There is no escaping coconut oil fever. With it, people cook. They use it for cooking. They spread it on their toast and pour it into their coffee. They rub it on their skin, hair and other areas. Looks like coconut oil can do it all!
But just because this oil is popular among keto dieters doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better for you than other types. When consuming or cooking with coconut oil, it is important to keep in mind that it contains saturated fat. Coconut oil, like other fats that are solid at room temperature, is high in saturated fat, the type of fat most health experts advise reducing in the diet. According to one study, 90% of the fats in coconut oil are saturated.
While the healthiness of saturated fats has been debated, a systematic review of 16 clinical trials, published in 2020, found that using coconut oil raises LDL (“bad”) cholesterol more than using coconut oil. non-tropical vegetable oils. As a result, although it may increase HDL, LDL cholesterol associated with increased risk of heart disease is also increased.
The American Heart Association advises reducing your daily saturated fat intake to 13 grams because of this. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that 11 grams of saturated fat are included in one tablespoon of coconut oil. If you use too much coconut oil, it’s pretty easy to reach or exceed this limit. Plus, it doesn’t leave much room in your diet for other sources of saturated fat.
According to Tieraona Low Dog, MD, integrative medicine and women’s health expert and author of Fortify Your Life: Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and More, coconut oil should be one of the many oils you consume. There’s no need to overdo it (it has 121 calories per tablespoon, about the same as other oils). Rotate it with ghee, grapeseed oil, peanut oil and extra virgin olive oil, she advises.
But even if you use coconut oil sparingly, there are so many other benefits that one container might not last long! Check out these top-to-toe coconut oil apps.
1. As an all-natural remedy for eczema:
According to Dr. Low Dog, coconut oil can be helpful in controlling an eczema flare-up. Scratching irritated skin could possibly spread staph bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, which requires antibiotics). Conversely, she notes that “research has shown that the use [coconut oil] daily on your skin for a month resulted in a 95% reduction in staph on the skin. Lauric acid, which is abundant in coconut oil and has antibacterial and antifungal properties, helps fight dangerous microorganisms. Your skin’s barrier, which is your body’s first line of protection against infection, can be repaired with its moisturizing properties.
2. As an acne treatment method:
An early study suggests that coconut oil may be “a reasonable choice for patients with mild to severe skin infections, especially acne vulgaris caused by P. acnes”, in addition to the many other benefits of its antifungal and antibacterial qualities. Research has shown that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, can protect the skin from UV rays, and can improve the skin’s natural function as a barrier against environmental irritants. However, coconut oil, like all other oils, is comedogenic, which means it can clog pores. Therefore, before using it if you have sensitive skin or are prone to acne, seek advice from a registered dermatologist.
3. As a moisturizer:
When applied to your skin, coconut oil really shines. Coconut oil is a fantastic natural moisturizer because it has no added flavors or other potentially irritating additives. “I really like applying it topically. According to Low Dog, the ingredients in coconut oil can safely and effectively replenish moisture in the skin. Coconut oil has been proven to coconut oil is as safe as other oils and significantly increases skin hydration when applied to the skin twice a day for two weeks. Low Dog continues, “You can use coconut to reduce the risk of bacterial infections and to soothe irritation and inflammation.Warm some in your hands and apply to your skin after getting out of the shower.
4. To improve oral health:
He has helped Low Dog patients with gum problems or plaque overgrowth use the oil pulling technique, which involves swirling olive oil in the mouth. However, you may also want to try coconut oil.
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There is some evidence that coconut oil may benefit dental health in general and the oral microbiota in particular, according to the expert. Lauric acid, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities that may help prevent the development of dental caries, may be behind the benefits, claims a 2017 review article published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. Although oil pulling cannot replace routine dental care, when performed appropriately and frequently, it appears to improve oral cleanliness, according to the review.
5. To promote vaginal health:
Although there isn’t much scientific evidence to support the use of coconut oil as a natural lubricant, Low Dog notes that it’s routinely done so. It’s best to use a water-based lubricant in this situation if you’re using coconut oil as a natural lubricant, as studies have shown that it can break down latex condoms.
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Some women put a small amount of organic refined coconut oil on a micro tampon before bed to help relieve vaginal dryness. According to Low Dog, “it’s very, very moisturizing for the vagina.” Because there are not many studies on this app, you should talk to your doctor before using it and do a skin test first in case you have a negative reaction.
Additionally, preliminary research suggests that the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil may help eradicate Candida, the fungus that causes yeast infections. More human trials are needed, but an in vitro study suggests that coconut oil may be just as effective in this area as a well-known antifungal drug. Again, since this research is still in its early stages, you should talk to a doctor before trying any home remedies.
6. To avoid athlete’s foot:
Athlete’s foot can be prevented by the same antifungal properties of coconut oil, including lauric and caprylic acid. Although preliminary research has shown that these chemicals have encouraging antifungal action, more studies are needed to assess whether they will be safe and effective for use in humans. However, Low Dog advises massaging coconut oil into your feet before bed if you train frequently at the gym and are concerned about the possibility of developing athlete’s foot. (Because it could be oily, cover up with socks.) An added benefit of using coconut oil on your feet is that it will moisturize them, as dry, cracked skin is more common. on the heels. Remember that wearing shoes or slippers while showering and drying your skin completely before putting on your socks and shoes are the best strategies for preventing fungal infections in the gym.
7. To help treat hair:
According to a study, coconut oil can help reduce the risk of hair damage when used before or after washing. When used before and after washing hair, it was the only oil out of three studied to reduce protein loss for healthy and damaged hair. One reason is that the lauric acid in coconut oil can quickly soak into hair proteins to help protect your hair. Just be careful not to overdo the oil or you may end up looking greasy (even though your mane will be well moisturized).
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Recent studies have also suggested that coconut oil may help treat dandruff. Coconut oil may benefit the health of the scalp microbiome, according to a 2021 Scientific Reports study (possibly due to its antifungal and antimicrobial properties). Dandruff-prone women who applied coconut oil to their scalp experienced an increase in microorganisms negatively associated with dandruff. The occasional coconut oil hair mask certainly won’t hurt, but more research is needed.
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