Coconut oil has gained immense popularity in recent years across the world due to its countless health benefits. It is known to be the healthiest edible oil. Nowadays, the coconut palm is known to be the “lifeline of health” due to its benefits and all-round uses. But let’s talk about a more considerate version of coconut oil, virgin coconut oil. Virgin oil is extracted directly from the fresh milk of the coconut. It’s not a refined version like regular coconut oil. Plus, it also contains more antioxidants than regular coconut oil. So here we have highlighted some benefits, uses and side effects of virgin coconut oil.
Benefits of virgin coconut oil
1. Controls cholesterol level
Virgin oil contains monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are healthy fats and help lower bad LDL cholesterol. However, bad cholesterol can build up fatty acids in the blood vessels, but the medium and short chain fatty acids in virgin coconut oil generate HDL in the body.
It is a good source of energy which helps burn fat in the body. Virgin oil is highly recommended for cooking as it promotes heart health and keeps unnecessary fat away.
2. Improves dental health
Nowadays, oil extraction has become a revival trend since ancient times when Ayurveda was established and promoted. It is a practice to splash the oil in your mouth for a minute or two but on an empty stomach. Virgin oil contains lauric acid, which is associated with antimicrobial properties that help with dental health.
The antibacterial components have the ability to detoxify the mouth, protect it and clean it from harmful bacteria. It prevents several dental problems such as plaque, bad breath (halitosis), gum disease, food debris and much more.
3. Keeps your heart healthy
Lower LDL cholesterol is desirable for a healthy heart, and cold-pressed coconut oil is beneficial. The saturated fats in coconut oil are medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
While there is no evidence that coconut oil is very beneficial for the heart, insufficient intake may indeed reduce the risk of heart disease.
4. Excellent stress reliever
Virgin coconut oil has medium chain triglycerides MCTs that provide instant energy to the brain because it cannot store the energy and glucose it needs. So, the MCT in cold pressed coconut oil in the liver breaks down stored fat and produces ketones which give the brain instant energy.
After concluding studies, it has been established that virgin coconut oil has antidepressant and anti-inflammatory functions due to the presence of medium chain fatty acids and antioxidants. And it reduces psychological effects like stress and anxiety.
5. Helps to lose weight
One of the main benefits of virgin coconut oil is that it can increase enzymes such as lipoprotein lipase, which helps with weight loss. Moreover, it is observed through various studies that virgin coconut oil triggers the production of bile which helps the body to digest and ultimately helps to eliminate fat.
Its essential elements like vitamin E, antioxidants and polyphenols help to maintain the hormonal level of the body. Virgin coconut oil for weight loss is the perfect trick because it is an unrefined oil that is easy to digest compared to other edible oils.
6. Feeds your immune system
The medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid, which help destroy microbial organisms, prevent the entry of viruses and their maturation. MCTs evenly cleanse the liver and produce the healthiest saturated fats that are easily absorbed by the body.
Virgin coconut oil improves metabolism and eventually strengthens the immune system. People with lower immunity are recommended to consume 2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil to boost immunity.
7. Digestive health
This oil contains essential fatty acids like lauric acid and monolaurin, which have powerful antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. In addition, they promote easy bowel movements and reduce irritation of the intestines, promoting good and complete digestion.
In addition to the benefits of cold-pressed coconut oil, MCTs also help manage various issues of fungi, bacteria, and parasites that cause several intestinal issues. Also, it reduces the growth of harmful yeast infections.
8. Improves bone health
Coconut oil contains essential minerals like calcium and magnesium which directly support bone health. Plus, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of virgin coconut oil help relieve joint pain and bone swelling.
In some scientific research, it is evident that the saturated fatty acid named lauric acid in virgin coconut oil helps with osteoarthritis related problems.
9. Help in wounds and injuries
Coconut oil acts as a thick, protective and moisturizing layer as the skin heals wounds and scars. Plus, its collagen production helps bind new tissue in the skin and helps reduce redness or hyperpigmentation.
10. Beneficial for a diabetic
Virgin coconut oil is useful for people with type 2 diabetes because it lowers the body’s LDL (bad cholesterol) and produces an amount of glucose from MCTs.
Side effects of virgin coconut oil
Coconut oil is primarily safe when consumed in moderate amounts, but excessive intake can cause problems. This is because coconut oil contains a large amount of saturated fat and other harmful elements that are not good in large amounts. So you should check the side effects of virgin coconut oil before using it.
1. Risks of allergies
Virgin coconut oil is not intended for allergy unless someone is allergic to it for reasons. In addition, allergic reactions sometimes include hives and anaphylaxis, which cause breathing problems.
2. Be careful with the liver
Its medium chain fatty acids are transported to the liver and converted into energy. However, it can cause liver problems if taken in large amounts.
3. Can cause acne breakouts
This is more prone to people who already have oily skin. Even though lauric acid in virgin oil helps treat acne, overuse can also trigger acne.
4. The gut may be in distress
People with fructose malabsorption issues should check the amount of virgin coconut oil before consuming it as it can cause digestive issues.
5. Can become problematic in oil extraction
Some people are sensitive to coconut oil, so avoid using coconut oil for oil extraction purposes. Instead, you can use sunflower or sesame oil for the same.
Uses of virgin coconut oil
Coconut oil is far too popular than any other oil. Virgin coconut oil has several health benefits. In addition, it is a very flexible and versatile oil that can be used in different ways. If you’re still not sure about its uses, we’ve picked out the best uses for virgin coconut oil.
- Hydrate your skin: It is a very pure, chemical-free and natural moisturizer for all skin types. It also helps repair cracked heels.
- Used for cooking: Virgin Coconut oil is an ideal edible oil that can be used in any way in the kitchen for cooking.
- Use to reduce belly fat: Virgin coconut oil can be beneficial in reducing your stomach fat in a very healthy way. You can ideally take 2 tablespoons per day to change your centimeters.
- Protects the skin from the sun: Use it as a sunscreen which prevents your skin from burning from UV rays. It can block 20% of the sun’s UV rays.
- Immediate relief of skin irritations: It potentially improves dermatitis, eczema and other skin disorders if applied in the wrong amount and time.
- Works as a natural deodorant: However, your sweat doesn’t smell, but bacteria stuck on your skin can produce unwanted odors that virgin coconut oil can prevent. Its powerful antibacterial properties make it a prominent natural deodorant that does not contain any chemicals.