10 Science backed benefits of coconut oil & 27 brilliant ways to use it

Coconut oil is lauded as a healthy cooking oil and as a beautifying elixir. So how does coconut oil add benefits to your routine, let’s find out?

Updated on Sep 29, 2022 05:33 PM IST  |  55.3K
10 Science backed benefits of coconut oil; 27 brilliant ways to use it
10 Science backed benefits of coconut oil; 27 brilliant ways to use it

Coconut oil has been one of those versatile oils that has as much potential in your skincare routine as it has in your kitchen. It is lauded as a healthy cooking oil and as a beautifying elixir. So how does coconut oil add benefits to your routine? Read on to find out.  

When it comes to cooking, the health benefits of coconut oil have always been up for debate, this is what makes it a controversial cooking oil. However, a number of nutrition experts recommend it for its ketogenic properties. In fact, several experts claim that coconut oil promotes the fat-burning process, improves metabolism, lowers cholesterol, and can heal your guts. Not just that, it is flooded with anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties among several other benefits. But before we dive right into the benefits of coconut oil, let us understand what is coconut oil. 

What is coconut oil?

Derived from the flesh of coconuts, coconut oil is a popular tropical oil. Typically, you can find virgin coconut oil as well as refined coconut oil at stores. The only difference between the two kinds is that virgin coconut oil is slightly less processed than refined oil. Also, due to processing, refined coconut oil has a fairly neutral aroma and flavor while the virgin version has a sweet natural flavor. The neutral flavor of the refined coconut oil makes it easier for cooking purposes without a strong flavor. In fact, that is perhaps why refined coconut oil is also known as “all-purpose coconut oil.” 

About Coconut Oil: Nutritional facts

The nutritional facts of coconut oil -

Comparatively, 1 tablespoon of olive oil has about 119 calories and 13.5 g of fat.

Typically, pure coconut oil is solid at room temperature and easily melts when heated. Refined coconut oil is usually sold in a liquefied form which is easier to use on the go. When it comes to benefits, coconut oil is simply a blessing. Scroll on to find the best benefits of coconut oil in your kitchen, home, as well as your beauty routine.  

10 Science-backed benefits of coconut oil

Right from skincare to cooking, coconut oil is stacked with health benefits. As a matter of fact, it is filled with antioxidants and anti-microbial properties that help in delivering better skin and better oral health. It might sound surprising but coconut oil even has the powers to help you lose weight in a healthy manner. Read on for more such health benefits of coconut oil.

1. Increases good cholesterol

Coconut oil is abundant in lauric acid which raises good cholesterol levels in the body. Also known as HDL or high-density lipoprotein, it boosts cardiovascular health. HDL is basically healthy cholesterol that’s supposed to be high. In fact, it even works to reduce the low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol. 

2. Boosts energy

If you are in search of a quick snack that fills you up with energy, you must pick a coconut oil-rich snack. Coconut oil is full of MCTs or medium-chain triglycerides which are easily metabolized by the body. In fact, it is also easily absorbed by the liver which enables it to serve as a rapid energy source.

3. Antimicrobial properties

This natural oil is filled with an antimicrobial as well as antifungal properties mostly because of its MCT content — particularly, lauric acid. Lauric acid is a fatty acid that potentially possesses antimicrobial effects. It helps in the prevention of disease-causing microorganisms. In fact, lauric acid serves as a bacteriostatic agent which helps in the prevention of the multiplication of bacteria.  

4. May regulate appetite

With a high MCT content, this cooking oil may actually work to limit appetite and hence the food intake. That is probably because a major portion of MCTs begin to break down and lead to the production of ketones while you consume them. Ketones are known to reduce appetite by introducing hunger-inducing hormones such as ghrelin.  

5. Delivers healthy skin

Is coconut oil good for your skin? Among the different benefits of coconut oil, this has to be the most important one. Coconut oil benefits for skin have been lauded for years which is why it has been a common cosmetic ingredient for generations. With the power to luxuriously moisturize the skin, coconut oil is magical for dry skin. Not just that prevents any further dehydration of the skin, thereby delivering long-lasting hydration. Plus, it offers protection against infectious agents and several allergens. It has the power to help in the management of symptoms of atopic dermatitis, among other chronic skin diseases. 

6. Promotes fat-burning process

Coconut oil is also said to promote the fat-burning process as it's a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), it is a kind of saturated fat that has multiple health benefits. In simple words, coconut oil potentially works to boost the number of calories the body burns hence promoting weight loss. Nonetheless, overconsuption of coconut oil may defeat the purpose. 

