Coconut oil ̶ what is it?
The idea of using oil on your skin is often a daunting thought that is followed by a shiver through the spine. But this misconception could be costing you healthy glowing skin that you could have. Coconut in the past couple of years has seen a boost in popularity. It’s been taken from its hairy shell and been changed to ‘coconut water’,‘coconut milk’ and ‘coconut oil’. The benefits of all of these have been widely acknowledged, but none more so than coconut oil.
The texture of the oil, at first glance, would make anyone second-guess themselves. A solid, white substance is far from the typical view of an oil. But this is an oil that changes with the temperature. In the winter nights the oil will be a solid chunk but when the summer days come it will be a large puddle in a jar. But the known benefits of this temperamental oil are vast and you are sure to be able to find at least one use for it.
Fatty acids ̶ a key to weight loss!
The properties that make coconut oil are mainly fatty acids, lauric acid, myristic acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. This makes coconut oil one of the best sources of fatty acids. Because of this, coconut oil when eaten or used to cook with (if done daily) is able to help improve people’s metabolism, which leads to weight loss. But like everything, it must be used in moderation.
What is the clinical view?
Patient’s Clinical Editor, Dr Hayley Willacy says: ˈCoconut oil contains lauric acid, which raises both HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. This might benefit some people's cholesterol profile but there is concern that it may cause atherosclerosis in other ways.ˈ
By using coconut oil as a makeup remover, you are able to cut out the horrid middleman – alcohol. The effects of using a natural product to remove makeup are amazing. It is able to remove makeup with ease but also nourish (due to the vitamin E in it) and hydrate the skin as it does so. It also reduces the need to tug around the sensitive skin underneath your eyes due to the oily texture.
Another great thing that is down to the medium-chain fatty acid the oil contains is the ability to slow down or reduce ageing. If eaten and used daily the properties in coconut oil can improve elasticity in the skin, prevent hair going grey early and help to reduce eye wrinkles.
Healthy cooking oil
There is always talk in the news about effects of using too much cooking oil, but coconut oil is by far the healthiest cooking oil around.
As well as helping your skin and metabolism, coconut oil is also able to help your teeth. By using the method of oil pulling with coconut oil, many people have been able to see visible results in whitening their teeth. The process of swirling the oil around in your mouth (for 10-20 minutes) is often noted as not being the most pleasant, but people have remarked on the results this natural process has given them. In an essence, you use coconut oil as a mouthwash and it is able to ˈpullˈ bacteria from your gums and teeth. However, oil pulling will not necessarily lead you to have a healthier mouth altogether.
Patient’s Dr Sarah Jarvis explains: ˈThe theory (based on Ayurvedic medicine principles) is that it removes bacteria from the mouth. While there is no doubt that our mouths contain many bacteria, and studies suggest oil pulling may reduce the risk of tooth decay, gingivitis and bad breath, it’s not a substitute for regular tooth brushing, flossing and visits to your dentist.ˈ