A famous part of the Arecaceae family and the Cocoideae subfamily is the coconut. Its flesh is very high in healthy fatty acids and the composition of fat is different depending on the type and processing of the oil. 90% of coconut oil is actually the medium-chain saturated fatty acids and there is also a slight contribution of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids. Coconut is the main ingredient in each product:
- coconut oil
- coconut butter
- coconut shreds
- coconut water
- coconut milk and cream
- coconut flour
- and even coconut soy sauce!
The flesh of the coconut contains healthy fatty acids, and approximately 90% of them are medium chain fatty acids. The medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFA’s) are very beneficial because the human body can easily digest, absorb and utilize them and they are essential for brain function, immune system and also for our neurological health.
WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT MEDIUM CHAIN FATTY ACIDS?
Coconut is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids produce a whole host of health benefits. Coconut is nature’s richest source of these healthy MCFAs. By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils comprise long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides or LCTs. Here’s why these long-chain fatty acids are not as healthy for you as the MCFAs found in coconut oil 10:
- LCFAs are difficult for your body to break down — they require special enzymes for digestion.
- LCFAs put more strain on your pancreas, liver, and your entire digestive system.
- LCFAs are predominantly stored in your body as fat.
- LCFAs can be deposited within your arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol.
- In contrast to LFCAs, the MCFAs found in coconut oil have many health benefits, including the following beneficial qualities:
- MCFAs are smaller. They permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body.
- MCFAs are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system.
- MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
- MCFAs actually help stimulate your body’s metabolism, leading to weight loss.
COCONUT OIL FOR PERSONAL HYGIENE AND THE BODY
- Cuticle Cream: Pushing your cuticles back with coconut oil is really simple: just rub a dab of coconut oil on your cuticles to soften, and then push them back!
- After Shave: Helps relieve razor burn. Put it on immediately after shaving to help nourish the hair follicle and heal any irritated skin bits.
- Pore Minimizer: If you haven’t used coconut oil for your pores yet, then you should probably start! Coconut oil tightens up your pores, giving you softer, smoother skin. This also ensures no dirt or bacteria to enter your pores, helping to prevent acne at the same time.
- Dandruff: Coconut oil reduces itchiness and flaking of the scalp, thanks to its incredible moisturizing properties. It also helps control oil secretion from the scalp, one major cause of dandruff production in humans and animals alike. Massage coconut oil into your scalp, and leave it in overnight. Rinse out in the morning, and shampoo with some raw vegan hair care products to avoid any harsh chemical irritants that make dandruff even worse.
- Stretch Mark Cream: Coconut oil is a great way for nourishing stretched, damaged skin. Apply 3-4 times a day, every day, to help minimize the appearance of your stretch marks.
- Hair Gel: Want to style your hair with coconut oil? Simply use it in replacement of your regular hair gels, and style as you would normally.
- Hair Conditioner/ Deep Treatment: The results of using coconut oil to deep condition your hair can be quite incredible. Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids and nourishes the scalp and hair follicles. Massage 2 teaspoons of coconut oil (you can melt it before if you want by placing it in a bowl, within a bowl of warm water) into your hair, and leave it in for 1 hour or overnight. Rinse out the next day with an all-natural shampoo, and condition with apple cider vinegar. This will reveal glossy, conditioned, beautiful hair.
- Eyelash Conditioner: Rub a tiny amount of coconut oil between your fingers and apply it to your lashes before bed. Apply the oil only to the tips of your lashes.
- Tattoo Healing: Using coconut oil on tattoos will help the pigment from fading. When used on new tattoos, coconut oil will hasten healing time and reduce any chance of infection.
- Deodorant: Replacing your conventional deodorant (which likely contains aluminum) with coconut oil is one of the best things you can do, especially to help prevent cancer. Coconut oil is a natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, and kills yeast, fungi, and bacteria. Rub some coconut oil in your armpits every day, and enjoy going au natural.
- Hand Cleaner: Coconut oil makes a great hand cleaner because it is anti-bacterial. Massage the coconut oil on your hands for 30 seconds, and then wipe with a warm damp washcloth, finishing with a dry washcloth. Your hands will absorb the rest of the oil. This method works wonders for dry, cracked hands in winter!
- Massage Oil: Massage some oil. Coconut oil smells great, and works as a great massage tool! Not to mention, it will help relieve achy muscles too, thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects.
