by Amanda Krieger
Coconut oil does not only offer several health benefits, it’s also extremely versatile! It is a plant fat that is extracted directly from fresh coconut meat. It can be added to your daily smoothie, substituted as butter on your toast, or even used as a moisturizer for dry skin!
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a saturated fat and because of this, it shouldn’t be used excessively in your day-to-day diet. Research does show benefits of its use although nothing is completely conclusive yet. Coconut oil does have its perks but make sure to use sparingly!
- Studies have shown that coconut oil has the ability to raise healthy cholesterol levels, while keeping unhealthy cholesterol levels down.1
- It has been shown to improve the metabolic health of patients with diabetes and lower their risk of heart disease.1
- It provides the body with antioxidants, that work to keep your cells healthy.1
- Adding it to meals can keep you feeling fuller for longer.2
- It has anti-inflammatory effects, which lower inflammation in the body.3
- When used on your skin, it can be a simple and natural way to keep moisturized.4
Uses of Coconut Oil
In the kitchen, coconut oil can be used:
- To sauté protein and vegetables
- As a topping to baked potatoes and toast
- To substitute butter when baking cupcakes or cookies
- As an addition to smoothies and shakes for added calories and nutrition
- To moisturize your body to treat and prevent dry skin
- To strengthen your hair and add shine
- To soothe dry and chapped lips
- To heal and moisturize painful cuticles
- To remove your eye makeup
- Cardoso DA, et al. A coconut extra virgin oil-rich diet increases HDL cholesterol and decreases waist circumference and body mass in coronary artery disease patients. Nutr Hosp 2015; 32(5): 2144-2151.
- Valente F, et al. Effects of coconut oil consumption on energy metabolism, cardiometabolic risk markers, and appetitive responses in women with excess body fat. European Journal of Nutrition 2018; 57(4): 1627-1637.
- Soomin K, et al. Enhanced barrier functions and anti-inflammatory effect of cultured coconut extract on human skin. Food and Chemical Toxicology 2017; 106: 367-375.
- Strunk T, et al. Topical Coconut Oil in Very Preterm Infants: An Open-Label Randomised Controlled Trial. Neonatology 2018; 113: 146-151.