Lately, coconut oil products and recipes have appeared in record numbers. In fact, “coconut oil” won a spot as one of the most searched health topics this year.
Food trends come and go, and some nutrition fads rightly fade after their 15 minutes of fame. (I’m looking at you, wheatgrass.) But coconut oil is one ingredient that not only deserves the spotlight, it was helpful long before it was hot.
So is coconut oil healthy? First, it's important to do some fact-checking and weed out the outdated reports. Then read about the top five reasons that coconut oil has earned a place in your pantry:
- Coconut oil fights infection. Studies prove that the lauric acid in coconut oil kills all three of the main types of microbes that cause infection: viruses, bacteria, and fungus.1 That’s something no pharmaceutical drug on the market can say! In fact, virgin coconut oil proved just as effective as the most common prescription in eliminating multiple strains of candida yeast.2
- Coconut oil stops premature aging. You can spend hundreds on anti-aging serums for your skin, but they’ll never make you younger on the inside. The healthy fats in virgin coconut oil have them all beat! Coconut oil’s medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, actually slow the molecular changes that cause aging, which is why they’re currently being studied as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and age-related dementia.3
- Coconut oil can help prevent heart disease. Those anti-aging benefits also caught the eye of cardiology researchers and inspired a closer look. Good thing, since studies now show coconut oil’s MCTs can help prevent the hardening and narrowing of arteries that contributes to cardiovascular disease.4 The healthy fats in virgin coconut oil also help lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.5-7 (Check out this article to find out why that matters.)
- Coconut oil aids in weight loss. As if all that wasn’t enough, coconut oil is also a great ally when it comes to burning fat and controlling your blood sugar. A diet high in MCTs has proven to be a natural appetite suppressant for healthy adults.8 Coconut oil can also help prevent metabolic syndrome, a dangerous condition with symptoms that include high blood pressure, extreme weight gain around the waistline, and elevated blood glucose levels.9
- Coconut oil nurtures your hair and skin. The final proof that coconut oil is a winner? Not only will it make you feel healthier and younger, it will help you look that way too! The antioxidants in virgin coconut oil are great for your skin. It’s naturally moisturizing and protecting, and research shows that coconut oil actually helps skin wounds heal faster.10,11 Those same benefits can also make your hair stronger and fuller by preventing protein loss.12
I love coconut oil and regularly include it in my morning protein shake. I also enjoy cooking with it, and you can find some of my favorite recipes with this awesome multitasking ingredient here.
Want a quick way to get your coconut oil fix? Try scrumptious Dark Chocolate Coconut Fiber Bars with filling fiber, body-boosting MCTs, and only one gram of sugar. (They’re like a Mounds candy bar, minus the guilt and harm to your health…)
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