- Varicose Veins: Coconut oil is a great all-natural treatment for varicose veins. Massage some coconut oil into the area 3-6 times a day, until you get the results you desire.
- Exfoliator: Exfoliate with coconut oil by rubbing the oil on your skin and then using a washcloth or scrubby hand mitten to brush off dead skin cells while removing dirt and hydrating the skin. Coconut oil is highly anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, and contains lauric acid, which lifts dirt from the skin.
- Wrinkle Prevention: Coconut oil strengthens and tightens the skin and connective tissues, making you look youthful and refreshed. Using coconut oil as a facial moisturizer at night will help prevent and minimize the look of wrinkles.
- Chapstick: Hydrate and moisturize your lips with coconut! Coconut oil also has a natural SPF, which protects our lips from the sun and prevents peeling lips.
- Nail Strengthener: Rubbing your nails with coconut oil can help strengthen and protect the laminated layers of keratin, which help shield your fingernails from the outside world.
- Vaseline Substitute: If you haven’t already, replace your petroleum-based vaseline with coconut oil. It is safer, more natural, and is about 5000 times better for you.
- Eye Cream: Hydrate gentle skin around the eyes by dabbing a little bit of coconut oil around your eyes before bed. This will make your eyes look and feel better in the morning.
- Body Scrub: Mix 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of sugar (gentler) or salt and use it as body scrub.
- Insect Repellent: Make your homemade insect repellent with coconut oil to help make it last longer. For all intents and purposes, stay away from DEET-containing insect repellents. They are not only bad for you, but they are bad for the environment, too.
- Toothpaste: An easy, simple mix of coconut oil and baking soda creates an all-natural, easy-to-use toothpaste that is 100% fluoride-free!
- Burns: Apply to burn site, and continue applying until healed. This will hasten healing process and reduce chances of permanent scarring.
- Makeup Remover: Coconut oil is a great way to remove makeup. Just place some coconut oil on a cotton pad and rub away your makeup before washing your face with a natural-based soap product.
- Prevent Split Ends: First cut off a majority of your hair, and then using coconut oil in the tips. It will considerably improve your hair.
- Lubricant: Coconut oil is a great lubricant – it is all-natural and feels great. Use it in bed, but don’t use it with a condom, as it may break down the plastics.
- Sunscreen: Coconut oil has a natural SPF, and doesn’t allow your skin to burn. Slather on your skin 20 minutes before going outside to allow it to absorb.
- Bruises: It helps quicken healing time when applied directly to bruise area, as it reduces swelling and redness.
COCONUT OIL FOR GENERAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Breastfeeding– For breastfeeding moms, consuming 3 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil daily will enrich the milk supply. Bones and Teeth– Coconut oil aids in the absorption of calcium and magnesium leading to a better development of bones and teeth. Digestion– The saturated fats in coconut oil help control parasites and fungi that cause indigestion and other digestion related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome. The fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making you healthier all around. Fitness– Coconut oil has been proven to stimulate your metabolism, improve thyroid function, and escalate energy levels, all of which help decrease your unwanted fat while increasing muscle. Insulin Support– Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose making it great for both diabetics and non-diabetic. Lung Function– Increases the fluidity of cell surfaces. Nausea– Rub some coconut oil on the inside for the wrist and forearm to calm an upset stomach. Nose bleeds– Coconut oil can prevent nose bleeding that is caused by sensitivity to weather such as extreme heat and extreme cold. This condition happens when the nasal passages become dry because of cold or dry air resulting to burns and cracks in the mucus membranes so bleeding happens. To prevent this, simply put coconut oil in you nostrils. Doing this will strengthen and protect the capillaries in the nasal passages. Gum Health– oil pulling with coconut oil offers a two for one health benefit! Stress Relief– relieve mental fatigue by applying coconut oil to the head in a circular, massaging motion. The natural aroma of coconuts is extremely soothing thus helping to lower your stress level. Vitamin and nutrient absorption– makes fat-based nutrients more available to the body, as well as vitamins A, D, E, K. Weight loss– the saturated fats contribute to weight loss and controlling cravings. Mental Cognition and Productivity– medium chain triglycerides freely pass the blood-brain barrier and allow an alternate source of energy to improve cognition. – See more at: http://www.homehealthyrecipes.com/they-said-coconut-oil-was-great-for-you-but-this-is-what-they-didnt-tell-you/#sthash.J3k7r6GB.dpuf