I am sure you have heard the buzz these days around coconut oil. For years the American Heart Association has recommended avoiding all saturated fats, including coconut oil. They had believed that all saturated fats increased cholesterol and risk for cardiovascular disease. In fact, they still say not to consume any saturated fats despite the growing (and very well recognized) body of info that suggests otherwise. But I will have to leave that tangent for another time… Back to coconut oil!! More and more research is pointing toward the health benefits of coconut oil, and it seems to be pretty healthy stuff! Here are some of the highlights on what new (and very young, but encouraging) findings on the benefits of coconut oil:
- Consuming coconut oil increases your HDL (good) cholesterol! It also raises LDL (bad) cholesterol but despite the raise in both, this increase appears to be heart protective, lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease.
- Coconut oil may help you lose weight! A recent study found that obese women who added 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to their diet and regular walking lost more belly fat than the women who added 2 tablespoons of soybean oil.
- Coconut oil’s antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal properties, and can help boost your immune system and keep your skin healthy.
- 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. So sometimes it’s safer to put the things on your skin that you know are good for your whole body. Coconut oil molecules are very small, and therefore very effective at moisturizing your skin and hair! Before my wedding I used coconut oil in my hair every day before I showered, and my hair was super shiny and healthy looking!! Plus, you’ll smell like a beachy beauty!!
As I mentioned, most of the research on the topic is young, so I don’t suggest you go downing a cup of this stuff per day, but adding a little coconut oil to your diet could be a really good thing. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!!