Benefits of coconut oil are just phenomenal for your skin and hairs. A lot of skin care and hair care products have coconut oil as an active ingredient in their formulation. But, unfortunately, all these products use refined coconut oil. Refined coconut oil is no match to virgin (pure) coconut oil when it comes to benefits for your skin.
What is Virgin Coconut oil
Virgin coconut oil means pure, unrefined coconut oil which is extracted from cold pressing of coconut kernels. Cold pressing involves pressing and grinding process at lower temperatures to retain the original taste, aroma and nutritional value. Most of the coconut oil available these days are refined ones. Refining process involves bleaching and addition of added artificial fragrances. This is the reason that most of the coconut oils available these days are colorless and don’t have that essence of pure coconut oil. The Nutritional content of these refined coconut oils is far less than virgin coconut oil. Refined coconut oil lacks sweet taste, smell and other vital health benefits.
Is Coconut oil healthy?
There is a general conception that FATS are not good to eat because they would add calories which in turn will make you overweight and less energetic. That is why you would see a lot of processed foods highlighting ZERO TRANS FAT on their packaging. Trans fats and many saturated fats are BAD fats for sure.
In that scenario, coconut oil should not be having any health benefits because coconut oil is nothing but saturated fat. But coconut oil is not a bad fat!!
Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid; it is not a long chain fatty acid like various fatty meats, butter, cheese, various seed oils etc. Medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are also known as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Similarly, long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) are known as long chain triglycerides (LCTs).
Benefits of MCFAs over LCFAs
- Unlike LCFAs, MCFAs break down easily putting a lesser burden on your digestive system.
- MCFAs permeate easily through cell membranes and hence easily absorbed by your body.
- MCFAs are transferred directly to your liver from the digestive tract. Hence, they are readily converted into energy and are not stored as fats (as in case of LCFAs)
- MCFAs can be metabolized at a faster rate than LCFAs.
Hence, coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid and is surely one of those saturated fats which is healthy.
Coconut oil as an anti-inflammatory: Benefits of oral consumption
Coconut oil contains a fatty acid known as lauric acid. Lauric acid is commonly found in breast milk (this is why coconut oil is an active ingredient in various baby care products). This lauric acid has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Coconut is considered a natural immunity booster from ages.
- Coconut oil is a natural immunity booster; reduces inflammation and eliminates bad bacteria from your body. In this way, coconut oil fixes all the three issues related to an autoimmune disorder like Psoriasis. Coconut oil detox program is highly recommended by health experts to get rid of Candida (yeast infection).
- MCFAs present in coconut oil kills various harmful viruses, bacteria, fungi present in your body.
- MCFAs present in coconut oil stimulates body metabolism process which in turn brings back all the natural mechanisms like body detoxification, cells repair and growth back on track eventually enhancing your body immunity
- Coconut oil works amazingly well in dealing with leaky gut syndrome (and fat malabsorption) because MCFAs present in coconut oil are easily absorbed by your body.
- Coconut oil helps in weight loss because MCFAs present in coconut oil goes straight from the digestive tract to liver where they get converted into energy increasing your energy level. Due to this increased energy level, you would feel satisfied (fuller) and a disciplined diet program would be easier for you.
Coconut oil for skin and hair: Benefits of topical application
Topical application of coconut oil is not a new concept. Coconut oil can moisturize your scalp and your body amazingly well. Psoriasis flakes are very dry in nature and quite itchy as well, particularly the scalp psoriasis. Hence, using coconut oil on your scalp can be a soothing experience for you. Pleasing smell of coconut oil is a great news for those who are looking for some natural topical alternatives to those steroids based topical ointments. Coconut oil’s pleasant smell and non sticky nature readily make it an amazing choice for topical application on the skin.
How to use coconut oil
Virgin coconut oil is consumed orally as well as applied on skin to take care of psoriasis.
Oral consumption of coconut oil is possible in two ways:
1. Consuming it as a whole – Take one teaspoonful of virgin coconut oil twice a day, in the morning before breakfast and at night before sleep. You should not eat or drink anything before and after taking it for at least 1 hour to get the best benefits.
2. As an alternative to cooking oil/butter- Thanks to the heat withstanding properties of coconut oil, it can be used as a regular cooking oil in baking, cooking and frying. You can also use it as a spread on bread or as salad dressing.
Topical application of coconut oil: Generally, it is advised to apply coconut oil on your skin after taking bath/shower and properly massage it to make sure it is well absorbed by the body. Coconut oil is absorbed by the body readily. Do not forget to massage coconut oil on your scalp also. It is amazingly good for scalp psoriasis.
How to get Virgin Coconut oil
Availability of virgin coconut oil in general departmental stores is suspicious. Always buy virgin coconut oil by checking the packing label. It should clearly mention that it is cold pressed and unrefined. You can purchase virgin coconut oil from various health stores and online shopping portals.
Good to know: Benefits of Coconut Water
Apart from coconut oil, coconut water is also fortified with a lot of health benefits. Drinking coconut water can improve digestion, reduces acid reflux and is a rich source of various electrolytes (calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus). Drinking coconut water has numerous health benefits with almost no side effects. The recommended dosage is 15-20 ounces of coconut water a day.
Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid having ample health benefits. It is a powerful body moisturizer and it is anti bacterial and anti fungal in nature. It can help you to get rid of the bad bacteria (Candida). It can also help you to fix the problem of leaky gut syndrome to restrengthen your body immunity. Few people have claimed to ease their psoriasis symptoms by drinking coconut water and applying coconut oil on skin regularly.