7. Delivers thick and shiny hair 

Coconut oil has been used as a hair oil because of its properties to protect against any hair damage or hair fall. Not only does coconut oil delivers shinier hair but it nourishes the roots and delivers stronger, thicker, and healthier locks. Coconut oil benefits for hair go way beyond just shiny hair. 

8. Improves oral health

Experts claim that coconut oil can even be used as a mouthwash. Coconut oil can be used in a process called oil pulling where you simply swish coconut oil in your mouth. This works like a mouthwash and lowers the count of harmful bacteria. With the content of lauric acid, it is filled with anti-bacterial properties. Plus, it also helps in the prevention of cavities, dental plaque, and gum inflammation as well. However, it shouldn't be entirely substituted for dental therapy. 

9. Potentially reduces seizures and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

MCTs in coconut oil lead to a significant increase in the blood ketone concentrations, which reduces seizure frequency. One of the common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is dementia. MCTs in coconut oil, significantly increase blood levels of ketones, which may help with signs of Alzheimer’s disease. 

10. Rich in antioxidants

Another quality of coconut oil is that it is rich in antioxidants. With plenty of antioxidants, it helps in neutralizing any free radicals which help in the prevention and protection of several chronic and acute diseases. Plus, it also has anti-inflammatory and brain-protective properties. 

How to use coconut oil?

With plenty of benefits, clearly, coconut oil can be used way beyond just cooking. Read on for a guide on how to use coconut oil.

In the kitchen:

Refined coconut oil can effortlessly replace any oil that you use. In fact, experts promote dietary rotation when it comes to oil. Right from frying to stirring coconut oil can be used anywhere. In fact, people also use coconut oil for baking purposes and in their morning coffee or smoothie for an immediate boost. In fact, you can even use virgin coconut oil as a spread on your daily toast. 

Here are some common coconut oil-based dishes you can definitely go for - 

In your skincare routine:

When it comes to beauty and skincare, the uses of coconut oil are boundless. Coconut oil has been one of the major ingredients in a number of popular body butters and moisturizers among several other skincare products. Apart from that, coconut oil for skin can be used for direct topical application. Full of moisturizing abilities coconut oil is perfect for dry skin. Moreover, it is filled with skin-soothing powers which means it can also be used to manage skincare conditions like atopic dermatitis, or eczema. In fact, coconut oil can also be used to treat a staph infection or any other antifungal and antiviral skin problems. You can even incorporate it as a lip balm. 

In your haircare routine:

If you’re wondering is coconut oil good for your hair, you can definitely use coconut oil to achieve healthier and shinier hair. Simply apply coconut oil to hair as hair oil or as an in-shower mask. Either way, it can boost all the essential moisture to deliver smoother and stronger hair. In addition to boosting health, coconut oil for hair also works to fight dandruff because of its antimicrobial properties. 

In your weight loss routine:

Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids like lauric acid which are easily metabolized by the body. Since they can be quickly been broken down, they serve as a quick source of energy. While they break down they release ketones, which strongly help in building healthy weight loss diets.

Apart from these uses, coconut oil can be used in ways you cannot even imagine. Read on for a list of brilliantly creative uses of coconut oil. 

27 Creative uses of coconut oil:

With plenty of health benefits and uses, coconut oil is definitely essential. When it comes to diet, it is filled with benefits to boost overall health. Although it is rich in healthy fats, it should be consumed in moderation. When it comes to skincare, people with very oily skin should avoid using it on their face. It serves as the perfect body oil. Coconut oil is the perfect substitute for your hair oil. It is full of powers to deliver healthier, shiner, and stronger hair. Overall, coconut oil benefits in almost every sphere and goes beyond just cooking oil. 

ALSO READ: Best coconut hair oil for men and women

FAQs

Are coconut oil and coconut butter the same?
No, they are two distinct products. Coconut oil is made entirely of fat, mostly saturated while coconut butter is made from the whole coconut, so it also contains saturated fat among other elements.

Are coconut oil hair masks good?
Yes, a coconut oil mask can serve as a natural remedy for dry and damaged hair.

Can coconut oil whiten teeth?
Although coconut oil is good for dental care, it does not whiten teeth.

Can coconut oil be used as sunscreen?
Although coconut oil can protect from the UV rays of the sun, it is not as good as sunscreen. Coconut oil as sunscreen is not the perfect solution.

Is coconut oil good for your hair?
Coconut oil is not only good for the hair, but it also nourishes the scalp. It is a quick absorbent moisturizing oil that works wonders at restoring and repairing dry hair.

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