that have accumulated in between your teeth, on your tongue, palate, gums and in your throat overnight.
Helps to Lose Weight by Giving a Feeling of Fullness
In addition to their fat burning qualities, the MCTs in coconut oil will also keep you feeling full for a long time. Using coconut oil in dishese instead of olive or sunflower seed oil will help you lose weight by burning fat and making you eat less.
Usage recommendation: You can use around a tablespoon of coconut oil as alternative to oils you use for cooking, especially for vegetable dishes and desserts. The coconut oil will add an impeccable aroma to your desserts and meals thanks to its wonderful smell. You can also use it in hot beverages such as coffee or hot chocolate to keep you feeling full and boost fat burning.
Moisturizes Hair and Skin
The coconut oil is not only popular for its health benefits but also in cosmetics and beauty industry for its therapeutic effects in skin and hair health. Thanks to its moisturizing quality, the oil nourishes dry skin and hair ends, and relieves symptoms such as eczema, rashes, itchy skin, split ends or broken hair. Being a large molecule, solid fat, it is not recommended to be used on face but it is very effective in moisturizing rest of the body. In addition to its moisturizing properties, coconut oil can block about 20 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, although this is not a very strong protection.
Usage recommendation: You can moisturize your skin by massaging coconut oil directly, and apply it as a mask to your hair and hair ends and wash it normally after leaving it on for 20 minutes. The peeling mask prepared by mixing coconut oil with brown sugar will clean dead skin and improve circulation, which will maximize the moisturizing abilities of coconut oil.
Things to Consider When Using Coconut Oil
Despite its numerous benefits of coconut oil, especially rich fatty acids, antioxidants and antimicrobial qualities of the organic ones, we should remind you that it is high in calories as it is saturated fat and should be consumed responsibly. Although the experts say that coconut oil consumption is beneficial, you may not want to rely solely on coconut oil. Diversifying fat sources, especially in nutrition, avoiding consumption of more than a tablespoon of coconut oil in a diet rich in unsaturated fats will help you maximize your benefit from coconut oil and maintain your holistic health.