You see, coconut oil is high in saturated fat (we usually shy away from that) but the predominant saturated fat in it is lauric acid. Now, lauric acid is known to have high antioxidant values so it can be beneficial in preventing bacterial and fungal infections such as yeast infections, flu, bronchitis and acne. Some studies have shown that it can help protect the brain from the damaging effects of certain proteins that are found in brain plaque linked to Alzheimer's disease. And, perhaps one of the greatest advantages of using this superfood is the fact that our bodies metabolize it more efficiently because the fat molecules aren't as large as those found in some other oils.
Of course, many cook with coconut oil, either replacing or combining it with butter and other oils like olive or sunflower. Aside from the benefits of ingesting it, people use coconut oil for every day uses such as:
- make up remover
- skin and hair moisturizer (naturals LOVE it in their hair!)
- teeth whitener (when combined with baking soda)
Coconut comes in a variety of forms, including:
- extra virgin
Choose the one that's right for you and your needs. Some may vary in taste and cooking ability but all are great if you are using it in it's purest forms. And it doesn't hurt if it's combined with other natural products, too.
One product that I love which contains coconut oil is the Pure Essentials Hair Butter by Soul Purpose. It's a botanically based, salon quality hair product that contains Moroccan Argan Oil and coconut oil. Click on the Shop Soul Purpose link for more information information on it.
Sources: MyFitness Pal blog - Elle Penner, MPH, RD; "The New Superfood: Coconut Oil", Naturally, Danny Seo, Spring 2015.